Yes, those are hexes you see, stuffed with modern military hardware and dense with stats – the bread and butter of the grognard-pleasing Daisenryaku Perfect 4.0, sneakily launched last night. The latest in Systemsoft’s very long-running series of straight-laced strategy games and the first in English for a while. While complex, the Daisenryaku series isn’t quite as gritty as some strategic sims and is notable for its accessible (and often console-friendly) UI. Plus, there’s Advance Wars-styled combat animations, which are always fun. Below, a bombastic Japanese trailer.
According to Systemsoft, they’ve crammed a lot of hexes, planes, tanks and boats into this iteration. Over three hundred maps and upwards of fifteen hundred unit types coming all the way up to current day. They even boast that Japan’s new Asahi-class destroyer (first deployed earlier this year) is a playable unit. It sounds like a lot to learn, but there’s fourteen tutorial missions to lead into the game. After that, there’s a sixty-mission campaign, and several hundred more standalone battlefields and scenarios and a map editor.
I’ve not played anything in this series since Daisenryaku 7 on the PS2, but that one was dense with historical mini-campaigns. A bit much for me to handle, but the moment-to-moment moving units around and capturing territory made sense. Some scenarios provided you with a fixed army, but skirmish-type maps allow you to construct bases and deploy forces across enormous battlefields. In Daisenryaku Perfect 4.0, up to eight sides (although the game is solo only) can duke it out on a single map, and some battles can take hours to resolve – it’s heavyweight stuff.
I was surprised to see this pop up out of nowhere last night – it’s a series and a studio that’s relatively reputable when it comes to more serious hex strategy stuff, but I do wonder about the quality of the translation. While mostly coherent, the Steam store page does contain a few odd sentences and minor errors. Hopefully the game itself reads a little better. I’m definitely out of my depth on this one, but hopefully I can convince resident military boffin Tim Stone to give this one a shake and see if anything falls off.
Daisenryaku Perfect 4.0 is out now on Steam for £38.58/€41.49/$49.79.