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By: Shonukem

First Impressions:

First i will start by saying thanks to the people at EAP for developing such a good game and allowing me to be part of the MPT. As for the game itself, only one word comes to my mind and thats "sweet". Everything about Generals makes my mouth water with all the eye candy and units it contains (especially an overlord with the bunker upgrade loaded with rocketmen). Also, what made it even better is, although it was a 3d rts game, and the fact im on a slow 56k modem, i was shocked to find out there was relatively no lag in the few games i have played. Considering this is the beta test, that seems like a good sign of how its shaping up.

Graphics and Interface:

Sofar, ive only played 2 other 3d rts games. Those being Empire Earth and Warcraft 3. As a result i was very familiar with the overall interface and such that has changed compared to other rts games. But dont let this fool you. Though the game has a new look, it still plays very much like a C&C game.

The vehicle models in my opinion are very well done though the infantry are a bit low quality. But then again that really isnt much of a matter as much of the game is vehicle oriented. But the best graphics ive seen in the game thusfar have been the nuke explosion. Unlike ra2 where an almost comic like mushroom cloud is seen, in Generals, you see a mushroom cloud form exactly like a real one. You even see the reverse pressure wave (goes inward from the low pressure). Ive hosted many a sandbox mode game just to treat myself to that little bit of gaming goodness. In all, even on low resolution, the graphics are still very well done.

Units and Gameplay:

So far, the most versatle units (in terms of most useful imho) ive seen in the game have been the Technical, the Humvee and the Overlords (or the generals mammoth for those who havent been paying attention. You can load up any infantry you want into each of these (the Overlord requires the bunker upgrade), or you can upgrade the Overlord to have the Propaganda tower (heals friendly units), or the gattling gun upgrade.

Now all these people moaning about how its going to suck cause of something stupid as "The right hand command bar is gone", please, like the lemmings you are, jump off a cliff with the others of your Ilk. Though it does build things like other RTS games, as mentioned it plays just like a C&C game. Tanks dont work so well against infantry, infantry dont work against tanks, and you can do the usual patented C&C style tank rush.


Reguardless, there are changes that removed what was typical of a C&C game. One of those being the removal of "Engineers". However, after playing it, i found the new "Peon" units (the dozers and workers), actually operate more like a real combat engineer would. So in a since, the name is gone, but to me, they are still very much in the game.
Another, as mentioned before, was the change from a side situated command bar to a bottom situated one. Granted, i was a bit dissapointed at this change at first, but after having played the game, i found it was a hell of alot better than having to scroll down various menus to find the structure/unit that i wanted to build or order. This cut down on the time required to do such things and more time actually doing things in the game.
Lastly, the introduction of 3 unique armies is something new in a C&C game. Though experiemented with in Yuris Revenge with the introduction of Yuris army, EAP got a taste of what it was like to balance 3 different armies (though in many cases, Yuris Revenge was highly unbalanced). That little experiment, although probably a bit of a failure, allowed the EAP team to learn more about how to do it. Personally, few developers outside of Blizzard and Westwood have produced successful games with 3 or more armies (examples being the craft series and the early Dune games).


In all, from what ive seen in the GMPT, aside from a few balance issues and bugs that have been/will be fixed before the release, the game is shaping out to be a possible great hit. I have only one recommendation to all those hesitant to get it when it comes out. Get it. If what ive seen is any indication of whats to come in the final version, it will be worth the $50-$60 (USD) you spend on it.




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