General Chaos

  • Genre: Real Time Strategy

  • Developer: Game Refuge

  • Publisher: Electronic Arts

  • Multiplayer? Yes, up to 4

General Chaos is a game for the Genesis/Megadrive, released in 1993. You play as a general, commanding 5 soldiers of various types from an isometric viewpoint. The game is essentially a quick and dirty battle between two opposing squads of 5 soldiers each. The generals are quite appropriately named General Chaos (that's you) and General Havoc. Before each battle you select a squad consisting of gunmen, flame throwers, rocket launchers, dynamite blasters, and grenadiers. Each soldier type has it's strengths and its weaknesses, which I will go over below:
Soldier Types:

  • Gunner: A machinegun wielding commando with an acceptable range of 40ft, the gunner is the basic soldier of the group. This guy will be doing most of your dirty work. A part of almost all successful teams.
  • Launcher: By launcher, the game means rocket launcher. With an impressive range of 150ft, the launcher can start dishing out punishment before any other unit can. On the downside, his slow rate of fire makes him weak at close range.
  • Chucker: The chucker is quite a useful unit, when used correctly. The chucker can hurl grenades at a range of 80ft. That's right, he heaves grenades farther than the gunner can shoot. This guy has 3 things going for him, the first being his range. The second, is he can throw grenades up and over obstacles that stop other units dead in their tracks. last but not least, getting a grenade on top of multiple enemies can be devastating. Unfortunately, he suffers the same problem as the launcher: his slow rate of fire makes him a sitting duck for any gunners that can get near him.
  • Scorcher: The scorcher has a flamethrower. As cool as that is, with a range of only 5ft, your gonna have to be right on top of the enemy before you can start a barbecue. He has a good rate of fire, which you need, at that range. The scorcher is best used to keep enemies from getting to close to your longer ranged units.
  • Blaster: I have mixed feelings about this guy. He has great damage coupled with a nice blast radius, but he is crippled by his 10ft range and slow rate of fire. By the time this demolition expert is close enough to attack, he's been shot up pretty bad. By the time he finally throws some dynamite, he's really hurt. So as far as I see, this is your kamikaze of the game. But why sacrifice a precious unit when a couple of chuckers could do the same damage from outside the gunners range?

One interesting thing about General Chaos is the way close combat is dealt with. When two units get too close, a dust cloud (just like in the cartoons) pops up, and time temporarily stops. The dust clears and you get to take control of your unit directly by commanding him to punch, block, or kick. Good idea, but not so great implementation. most fights can be won by pressing kick over and over.

This game is plenty of fun single player, but it really shines in multiplayer. You and up to 3 friends can team up (assuming you have the multi-tap)against Havoc in cooperation mode, or just fight it out amongst yourselves. The main complaint I have with this game is the small size of the battlefield you fight on. Though 5 units don't take up all that much space, we've been spoiled by the expansive worlds of newer strategy games. If you happen upon a copy of General Chaos, I recommend you pick it up. It's an under-appreciated game you should enjoy if you like the sound of squad-based combat with a colorful cartoonish twist.

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