Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. An excellent storyline, high production values, sweeping sound, impressive graphics and an attention to detail that would make my professors at Berkeley proud all combine to make Desert Rats one of the best World War II real time strategy games I’ve come across in a long time.
  2. 86
    Overall, the deep, strategic elements of DRvsAK -combined with historical timelines detailing the context of the missions that you're undertaking- give a real sense of place and scope and we can’t help but recommend this title whole-heartedly.
  3. Great graphics, great sound effects and it's damn fun to play.
  4. 82
    The only thing that kept me from enjoying this title to its fullest is the current state of the code, which is evident, not in game-stopping bugs, but in bugs that mar the overall experience of the game.
  5. It may not be the most challenging strategy game to date but it's certainly one of the more enjoyable and the amount of detail in the graphics, settings and battle units make for a convincing and complete setting.
  6. Offers, in terms of management and tactical depth, an intuitive feel without guiding the player but some could easily say it is devoid of being really inspiring, although we would give this our thumbs up for being straight to the point, unpretentious and offering what it promises - a strat game with substance!
  7. A fun game. I can’t find much fault with the time I spent with it. But its overall feel is less than stellar. The game will crawl along at even medium resolutions and the pathfinding seriously hampers you at times.
  8. A first rate, old-school RTS which, while distinctive, any "Command & Conquer" fan will instantly be familiar with, and which has only enough strategy to fill a small egg cup.
  9. Focusing solely on strategic play and ditching resource management and unit construction, the game does a fine effort at emphasizing strategy.
  10. Despite my complaints Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps puts in a good performance and is worth a look, especially if you like strategy games that require you to think fast and react quickly to events on the battlefield.
  11. 75
    One of those frustrating titles that showed promise, but is brought down with a few nags that could have been prevented. But even with its gaffs, it's still mildly addictive.
  12. While it is not exactly groundbreaking, the game has a solid, polished feel to it. Its only real fault is that the single player mode is on the short side when it comes to number of hours one expects to put into a strategy game before completing it.
  13. Better multiplayer support along with the ability to create quick matches by including AI opponents would have gone a long way to extending the replay value of the title and the game’s overall enjoyment.
  14. If you're a more casual type who's not anal about realism, Desert Rats will satisfy your inner tank commander. [June 2004, p.66]
  15. The visuals are simply amazing, particularly for a title from this genre, and the depth of the units isn't too shabby either, however it lacks that finishing polish and precise execution that would have made it that much better.
  16. 72
    Hitting the balance between historical authenticity and compelling gameplay is very hard. Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps walks this line pretty well but still suffers from too much specialization, particularly among infantry units, to be easily comprehensible.
  17. A game that looks good and plays reasonably well, but is likely to test your patience more than your military skills.
  18. Unfortunately the multiplayer modes don’t offer any extra gameplay depth, only offering the usual death match and capture the flag modes, coupled with a few tacked on others for up to four people.
  19. If Desert Rats can address its most severe problems - a very variable AI and a rather stunted mutliplayer - then it might be able to up itself to an [80] rating.
  20. The raw elements of DRvAK should please hardcore strategist, but it needs a little more polish in terms of pathfinding and formation options (which are extremely limited).
  21. Ignore the trivial narrative, focus on the grim business of war and you should find this a satisfying and challenging game.
  22. The graphics are superb and has audio to match but is let down by dodgy path finding and to a lesser extent the humorous voice acting. As it stands it is a competent if somewhat flawed RTS in a very competitive genre.
  23. And although the game lacks the visual splendor of "Ground Control 2," or the physics engine of "Soldiers of WW2," it has a lot more problems at launch than these two titles had.
  24. We’re left with a terribly flawed gem that catches the light one moment and cuts with a jagged edge the next. We hope the dozens of glitches, bugs and random crashes can be wiped away with a patch.
  25. Makes good use of the material and provides some thrills when battles play out explosively, but as good as the game looks, some flawed mechanics and a general lack of polish keep it from being as fun as it should be.
  26. Pacing and AI problems hold this back from its potential. [June 2004, p.135]
  27. 60
    The attempt to support an RTS with a compelling storyline is not a new idea and it has certainly been done with more imagination and style.
  28. A good historical RTS, desite flawed infantry and some puzzlelike maps. [July 2004, p.71]
  29. Unless you're just here to admire teh decent-ish graphics, suck it up and play "Combat Mission" already. [Aug 2004, p.60]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. SSGWentz
    Feb 21, 2006
    control of troops is great and the ability to use differnet tactics and capture equipment. ( like real war).
  2. JhonnyM.
    Apr 29, 2004
    Better than Generals. BEST GAME EVER.
  3. RichardP.
    Mar 19, 2004
    Very very good.