Review by AlCurtis
"EA destroy another series."
Ok apparently people on this site either can't understand English and why this game sucks, or they are total C&C fanboys so I'll make this review easier to understand.
This game sucks because the missions are completely scripted meaning the enemy constantly gets free units until you do a certain thing in a mission and they don't need money as well be being totally linear and not flexible and unpredictable, like a real war.
The other reason is that it's impossible to play online because there's a stupid mount of hackers and cheaters. Almost everyone hacks, and there hasn't been any attempt to stop it. The community also sucks, and is filled with idiots and trolls.
I now return you to your review. If you don't understand the above and still think this review is biased then frankly there's no hope for you. If you do I love you. Thank you for reading.
That's why this game sucks. Try reading a review before you blindly rate it.
Generals is the most unfair game I have ever seen. It is a great RTS ruined by cheating AI, rampant hacking and annoying unit unbalances. This makes its flaws far more depressing. But wait! Before you don't recommend my review read on and find out why.
Generals revolves around the insanely huge battles of the USA, China and the Global Liberation Army a terriost organization. Each side is modelled roughly after its real life tactics.
The USA has very high tech armies with crack infantry and powerful and expensive tanks. You could call them the good guys. Their units are expensive.
China is very different to the USA. Its units are cheaper and not as powerful. China's tactics involve flooding the enemy with impossibly huge numbers and emphasizing this is the horde bonus that china gets. When enough of the same types of unit are near each other such as Battlemaster tanks or Red Guard infantry the whole group fires faster and does more damage. They are pretty much on USA's side and fight off the GLA as well but could be called neutral.
The GLA are Middle Eastern terriosts. Their armies are outdated and bargain basement, bought through the black market and can be pulverized by the other teams more professional forces but are incredibly sneaky with the ability to salvage parts form defeated enemies to upgrade their own units making them much more powerful and use tunnel networks to deploy forces. They also make liberal use of evil weapons like anthrax bombs and other toxic weapons.
Multiplayer is lame. There are lots of hackers which ruin multiplayer and EA hasn't lifted a finger in ages to stop them meaning multiplayer can be just as annoying as single player. If you aren't playing a hacker multiplayer can be huge amounts of fun even though it is very hard, and takes a long time to get good in any sense. Your stats such as wins losses disconnects win streak loss streak and battle honor medals are all saved on the server side and carried over from game to game with each player assigned a rank based on stats such as sergeant or major. Battle honors can be awarded for things like building a certain number of main battle tanks or planes against enemies, winning lots of matches in a row, rushing your enemy and defeating him quickly or playing fair by not disconnecting from 90% of your games.
Graphics wise Generals is amazing for the time. Everything is so detailed with battles taking place in dense, realistic looking forests complete with trees catching on fire and being bashed over by tanks, beaches with pebbles and seaweed washed up and waves rolling in and towns with loads of small details such as wells and broken roads. General's environments are some of the most beautiful in an RTS. Flame effects look amazing with napalm whooshing out of cannons realistically and some great lighting effects making it look even better. Buildings hit by napalm burst into flames, and damaged building give out great looking explosions kicking up dust and rocks in all directions. Nukes too look amazing with the classic mushroom cloud and some incredible looking lighting, complete with damaging fallout left in its wake. There are dozens of cool little effects that just add heaps, like how tanks shake and get kicked back when firing and how infantry limp when badly injured.
Units are varied and imaginative with things like standard rifle and rpg armed infantry to napalm tanks, makeshift battle units with high caliber guns, chain gun tanks, the ever classic humvee, ambulances, high tech tanks armed with anti-rocket lasers and many many others. the sides don't share any units, but out of necessity and to have a certain amount of realism each side has a main battle tank and basic infantry yet they are different, For example, the standard USA infantry, the Ranger is armed with an assult rifle and able to use flashbangs to cause huge damage to hostile infantry and to clean out garrisoned buildings. The standard Chinese infantry, the Red Guard on the other hand is very cheap, trained in pairs, has a bolt action rifle and has the Chinese horde bonus that makes groups of five or more of them fire faster and do more damage. The GLAs standard infantry, the Rebel, sticking with the GLAs terriost origins is a no frills machine gun armed trooper with no other skills besides being cheap.
What destroys generals and ruins any strategy is the fact that everything is scripted and unfair. The AI cheats always to endlessly send troops at you that it just magically gets. You can see after the battle on the stats screen that they almost always lost way more units than they ever created, meaning they just got them for free. I saw 121 created and over 500 lost once, meaning they got 400 free units. That is simply unacceptable. If EA can't make an AI that can challenge you without the worthless cheating they should just stop making games right now. You see stupid things, like tanks and units constantly popping into existence from nowhere, crushing your forces, they just keeping coming and coming until you reach a scripting point that stops them. Complete crap. They often simply move along preset paths right into your base defense over and over. The only way the AI has evolved from the AI in the 1995 original is the addition of scripting as outlined above. Back then the AI also attacked with small endless groups that walked into your base defense.
Another thing that really annoys me is the way infantry are so weak. A lot of infantry, especially rocket infantry can be pretty powerful but they die too easily since a tank that is dead stopped can crush infantry instantly killing them after moving less than a centimeter across the screen. They don't need run ups or even to be barely moving to crush them. You can lose 20 infantry to one tank this way and, coupled with the cheating AI, is really enough to unbalance the game so completely that I refuse to play single player anymore. It's uncalled for, unrealistic and frustrating.
These faults ruin generals completely. They nullify any good points generals has and makes it an annoying frustrating game.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 10/02/08
Game Release: Command & Conquer: Generals (EU, 02/14/03)
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