Ultimate General: Gettysburg

By Jean Marciniak 17 Jun 2014 0

So it?s finally here. The game I?ve been waiting for all year has arrived on Steam, and even better it showed up 3 weeks before the annual Gettysburg re-enactment which I attend every year. So now I can attend the re-enactment and then jump into the game.

I had a lot riding on this game, because it seemed to me that this could possibly be the true sequel and successor to Sid Meier?s Gettysburg. Now that?s a lot to expect from a indie developer, but I have faith in them. So let?s see what they came up with.

 

PROs

INCREDIBLE GORGEOUS MAP - I had to capitalize that because this map is by far one of the best maps of Gettysburg I have ever seen either in a game or even in books. It clearly shows that the developer, Game Labs, put a lot of love into this game. I commend them on such a incredible piece of work.

Quick learning curve - Now this is what usually makes or breaks games for me, but Ultimate General Gettysburg has excelled in this department. I skipped the tutorial, as I always do, and jumped right into the game. It took me no more than 60 seconds to understand how to play the game.

Innovative movement system - This is by far a awesome system they developed. It?s not only insanely easy to learn, but also incredibly innovative. You need to watch the video to get a idea at how cool this system is.

Victory Point locations determine next scenario?s location - I enjoyed this feature of the game, as it lets you determine the course of the overall battle. So just in case you push Ewell?s Corps forward and take Cemetery Hill on Day 1, the next scenario will reflect you taking that position. What?s funny is how many games still don't do that.

Something simple but it makes a big difference - Units carry over to next scenario. This is very cool. Usually when I play Civil War games the units I handled in one scenario would get reset in the next. So if I had Harry Heth?s Brigade charge the Union lines and they suffered heavy losses, I didn't have to worry because in the next scenario they would be reset to original strength. But in Ultimate General Gettysburg whatever losses your unit takes in a scenario reflects in all the others that follow. So now you have to take care of your units, otherwise they will be ineffective. This adds a layer of realism most welcome.

Great unit stats - The game tells you all you need to know about your unit and cuts all the rest of the garbage out. So you'll be notified of the brigade?s (or Corps) morale, condition, their cover from rifle fire, their reloading status, and how many casualties they suffered. They even added the brigade commander and which division the brigade is attached to.

Line of Sight is well executed - They way Game Labs implemented Line of Sight in this game should be held as a example to other developers to do the same. It?s by far one of the best I?ve seen.

Fights go outside Gettysburg! - That?s right. If you overtake the enemies position and push them from Culps Hill and Cemetery Hill the battle drags outside the town of Gettysburg. I ended up in a situation where I had to adapt to the changing landscape. I really enjoyed this feature as it added more realism to the game.

 

CONs

Bugs - This is the early access edition so this was expected. The few that I picked up on were problems with The AI. I told a brigade to go north, instead it went south. Also had some weird Line of Sight bugs where the screen went darker, when I de selected a unit. Nothing big and this is still early access.

No sandbox mode - I was hoping the game would come with a sandbox mode, where I can start playing on Day 1 and continue all the way to Day 3, without interruption.

Command a division - When you have a dozen or two brigades on the field sometimes it becomes difficult to manage them all. I wish a system would be implemented where I can select more than 1 unit at a time.

Units don't surrender - In one of the scenarios I played I surrounded a Union brigade and shot them to pieces, but instead of surrendering they moved past my lines and retreated to the end of the map. Normally a unit would of surrendered had they been surrounded and ripped to pieces.

Buttons don't highlight - So let?s say your issuing orders to a few brigades for them to hold a position. You do that by selecting the unit and clicking Hold. Simple. Only problem is when you select the button it doesn't highlight, so if you come back to that unit later on you don?t know if you already gave them that order. So inevitably you reselect Hold just to make sure.

 

Recommendations

Division control - Like I mentioned in the Cons I would really love to have Division commanders in the game so I can tell them ? attack here and they move all their brigades to attack.

Split units - I would love to be able to split Brigades into smaller units. This is just in case I run into a situation where I have to hold back a enemy with 1 brigade. I can split them and have 1 or 2 regiments flank the enemy.

Sandbox mode - I really want a sandbox mode in this game. It will give me the freedom to fight the battle of Gettysburg the way I want to. I'd be able to plan and execute my own strategies rather than just going from scenario to scenario.

 

CONCLUSION

So after sinking in many hours of gameplay I have come to the conclusion that Ultimate General: Gettysburg is by far the best Gettysburg game I have ever played. The game has succeeded and has become, in my book, the true sequel to Sid Meier?s Gettysburg. This is the way a Gettysburg game should be made. Between the Incredible Map, intuitive gameplay, and Line of Sight system I know of no other Civil War game that can compete with how awesome this game has become.

If you have any interest in The Civil War or The Battle of Gettysburg this game is a MUST BUY.

And honestly for $9.99 you get to play the best Gettysburg game ever made. This is an absolute steal.

 

You can find the game on Steam here.

Game website here.

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