Verfasst: 29. Januar
Going to be a long text, so TLDR; get the first installment of the series, The Calm and the Storm. Its definatly more worth its pricetag.
If you already own the first installment, keep playing that, as you will not gain much for the 20 Bucks here.
The game, while theoreticaly quite fun, has some problems which just ruin the experience, the biggest one being that it just runs poorly. While I do have a decent machine, nothing fancy, but also not bad in any way (AMD 6300FX, 8gb, R9-290). Turntimes start off very fast, but do get longer over the course of the game. Not too long, but still somewhat annoying, considering that you will spend the majority of gameplay clicking away idle turns (If you're playing historically about 230 turns, just until the beginning of the war).
My main issue is however, that everything feels "slow" and "lagging" as in. Scrolling the map makes the scrolling "stutter", so the map doesnt move smoothe but keeps jumping. This also is technically not a problem, as you can easily get anywhere on the map, but it just doesnt feel right and stressful. Giving commands to units, opening Menues and virtually clicking anywhere has a delay of ~0.5-1 second (didnt measure it, but its just... you feel it, you know?). That doesnt seem like much but it is annoying as hell and makes the playing experience simply feel "unsmooth" and, to some extend, especially when giving a large amount of orders, stressful. This is enhanced by the games second problem.
The second problem im having with this game is its interface. Everything feels like it needs at least one click too much. For example: Merging 2 units requires you to have both units in the same province (of course...). Then you select one and right click on the other one. Then a dropdown menu appears and you can select "merge units" at which point you need to select the unit you JUST rightclicked on from the appearing "list", which (in the 6 hours i played so far) has never shown more that the exact unit I rightclicked on anyway, even if there are multiple units in the province. Or for example research, where there is no "each laboratory that can, research the same thing" button. You need to select a research option for each single laboratory when you just want all of them to research the same thing. Why 30 clicks instead of 1?
The game has no tutorial and close to no tooltips but only an encyclopedia. This is in most cases only a minor inconvinience since, in opposition to lets say the hearts of iron series, most things are grasped somewhat easily and without explanation. However, in production and research, this lack of help is very annoying. When selecting production over the City-Screen you get a LITTLE bit more info, but usually you will be chosing production from the production menu (where you see all cities) and here you get virtually no help to tell you for example the difference between a cottage factory, a mechanised factory, a large factory aso.
Research is even worse. In the research tree, options are only shown linked to the last thing they need, however, they may have other requirements from earlier in the research tree. This is only shown as a symbol which will give you the name of the required prerequisit research, which you may then search in the researchtree yourself, followed by searching that researches mandatory prerequisits. If you want to know what any of these researches does (What it gives is also just shown as a Noun, like "Highway", you may go to the enzyclopedia and search for Highway to figure out if this is useful in any way to you. This is of course not linked but requires you to actually look through the encyclopeida.) This is a joke, and, once again, Civilization did it better 1/4 Century ago.
The building menu is not sorted. When clicking on production you will get a dropdown menu with ~20-40 production possibilies to scroll through (the dropdown isnt that large, so for some things which you will be chosing a lot, like Tanks, you will need to scroll down), changing your production around for a larger country, for example when switching to tank or airplane production, is just a chore.
The game has barely any feedback to "problems" in your country. For example when your researchers have no goal set you are simply loosing turns in research for no reason, but the game doesnt tell you, instead you need to either memorize every time when you current research is going to be done, or you need to check every couple of turns. There is no reason why the game would let you end your turn with no research selected, like EVERY OTHER GAME ON THE MARKET, starting from 24 Years old Civilization!
The Idea of making the game more sandboxish, allowing countries to ally and fight whoever they want (with some path laying out, but not mandatory) is very good. The execution is rather poorly, with the world AI reminding me of the Total War Series in regards to its "intelligence". While only playing 6 hours I have witnessed twice countries declaring war, just to be annihilated themselves minutes later, since they were not even close to being a match to the enemy. Making Alliances and Trade agreements is just a gamble with no rhyme or reason whatsoever as to who will ally/trade with you. (There is somewhat of a "like"-meter, but it appears to have no influence on the other countries decision and it is almost impossible to change the like-meter anyway.
All in all, if you, like me, are looking for a simplified hearts of iron (Thanks to youtube I didnt find Hearts of Iron III to be that difficult to understand, I just found it to be chore with the bazillion provinces and no fun to automate the War-AI) I would recommend the first part of this series (the calm and the storm). While that game definatly has problems of its own (max resolution of 1024x768 with no widescreen option for example) it runs way better, the AI seems more predictable (in this case meant in a positive way as in - the guy with MASSIVE amounts of food who loves you will probably sell you some) and it felt more fast-paced as this one. Also its only 4Euros (got it for 1 in a sale), as to the 20 of this game.