Guest review by: Dan Rodman
War! The nation of Moronica is going to war! Join the Moronic Army and General Chaos and fight against the evil, monocle-wearing General Havoc of Viceria! Weapons, fighting and pointless death — this game’s got it all.
Released in 1993, General Chaos, self-described as “The Arcade Action Battlegame of Paramilitary Pandemonium!” is a basic third-person combat strategy game. The game opens directly to a selection screen with four modes – one player, two player co-op, two player versus, and a straightforward, interactive tutorial Boot Camp. Each mode except Boot Camp is just simple fighting. You control a group of five soldiers with different weapons, whom you direct where to go and when to shoot. The gameplay is very simple; the player controls the cursor and directs where the soldiers should move. They aim automatically, but only fire when commanded to. A soldier can also enter close combat in a hand-to-hand fighting mode. Frequently your blue soldier will manage to inexplicably knock your opponent down without completely defeating him, whereupon the red opponent will produce a pistol and shoot your soldier in the stomach. Doesn’t sound fair, you say? Well, war is hell. Should a soldier fall, a medic can rescue him, but there are a limited number of medics, determined by your score.
General Chaos’s primary fault lies in its control. Managing five soldiers at the same time can be rather difficult, especially when one has to incessantly jab the A button to fire. I found myself easily getting sidetracked when directing troop movement, finding my soldiers cut down after I forgot to keep pushing A. This problem is somewhat removed in co-op multiplayer, however, when each player has to concentrate on two soldiers with a different, more direct control configuration.
As with any war, you win some battles and lose some. After less than an hour of gameplay I did indeed defeat General Havoc in his capital, only to find that the red snake (why are the good guys always blue and the bad guys always red?) had escaped and – worse – the war was still on! The game has a feeling of redundancy, but, as with the gameplay, this is somewhat alleviated in multiplayer. The graphics are average – nothing overly special, but well done – while the sound is also decent, with each weapon given a specific sound.
General Chaos is hard to dislike. It is clear that a great deal of thought was put into the design and incorporation of comic element into the game. Before it gets redundant, the game is fun, and it is an excellent multiplayer choice for Genesis. General Chaos is definitely worth a try.