189 people found this review helpful 5 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
A wonderful and intelligent little tactical RTS. I say 'little' because the core game is the Battle for Gettysburg (of course) drawn out over 5 or 6 different scenarios. But, this is an indie game, and a great one at that, and if this doesn't sound like much, the devil is in the details.
Content-wise, UG:G is quality over quantity. This may annoy some people, but for those that appreciate variation on a theme, the game offers a lot of replayability and it's clear that the developers have done as much as they can to offer as much replayability as possible within the constraints of the game. Firstly, you can play as either the Union or Confederates. Secondly, you can choose 9 or so different enemy AI types which all change the decision making process for the enemy on the field. Lastly, your actions and achievements in each scenario affect the way the game plays out, allowing you to choose from a number of concurrent scenarios that change depending on whether or not you managed to fulfill the goals of the mission before. Multiply all these options together, and for the price you get a decent amount of gameplay.
The control scheme is ingenious and the method with which you relay orders to your units allows for a great deal of finesse and control on the battlefield. Instead of clicking on each point you want your units to walk in a straight line to, you draw the path you want them to take, and the units follow said path. You can flank, withdraw, shift focus, push forward, and more all with one smooth swipe of the mouse, and it allows for a great deal of tactical control without you having to monitor every individual step the units take. I've seen some complaints about orders not working or unit AI performing incorrectly, but I've never had any such experience.
The topography of the map is fantastic - Gettysburg is accurately represented, and the cover-rating for your units changes dynamically as they move from open grass, to forest, to hedges, to homesteads. This cover rating is essential to survival (as in real life), and it all makes sense - when you move into an area that you think should give you cover, it does, and vice versa. You'll find the enemy responds to your attempts to flank them, and you'll want to watch you don't overextend yourself, or the enemy will exploit your failures. Your frontline will ebb and flow as the balance of power changes in particular areas, and you're rewarded realistically for pressing your advantages, and punished with a stalemate, or worse, if you fail to take the opportunities you get.
I feel that this game would have benefitted from covering a larger part of the civil war, and one criticism I could level at it is that it's indeed constrained by its focus on one single battle. In saying that, I only want more because it's so enjoyable, and I think that in focussing their attention, the development team have managed to perfect their game mechanics, which makes for a much more solid and refined product, so perhaps it's not really a criticism after all?
The other point I'd make is that whilst the mechanics that are in place all work well and feel very fresh, there isn't a whole lot of tactical depth in terms of the commands you can issue to the units. Your command extends as far as telling them where to go, who to attack, when to charge, and when to stop. While this all works well and provides a fun experience, there isn't a lot of variation amongst the commands, that again might have led to the game feeling fuller. But, all that said, I don't feel shortchanged, only like I want to play more and more and more. I haven't played multiplayer as of yet, so I'm dying to try the game out against a human opponent.
UG:G is one of the most innovative and entertaining tactical RTS games I've ever played, and I highly recommend it to any strategy fan.
170 people found this review helpful 4 people found this review funny
53.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
If you like Total War but wish the AI was better, get this game. The graphics aren't great but honestly that isn't the focus of this game, it's about the dynamic AI that will make every fight turn out differently and actually provide a challenge. Multiplayer is coming along as well and the developer is providing regular feedback and updates. This is the start of a fantastic new competitor for the RTS genre.
89 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
36.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Ultimate General: Gettysburg is an awesome game. For those who want an American Civil War (ACW) stratagy game, here it is. The game is centered around the battle of Gettysburg July 1-3(4) 1863. In the main mode (Main Menu-Start new battle) you can fight the battle of Gettysburg as the Union or Confederacy, and choose your opponent AI (9 types of AI: Adds a lot to replay value). The battle is fought in Scenarios, each one being triggered one after the other depending on what you accomplished in the last one you fought. There are more scenarios than I can count honestly. You keep fighting through scenario's untill you fully defeat the enemy, of you run out of time. You can also end up fighting battles on July 4, which is interesting because this never happend in history. All of the possible scenarios are playable in the "Custom battle" section of the main menu. Multiplayer is also fun to do, but there are not nearly as many scenario's as there are in single player, which can be good or bad, depending on your view point. But here is a list of pro's and con's.
