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Operation Barbarossa – The Struggle for Russia is a turn-based strategy computer game by Binary Evolution Studios, a small independent development team. The gameplay is strongly influenced by Panzer General II and the graphics are displayed in a 3D environment. The game depicts the Eastern Front theatre from 1941-1945.
Structure and content
In Operation Barbarossa – The Struggle for Russia, the player leads divisions of Germany, Romania or Russia through single scenarios or in campaigns, a string of scenarios each representing a specific battle on the Eastern Front. The campaigns are strictly historical ending the German offence Operation Barbarossa in December 1941 and leading the Russian campaign from the defence of Moscow to the conquest of Berlin in 1945. A third campaign includes the German Operation Blau.
The maps are divided in hexfields that represent about five square kilometre. The game provides fog of war so enemy units have to be spotted by own units. Each unit has a cerain attack and spotting range. Movement is influenced by weather and terrain.
One of the most important differences to Panzer General is that special abilities can be added to units called upgrades in the game. In a campaign the players units are kept from scenario to scenario (the core unit principle) and improve by gaining experience. Anytime a unit reaches a certain amount of experience the player may upgrade the unit with special abilities. There 47 different updates depending on the unit type (e.g. an AA unit has different upgrades than a tank unit) such as e.g."Sharp Shooter" that increases the attack value against infantry units.
A leveleditor for making own scenarios is included.
GamersHall.de gives 7.6/10 - [Translated from German] There is it again, the good old Panzer General feeling. Operations look a bit different and gameplay too, but it can not deny its huge role model...I can warmly recommend this to all lovers of Panzer General - you will not be disappointed!
EGC Games gives 67/100 - Highs:Unit customization mechanic, historic setting, unit variety. Lows: Linear limited campaigns, interface issues, sub-par graphics and audio, lack of cinematics, uninspiring gameplay.