World War 2 RTS Steel Division 2 is due to roll out on April 4th, despite messy labour disputes greatly reducing the size of developer Eugen Systems. Owners of the original Steel Division; Normandy 44 are getting some nice treats if they pick up the sequel, including eight exclusive divisions to control, with over 350 units (mostly returning plus a few new ones) split between them. Troubles with the studio aside, it looks like a solid continuation of the large-scale style of real-time strategy that Eugen have built their name on since RUSE. See the release date trailer below.
Steel Division 2 will feature battles on the eastern front – Operation Bagration, to be precise – with Germany squaring up against Russia and Poland. This means that most of its 600 units will be new, opening the door for the crews from the first game to bulk those numbers up further. The single player side of the game will be a 1:1 scale dynamic campaign set across the entire battlefront, while skirmish and multiplayer modes will take place across 25 large battle maps. Players can customise their faction ‘deck’, determining what unit types are available to deploy on any given battle.
I’m glad to hear that the game is on track still, and that it doesn’t seem that Eugen’s troubles (including a long strike last year over poor pay and conditions, followed by several of the involved developers being fired recently) have torpedoed its production. not to colour my thoughts on the game a little, but I’m happy that nothing seems to have gone to waste, at least. Those who pre-order will get to play the game sometime between now and April 4th when the game goes into closed beta testing, though no exact date has been announced. I’m curious to hear how it holds up.
There is still some room for disaster for the studio. As covered here, Eugen is facing a French labour tribunal hearing scheduled for March – a complaint brought against the company by fifteen employees. Fingers crossed that things get resolved, and everyone ends up with the pay they’ve earned.