Rock, Paper, Tank?

Forward by Felix

First off let us draw your attention to the fact that one man, Danny Green/Radioactive Software, worked hard to bring this ambitious third-person/RTS hybrid to the PC gaming world. This was done in about 1 year. Quite a feat and one that made us wary of what to expect, possibly that it will be rough around the edges. So to give it a fair and rounded review we decided to have three people, from completely different walks of life and countries, each play and give their short review of Gettysburg: Armored Warfare. We will then average the final scores at the end.


First up SauceBoss,

Once upon a time Beethoven got into his car and drove to the grocery store...

Wait a minute, how can Beethoven drive a car when he lived in the 19th century? Based on the shifting timeline in Gettysburg: Armored Warfare that becomes pretty easy. You see people have been sent back in time to change the outcome of the American Civil War. They bring futuristic technology to help the South beat the Union so they could win the civil war and wipe America's face from planet Earth.

In Gettysburg:Armored Warfare (G:AW) you see many combinations, from combining the civil war huge terrains and old houses with the modern weaponry to the combination of a strategy aspect and the third person shooter (TPS) aspect.

G:AW is going for the whole score, combining the RTS genre and the TPS genre just sounds like a great idea, so many times  I wish that I could take control of the units in RTS games and show the enemy how you really shoot, and as a true team player when I played an FPS game I wanted to go up and take control of all the units so I could direct them to the right place to guard, and this game takes those 2 types of game and puts them together.

But this game just isnt as good as I hoped it would be. The control over the units is poor, the AI is none too bright and there are clearly overpowered units, all of which stop this game from reaching its full potential. However, I will be the first to admit that its fun to get into a unit and start destroying the enemy AI because they just cant keep up with human skill. This, though, is short lived and becomes a little boring over the duration. As I mentioned, there is a very real overpowering issue. The tanks and APCs are juggernauts. Once you take control of a single tank/APC then the single player game.

The bottom line is - the idea is great and the game itself is a good start, but it just feels like a premature release. If the game developer releases patches and updates that can fix a few of the AI and balancing issues then I could recommend this game to more people.

Score: 6 /10


Next up TheRealYeno

G:AW is a game that I immediately became excited about when I saw the description. An RTS where players can obtain control of individual units in third person definitely has the potential to be an amazing game. Unfortunately Gettysburg Armored Warfare could not live up to my expectations. In all honesty it was kind of disappointing. The reality is that the game took on an ambitious goal, especially for a one man development team, that the game was not able to reach.

The main feeling I had about the game was that it felt unfinished. While disappointing, all hope is not lost with this game because of the unfinished feeling. If the right amount of work is put in the game could become very fun. A major area that needs work is that the game is confusing, due to the lack of tutorial or instructions or even an explanation as to why there are tanks in the civil war era ( or why there are civil war soldiers in the future, I’m not sure what the actual setting is). Sauceboss and I were trying to play a match together, which resulted in a lot of questions being thrown back and forth followed by “I don’t know.” One of us would randomly press buttons until something happened. Secondly, the unit balance is completely off. There are units with muskets and unit with hand held miniguns. Guess who wins when they meet? Tanks rule everything to the point that when you are playing a deathmatch there is no reason to take control of any other unit except to up the degree of difficulty. There are a host of other bugs that need to be ironed out as well. There has already been a 400+ mb patch since release so there is hope but a lot more work needs to be done before this game can be played and enjoyed.

Score: 4/10


Finally we have TeroMarsu

19th century warfare... With tanks!

Gettysburg Armored Warfare is a game that combines real-time strategy with third-person action. The game centers around Americas civil war in the 1860's and mixes in future units from the year 2060. What you're left with is a game that tries to be everything but really doesn't shine in any aspect.

Make your choice, even though it's limited.

Gettysburg has two different game modes, your basic deathmatch and army skirmish, which is very similar to Battlefield's Conquest game mode. In army skirmish you capture control points that are littered over the map. Once you've gained control of most of the control points, your enemies tickets (lives, if you will) start to go down and once they're depleted, it's game over. There are 4 maps in total, all historical battlegrounds from the civil war. You have Gettysburg, Antietam, Seven Pines and Shiloh. All of the maps are big (around 80 square km) but lack the final touch to make them unique. Every map looks like the other with rather ugly trees and fences littered across the landscape. You really don't get the feeling that you're fighting in a place that saw some of the most bloody battles in “modern” history.

