Wait: July 14, the strategy of one of the key conflicts of the XIX century left the same "Early Access". This is not the first release of Ultimate General and not the first game of the series, dedicated to the Civil War in the US - was in fact still Gettysburg . But if it is built around a single battle and its theater of action, then the entire bouquet of the battle-list is collected here. And the two battles with Bull Run, Shiloh, Frederiksberg, and Cold Harbor - with such a scatter of authors scrupulously approached the disposition of the regiments and the course of battles, which thanks to the diaries of eyewitnesses can be restored almost per minute. So it's more surprising that the Americans are responsible for the development, but the Ukrainian studio Game Labs .
What do we know about the Civil War in the US? This is a short (1861 - 1865), but very rich period of history and military affairs. Both opposing armies on the move learned how to use Gatling's gambling, extinguishing artillery and rifled guns, discovered the nuances of trench tactics and the shortcomings of the offensive with a closed formation. For the first time battleships collided on the sea, for the first time the bottom mines and torpedoes were distributed, for the first time the submarine attacked the ship. On the one hand, this conflict was remembered by the abolition of slavery and, on the other, by concentration camps: living skeletons from Andersonville fell into camera lenses much earlier than the prisoners of Auschwitz. So what do we know about the Civil War in the US? Yes, almost nothing - at the lessons of history in schools about her do not tell. But does Ultimate General: Civil War? That is the question.
The work of Game Labs sounds like a game of soldiers, only large-scale and thorough. Key modes have two strategies: it is possible to participate in individual battles or go through the campaign, illuminating the entire course of the war - the capture of Fort Sumter to the victories of generals Sherman (William Sherman) and Grant (Ulysses Grant). But which regime you choose, you first need to determine the side of the conflict - we control the Union (North) or the Confederation (South). The soldiers of the latter are well motivated, but always in a minority, and the northerners, despite their numerical superiority, often prefer not their breasts in the crosses, but their heads in the bushes. Which, in general, more or less corresponds to the situation of that time.
In addition to the flag, the specialty of the commander-in-chief is important. The tactic gets an additional unit, under the guidance of the strategist, the troops gain experience more quickly, and the logistic unit better supplies the soldiers with supplies. True, after the first battles, the opportunity to change skills in any direction is opened - at the expense of points awarded for success. For example, we had a supplying general, and we further invested him in intelligence and support of morale. It is the same with the commanders of regiments, divisions and corps, which can be recruited for playing currency in the academy and trained as the accumulation of combat experience.
But not officers uniform - in Ultimate General: Civil Warpay attention and care about the army. During the breaks between battles, the game proposes to form new regiments, to purchase weapons for infantry, cavalry and artillery. There are almost all models of the "firearm" of the Civil War in the United States, including, hard to believe, modifications. But here's a catch: an expensive rifle can be accurate, but completely useless in melee, but grandfathers musket for a couple of bucks is extremely effective as a melee weapon. However, the money earned for the next battle, is never enough to complete rearmament, and expensive "trunks" in the store - once or twice and obchelsya. Fortunately, manually formed shelves and even hulls have little effect on the balance. After all, what is two thousand against the background of twenty? It is rather a pleasant bonus than a life ring.
Best Civil War reveals itself from the tactical side. At your disposal are four types of troops: infantry regiments, rifle battalions, cavalry and artillery batteries. And all departments have their own morale, experience, and, depending on their weapons - and overall efficiency. On the battlefield the troops are completely in your power. A slight stroke of the cursor marks a maneuver for them, the construction moves from one step to another, rushes into the attack, or restrains the occupied positions by order, the riders dismount to help the infantrymen, and the horses are again saddled for the sake of flanking the battery. It is better to choose a disposition properly, because the forest or houses give a bonus to protection and secrecy, and from the hills there is an open space for gunners.
Vital to what is happening is added by force majeure like the finished bullets (in this case there is a van with ammunition), the retreat of a demoralized regiment or the escape of deserters from the battlefield. True, the gameplay is limited to maneuvering and exchanging lives for victorious tactics at an advantageous rate. The digging of trenches, the laying of railways, the construction of bridges, as well as engineering troops, is not here. But there is a chance to lose, having suffered too much loss or not having accomplished the task.
Artificial intelligence, which controls enemies, also does not let you get bored. That will take to push the line of defense from the flank, then, on the contrary, it goes into a deaf defense. For a sweet soul destroys abandoned without a gun, hunts for the baggage and severely punishes the stupid attacks of the cavalry. And sometimes - very cautious. For example, in the episode of the campaign, where the crossing of the Union troops across the Rappahannock River opposite Frederiksberg is highlighted. How many Confederates in the city, they do not know, therefore, despite the colossal preponderance in the number, they attack rather sluggishly and more often use artillery. The way the authors of the game found a balance between historical facts and the operation of the algorithm is admirable.
But what the developers have managed best, is the simplicity of the interface and management, which, if desired, would also be facilitated by your grandmother. Let it not be a training regime, it, frankly, is not needed. After all, even subtle at first glance nuances still comprehend on the go. Add here the ultimate clarity of goals for each head of the campaign: hold the position until such an hour, take such a reinforcement, cut the enemy's fort from supply. Although especially large battles are broken into several episodes and theaters of military operations, it's as difficult to get lost in them as at home in your own kitchen. What is good and bad at the same time.
The game is historic not only because famous personalities are represented here - and by General Lee (Robert Edward Lee), who would have loved the war, had it not been so terrible, and Thomas Thomas Jackson, the master of the maneuver , who believed that it is better to lose a hundred men on the march than a thousand in battle, and the other generals of that time. And not only carefully restored topography: this is the street, this is the house. Alas friv 3 http://www.friv3-games.com/ games, it follows the letter of the archive also in the script. The player will not be able to radically change the course of events, which we are used to, for example, in the historical strategies of the studio Paradox . That is, whatever one may say, the Confederates can not lead to the streets of Washington and Philadelphia - the North still takes the upper hand. Sorry for the spoiler, of course.
Sometimes it comes to insulting. You climb out of your skin to hold positions with a minimum of losses, heroically press the advancing enemy, you crush his rear with a cunning maneuver, and then they tell you that, it's time to retreat. Enemies are too many and ordered. It is clear: who would argue with historical facts? However, a person more or less familiar with the events of the Civil War, lost some of the interest. On the other hand, with chronological meticulousness, the game weakly conveys the spirit of the age. Compare is not entirely correct, but still. At Martin Scorsese(Martin Scorsese) in "Gangs of New York" there is an episode when immigrants who have escaped from starvation in Ireland arrive to the port, - recruiters immediately give them a miserable salary, hand over their guns and put them on another ship, from which the coffins are loaded to the shore with already killed by the Irish. The minute scene of the film gives more meaning and understanding than the whole work of Game Labs .
UG - not UG, but because of its mechanical simplicity and strict attachment of the script to the history book of the fans of the genre, it will carry away for a short time. The product is designed more for a mass audience, showing interest in the past of the US than on hardcore strategists, hardened by the same Europa Universalis or Hearts of Iron . In any case, to get acquainted withUltimate General: Civil War is clearly worth - if not now, then waiting for discounts on the sale on Steam.
Pros: an exciting and historically authentic game of soldiers; the strategy will appeal to those who would like to get an accessible idea of the course of military operations of that war; is easier than other military strategies; many large-scale battles involving tens of thousands of "units".
Cons: There is no multiplayer, there are no sea battles, in tactics there are no engineering options; rigid binding to historical chronology.