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Game Over Online ~ People's General

GameOver Game Reviews - People's General (c) SSi, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher People's General (c) SSi
System Requirements P133, 16MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 74%
Date Published Friday, September 11th, 1998 at 11:37 PM

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

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 Unified Countries.

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 campaign.

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 butt kicked.

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 good while.

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.


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