SSI brings out another game in its renowned General Series.
People's General is the second in the new Living Battlefield
Series, following Panzer General II. People's General takes you to
a not-so-distant and oh-so-possible future with conflicts brewing in
Asia between China and its neighbors. You can take basically any
side in various conflicts throughout Asia. Factions include: United
States, United Nations, Russia, China, Japan, and many of the
The game is set slightly in the future, so there's quite a few
improvements to the weaponry such as the M1A3 and the T-99
Battletanks. Since it's not too far ahead, you can still get current
weaponry from all over. I like being able to buy different types of
weaponry from all over the world. It's a fresh idea, you don't have
to get caught using only US vehicles
or Russian vehicles. It allows for a great deal of variety, although
most of the top vehicles are US or Russian. Each unit has a value
and you earn points for purchasing units by running a good
People's General requires a good deal of management. Damaged
units need be reinforced, ammo needs to be resupplied. Air strikes
help aid in keeping approaching units back although the enemy
can use the same tactic against you (and tends to use it
effectively). The wide range of unit types give you many options
for your campaign process. You have tanks, artillery, infantry,
helocopters, and air defense. Planning is crucial: since this is a
turn-based strategy, you need to make your placements count.
The gameplay is very realistic. Most of the time, you don't know
what the enemy is doing since you can't see him. (Of course you
can send in recon planes, but not often enough to know what's up
all the time). If you leave a hole, the enemy tends to sneak on
through and take your towns or attack your weaker vehicles, like
artillery. The AI is quite good. It took me awhile to just not get my
People's General gives you two single player styles of play, Single
Mission and Campaign. It is loaded with Single Player missions
and the campaign play has plenty of depth. This should allow you
to play many different types of games from plenty of different
sides. If you're a wargamer, it definitely should keep you busy for a
I didn't like some of the movement. If I misclicked and didn't send
my unit to exactly where I wanted to, it used up all my movement.
I'd like it better if you got to use all of your movement points
instead of only getting one movement. The computer seemed to
be much more effective on attacking at various times for reasons I
couldn't exactly figure out. I'm sure there's a reason, but it does
tend to anger me when I lose three units in a single strike and it
takes me 3 turns to blow up a unit with four of my units attacking it.
(Yes I am taking into account entrenchment) Terrain does play an
effect in this, but I still think I'm getting robbed on occasion. It's not
for the average Joe Gamer though. I'm not a wargamer so my
strategic abilities are better suited to an RTS, so maybe I just suck.
Graphically, it's pretty good. After all it IS turn-based. There's no
3D terrain. It's primarly a painted looking background. The terrain
does affect movement in the game. (Roads let you move faster,
swamps make you move slower) It does have decent fire/explosion
effects. The graphics are done to make the game look simple and
not full of cluttered units and landscaping like a real-time strategy
would have, but here it's perfectly acceptable. It would just be
distracting and take away from the realism of a wargame.
It's got just about what you'd expect musically. Nothing catchy or
flashy. It does have Asian-style war-like background music. (Don't
ask me to explain that.. it just is) It's still not that thrilling, but
turn-based games don't usually have a need to "pump" you up.
The sound effects are few and they're nothing out of the ordinary
either. There's enough to give environment and not too much to
take away from the game.
It features multiplayer across the internet. Since it's a typical
turn-based game, the games are all two sided. It does allow for up
to four players, so you do get the option of teamplay. It also
features email multiplayer for the diehard wargamers. I didn't give
this a look just because I really don't have the time to play a
wargame for days at a time.
People's General does present itself as a good wargame. It's pretty
current as far as the timeline goes so you get to use modern
weaponry (as opposed to Panzer General II which was all World
War II weaponry). It has a plausible plot and great gameplay. I'm
not a big fan of wargames, so I wouldn't recommend this to
anyone other than a wargamer, but for those of you
who are, it's a decent quality game. If you liked Panzer General II
and want to try a more modern version of it, this is your game.