Pros: Helpful and thorough tutorial videos. Combat is easy to learn and master. Brigades are historically numbered. Corps and Brigades have historical commanders (Archer,Pender,John Reynolds, Richard S. Ewell, Ect.) Artillery has been fixed with the hotfixes. Art. is ballanced so it isn't devestating with casualties, but does lots of morale damage. Good map design and elevation. TONS of replay value with harder AI and (probably) over 30 scenarios. Multiplayer-compatible No scenario is completley impossible.
CONS: All units look the same (Iron bridage doesn't wear black hats) No steam workshop Artillery can sometimes not fire even though they are looking over a field from a hill. The "Texas brigade", supposedly one of the best southern brigades, has terrible morale. Game can freeze (this issue is being dealt with by developers) Reinforcements will come earlier for the enemy than they will when you play as them. NOTE: I personally think that it would have been better to include more battles in this game, like Antietam, Second Manasas, Shiloh, ect. If not that, at least a map/battle editor so we could make those battles. A steam workshop would also be really nice. OVERALL: 9.5/10. Awesome game. Would definatly reccomend it for people if they asked. I wish these people would make more games like this, so here are some ideas. Ultimate General: Waterloo, Ultimate General: The American Civil War, Ultimate General: Napoleon (battles of Napoleonic era). And why stop there? The possibilities are endless.
EDIT: +1.5 for the addition of Night battles and artillery limbering.
222 people found this review helpful 16 people found this review funny
24.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Sid Meier is the Willy Wonka of PC game designers. And he's turned us all into gluttonous brats named Augustus Gloop. His games all exude a simple charm that has the tendency to steal hours from a person's life and become evidence "exhibit A" in about every other divorce court in the country. None of his games are exempt, from his Railroad Tycoon games to his maddeningly "just one more turn" addictive Civilization games. I remember playing his Sid Meier's Gettysburg! in 1998 and thinking it was the best civil war strategy game to ever grace the PC. I stumbled upon my old Gettysburg! disk the other day, but unfortunately, the game has aged terribly. Father Time has watered down and diluted Meier's twinkling charm. Oh, Father Time, you great and terrible killjoy!
Enter Ultimate General:Gettysburg. Created by a modder named Darth who specializes in Creative Assembly's venerable Total War series, Darth has pretty much recrafted Sid's wonderful software toy and fashioned it into a trip down memory lane, only better! The graphics are updated, the AI is a force to be reckoned with, and the game even has its own ambient flare, reverse zoom and you see the fancy wooden trim of the dining room table you are in fact playing a living board game on. Covering the Battle of Gettysburg in its four day entirety, the game bleeds history, and branches of alternate history depending upon the decisions you make regarding your generals. The gameplay mechanics are not quite grognard level, but they're well beyond Facebook Farmville antics. Mouse lassoing of units, and point and click movement orders, troop movements dictated by drag and drop strategy lines, it's all here. I loaded the game up just to check it out, and I spent a weekend playing through the whole campaign on both sides. It's not often a game gets its hooks in me like that, but I love when it does. It's these times I'm truly honored to be a PC gamer.
The cartoonlike artstyle of the board, and the soldiers which are actually sprites, (and do admittedly leave a longing for the ability to zoom down one more notch for a closer look) are crafted as lovingly as even the bold sinewy text of the location names. In another reference to the wonderful Roald Dahl, remember the sign in the school in Matilda's class that Ms. Trunchbull had erected, "If you're having fun, then you're not learning!"? Well, this game proves that notion a simple fallacy because UGG not only proves that you can learn history by playing a computer game, but also that you can have a grandiose good time while doing so.
294 people found this review helpful 9 people found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
A pleasant surprise in a sea of mediocrity!
As a games industry veteran myself I have to say - this is one of the best executed strategy projects, ever. The simplicity of controls the fluidity of the battles, the flexibility of the AI and simple yet very appealing visuals make it a must for any armchair general.
Some stability issues from time to time are forgiven and forgotten due to dedicated and relentless support by the developers. This is how it should be done!
