Ich bein ein Nazi buttkicker!
The forces of fear and darkness have struck. They wiped out Poland in
three weeks, siezed Paris in six, and bombed British cities into rubble. In the
largest invasion ever attempted in history, they have burned and bombed their
way across half of Asia, enforcing their cruelty and racist doctrines wherever
their iron boots should ever happen to grind the earth under their feet. They
have also placed fear in the hearts of nearly the entire world.
And now it is payback time...
Allied General lets you play the original Panzer General in reverse, which means that the player gets to fight off the Nazi horde instead of helping them on the road to world conquest. You have three choices of which team to play on. Play the British and start in Egypt, where your goal is to stop General Erwin Rommel from attacking Cairo and seizing the Suez Canal. You'll advance from there to Italy and then to France. If you choose the United States, you will land in Morocco in November 1942 as a green, inexperienced force just off the boat from New York. Do well and you'll watch that force become the army of a future superpower, moving from North Africa to Italy to the legion that sweeps ashore at Normandy and then drives on across Western Europe to the Elbe, or possibly even Berlin itself. You also have the chance to play the nefarious Soviets, from a sort of prologue battle in 1940 Finland to the desperate defence from the Germans in 1941. Provided Moscow does not fall in 1941 and Stalingrad does not fall in 1942, your armies will have the opportunity to throw the Germans out of Russia and back into Eastern Europe.
Gameplay is remarkably the
same as Panzer General. Pieces move by a simple point-and-click interface
with corresponding sound-effects. As always, there are animations of war which
may entertain or simply slow down the game, depending on one's opinion. Either
way, they can be turned off. The desktop of the game is slightly changed from
the earlier model with the toolbar buttons on the opposite side of the screen.
There are also pop-up menus that can be accessed at the top of the screen.
As one might imagine, the game itself is set on a map with elegantly drawn topographical details. The area is divided into hexes where each piece can sit and the game is turn-based. No realtime strategy here; you can plan your moves like in chess. This game is very pretty and there is just something that never fails to excite the history buff about seeing the doomed city of Berlin with an enormous Soviet force just thirty miles distant.
Allied General's only flaw is that it is simply too much like its predecessor, Panzer General. If you liked the original, you will definitely enjoy the sequel. If you want something slightly different and innovative, your best bet would be to go for SSI's Steel Panthers or its sequel which is to be released sometime next month. Either way, this is a very enjoyable game and shoul bring many hours of enjoyment. The multimedia videos that precede every campaign and scenario are also fun to watch as well.