It’s just, like, why is this not talked about more? The mind, she boggles. A series of tiny battlefields, teams of five soldiers hell bent on shooting each other in the face, a stupid name – yep, this was a mid-90s Mega Drive game alright. What it also was, was a form of real-time strategy game. Which was weird. Because why would you do that? Ah well, best not to ask too many questions. General Chaos brought that strategy to a console you’d mostly know for action and arcade-y games, so it definitely left an impact on the few who did play it back in the day – even if it wasn’t exactly as influential as other RTSes on this list. Hilariously, there was a fair bit of satire surrounding all of General Chaos – warmongering idiots sending countless nameless grunts to their death, while slanging each other from afar and perpetuating a war of no end.
It’s almost subversive in some ways, and the fact it was published by EA just makes me smirk. Can you imagine any major publisher these days coming out with a game that – whether it actually manages to do it well or not – openly mocks military conflicts? The internet would be furious, because it is full of idiots and should be shut down. Anyway, General Chaos wasn’t a traditional RTS but featured plenty about it that ties in with the genre as a whole. Small scale, quick-paced skirmishes it might be, but your direct control over units as you operated your strategy on the fly made for an engaging, exciting, and different game from all the other platformers and arcade shooters of the era. It would never win awards or go down in history as being specifically important to the genre, but General Chaos certainly bags itself a participation award, just like all you stinking millennials would want wait what do you mean I’m a millennial too for fu- Strategy for terminal bores it might be, but Warrior of Rome and its sequel still incorporated RTS elements in a large part.
You avoid base and unit building, harvesting of resources and all that jazz, but instead get a game of strategically moving units around a map in order to… well I only played the first level before I got really bored, so all I can say is ‘to repel a seaborne invasion’. Maybe it gets more exciting after that, but I for one will never know. The sequel, another not shown here owing to the fact it wouldn’t bloody work, made things look less like the game was made in 1739, but still followed a similar pattern of hands-on RTS on the world map, hands-off watch-idiots-fight in battle maps. I’m sure there are fans of these games around, but really I’ve only put them in here because I feel like I have to. Moving on. I’ve seen Gain Ground referred to as an RTS, so I gave it a go. I mean, it’s in real-time and there is an element of strategy to it, so there’s an argument to be made.