100 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
29.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
My first thoughts: "Only one battle, this cant be any good?!?!" It turned out to be a very rewarding game, and I loved the graphics, strategy and tactics! Casualties and the postitions that you capture carry over from your previous engagements, which made it all the more interesting for me. It had me sitting on the edge of my seat several times when a last ditch effort was made to capture or hold a crucial position. A must have for any armchair generals out there. :)
30 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
A+. This is one of the best battlefield strategy games I've ever played. Starting with the VERY well researched and beautifully displayed battlefield of Gettysburg. Top notch. The forces, of course, are historically accurate as well. Control of those forces are very intuitive and seamless which is necessary considering this is a real-time game and not a turn-based one. Understanding the relationship of the different troop types is essential to success and the game does a great job of giving you the tools you need. As in the historical battle, the game is win-able by either side so it really does come down to the decisions of the player. I have achieved major victories using either side but it took a few tries (especially as the Confederates--I'll give you a hint NO REST for the wicked). The artillery and cavalry superiority of the North make winning with them a bit easier, I think. If you enjoy war games, especially well researched historical games, this is for you! Again, A+
After reading many of the reviews (especially the few negative ones) it is clear that a those individuals probably don't understand the tactics of the time period. I think (by reading their comments) that many also are overly influenced by modern 'shooter' games as well as modern 'RTS' games. This is a game constructed to be a U.S. Civil War game. Meaning that the units, the weapons, the tactics, the formations, (i.e. everything) is tailored to this era. If someone wants units to behave like space marines from Dawn of War...keep dreaming. BUT since this isn't Starcraft I can tell you to just read between the lines in a lot of these negative reviews--they say more about the reviewer than the game. Again, if you want a great historically accurate and well researched Civil War battle game that allows you to actually try different approaches to victory, this is the game for you. C&C, DoW and Starcraft are all great games, but this is not those (nor should it be). What this IS however is a great Civil War game.
This is a must-have for real time strategy lovers. Game allows you to take command of one side in one of the most important battle in US history. Ultimate General: Gettysburg puts on realism and tactic. Units combat capabilities are based on historical records, and the proper use of the terrain and the use of the formation are key to succes. All our decisions affect the conflict, which means that if we lose a large number of our troops, then all subsequent battles will be much more difficult to win. Despite the extensive combat mechanisms, the game offers a simple-to-use interface that allows you to instantly give orders to hundreds of units. Every won day and battle gives you huge satisfaction becouse AI is very demanding even in low difficulty.
Fantastic! I played against an AI set to Dynamic and... wow. It was able to counter in proper and very efficient ways, making for one terrific battle (Or series of). Ultimate General has turned out to be more than I actually expected, after each fight you either win/draw/lose, and you are often given a choice of your next action, do you keep up the pressure and continue the battle? Hold your ground and wait for reinforcements? Even better yet, is that your troops and their stats are carried over from each stage. Adding a terrific sense of urgency at times.
Ultimate General: Gettysburg is one of the best American Civil War games out on the market now in my humble opinion.
Pros: The map is extremely well done, with much attention to detail. Each unit has been created with precision and with close observance of historical facts. The game engine is remarkably well rounded. The AI is the most challenging AI in any real-time game I have ever played, and it does not cheat to be difficult. In other games like this *Cough*Total War*Chough* when one attempts to make the game more difficult, the computer simply gains ridiculous advantages over the human as the difficulty goes up, for instance, militia units who normally run at the first sign of the enemy, miraculously turn into the Cold Stream Guards in terms of resilience and fighting ability. In Ultimate General: Gettysburg, the computer gets no advantages, it simply out plays you. It notices weaknesses that you have not seen, it flanks, it charges, it hammers you with ungodly amounts of artillery. Simply put, this AI should be able to give any skill level player a run for their money. And the final Pro is that the game makers actually listen to the community. As someone who has had early access since the open beta, I can tell you that they have made many changes to the game based off of the testers comments.
Cons: As of right now there is not a thriving multiplayer community, so most if not all of my games occur against the AI. Now, that should change as it has just been released to the Steam store so as more people buy it, it should be much easier to get a multiplayer matchup. You may encounter a rare glitch in the game where troops move the wrong way or you take losses without being fired upon, however, these are quite rare as most if not 99.99% of such glitches having been removed and fixed already. If it does happen, report it through the in-game bug reporter tool or on the forums and it will get fixed quickly.
Overall: This is one outstanding game. Neither side is overpowered, both having their own advantages and disadvantages. This is a great game for any strategy lover!