Unit selection felt limited. You have units from 1860 and 2060 but no matter which centuries units you use, they feel like a re-texture of the other units. The developer has tried to spice things up a bit with rarely seen units like boats and zeppelins but these units are hard to use and the boat in particular is practically useless.

From supreme commander to the average Joe.

Once you've selected the game mode of your liking, it's time to battle. The game starts with an isometric view of the battlefield. This is the RTS mode of the game. In this mode, you can select groups of units and give them simple commands like 'attack here' or 'move there'. The options are very limited and this game mode doesn't earn your interest past the first attack commands. When you double-click a unit, the camera moves down to a 3rd person view and you gain control of that unit. I was completely pumped when I took control of my first minigunner. The feeling didn't last long, though. Sure the maps of Gettysburg are big, but they are also empty. Few trees here and there, the occasional fence on the way to a control point, damn, I even saw a house on some map. When controlling a single unit the game feels like a 90's point'n'click adventure. You run to the first control point seeing no sign of the enemy. Once captured, you move on to the next one. Once that's captured also, you'll notice the enemy has taken control of the first point you captured. So it's back again. This can go on for ages.

I'm single and not liking it.

The single player of Gettysburg is limited to Offline practice, which allows you to play the game modes against the (very poor) AI. You can build your army using the very limited Army Builder that allows you to 'purchase' units using Army Points that define the strength of your army. Simple infantry costs a few hundred points and the mighty zeppelin, a few thousand. This helps in keeping the matches fair and gives you a change for some advanced tactics. Should I go for lots of infantry or just a few hard-hitting units like tanks and artillery? The army you build can be saved to the Steam Cloud for later use. Once you get to the battlefield you'll immediately notice the poor AI. Single infantry soldiers running around the map, zeppelins hovering over the spawn point and cavalry trying to take down a tank. If you're looking for a good single player experience, Gettysburg is not for you.

Wanna have some threesome?

Forget about single player, Gettysburg is really meant for multiplayer with dozens of players fighting grueling battles for control points. On paper, the game looks like a multiplayers dream; 64 players controlling infantry, tanks and zeppelins over a vast battlefield. In reality, you're lucky to find a server that has 2 players playing. I checked the servers every day during a three day period just to find out that nobody plays this. Luckily a fellow GD admin found a server that had TWO players playing so we immediately joined. I was pumped. Playing online with SauceBoss is always a blast. Gettysburg changed that. It was me and SB against two random guys but I still felt like I was playing alone against a poor AI. I think I saw SB once during the whole match. This might change IF the game gets players but now even the thing that's supposed to sell the game, multiplayer, doesn't feel like it's worth it. There's a global XP system which allows you to gain experience and ranks when playing online but at the moment it just isn't enough to keep you playing against a single opponent (or two opponents if you're lucky).

Is it a tree? Is it a tank? No, it's enemy cavalry.

The graphics of Gettysburg look good from afar. The lush green battlefields are filled with trees and grass. The game looks good when played as a strategy game. Once you select a unit and the camera zooms in, the game shows its ugly face. The unit textures are overally nice work but only when viewed close-up. Any unit that's more then few meters from you looks like something that came from a kittens mouth. You can't even tell if it's your own unit or the enemies until it's too late. Same goes for the ground and landscape textures. Trees and other objects look like they're made out of 2D sprites. The animations look like something from the 80's, it's like the units are moonwalking when they run. The objects in the landscape can be destroyed with heavy gunfire of driving over them with a tank. This doesn't help much since they just fall and disappear a second after. So much for immersion. Same goes with the destruction of units. Once you shoot down a zeppelin, it catches fire and slowly descends into the ground. It looks good but once it hits the ground, the engine once again lifts its ugly face, it doesn't even hit the ground! Instead, the burning carcass of the mighty airship just simply goes through the terrain and disappears. Talk about stealth technology...

Overall the game feels very unfinished. The graphics, physics and gameplay all feel like they're from the last millennium. With a little more work this game could be a gem, since the concept is great – large scale multiplayer historical sci-fi warfare across huge maps. Surely that ticks pretty much most genre boxes? In it's current state, I really can't recommend this game to anyone. Once the game engine gets an overhaul and the players start noticing this game, I'm ready to cut down some cavalry with my minigun.

Score: 6/10

Concept Art is Evocative