Seemingly motivated by nothing in particular, CDV have circulated some new screenshots of the recently-released World War II strategy Sudden Strike 3. What struck me about them is the artistry involved in making this kind of game: making so many tiny men, trees, and archaic vehicles. It’s a little like videogames are preserving, even exemplifying, the kind of impulses towards miniaturization and realistic representation that is otherwise only found in model railways or the peculiarly idealised exploit of constructing miniature villages. I think it’s one of the things I respect most about RTS games generally: their unusual perspective, and the idea of designing a world that is intended to be seen from above. There’s something essentially gamey about being an eye in the sky over some intricately constructed terrain, and having partial but far-reaching influence over events, rather than simply being in there, in first-person, or flying over it all in a polygonal aeroplane.
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