Basically, it's asynchronous multiplayer. When you start the game, you choose one of the three factions (American, German, Soviet) and are given a base. This base consists of a headquarters, a barracks, an engineer post, a fuel depot, and a warehouse.
You want to defend your base. Maybe there are two roads leading in--you could set up pillboxes on each road, throw a few tanks in the woods, garrison some basic infantry in your base buildings, and toss an anti-tank squad near the fuel depot.
Each of these units come at a cost, of course. Units drain fuel, while static defenses (like tank traps or barbed wire or pillboxes) cost supplies. Your warehouse and fuel depot can be upgraded to hold more fuel/supplies as you get later in the game, your barracks can be upgraded to buy new infantry units/tanks, and then there's your army itself which you'll be adding to as the game goes on.
Whenever you run out of supplies, the easiest thing to do is go attack another base. This is what I was doing in the introduction when my troops were so mercilessly gunned down. As you might have guessed, these "other bases" you're attacking are also built by players.
Other players are cunning. Other players are much better at this game than me. Other players are assholes. I hold all three of these things to be true.
Blitzkrieg 3 's asynchronous multiplayer is basically a simple, intuitive level editor combined with traditional multiplayer unlocks. And you don't need to worry about "offensive units" versus "defensive units" or anything like that. If you buy a unit, it's available to guard your base and assault someone else's base simultaneously.
It's an interesting mode. Base building is particularly fun, trying to imagine what the enemy's going to do. Will they come up the road, or will the infantry end up stalking through the woods? If I put this anti-tank unit here will it ever see tanks, or will the tanks take this other route?
The game will offer replay videos of others attacking your base to help you strengthen your defenses, though unfortunately Nival says they won't offer any sort of heat maps at launch.
But does it play well? That's really the question here. It's a sequel to a decade-old game and... well, Blitzkrieg 3 plays like a decade-old game.
That's not all bad. On the one hand, it's fast-paced and responsive. There are also a plethora of units to use, each with its own strengths. I was fairly amazed at how fast mismatched units can get destroyed. For instance, a pillbox can wipe out entire ranks of infantry in seconds if you're not paying attention. Ditto for anti-tank rounds. The game moves fast, and it's unforgiving of mistakes.
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.