Gettysburg: Armored Warfare is a busted online real-time strategy/third-person shooter hybrid that falters despite its cool premise.
- Futuristic Civil War is a rad concept.
- RTS combat is broken
- Numerous visual glitches and bugs
- Game feels unfinished in most areas
- Limited maps and play modes.
Imagine how the Civil War might have played out if the battle of Gettysburg had been fought with armored tanks and flying zeppelins instead of cannons and cavalry. Radioactive Software's inventive pairing of futuristic weaponry and historical 1860s-era warfare is enough to make Gettysburg: Armored Warfare's what-if combat scenarios an exciting prospect to explore. But the promising premise of this multiplayer-focused real-time strategy/third-person shooter hybrid falls apart almost immediately once you suit up and hit the battlefield. With its broken gameplay, graphical glitches, and missing design elements, Gettysburg: Armored Warfare feels painfully unfinished. While there's a shadow of a good game lurking beneath the myriad problems, the reality is that it's a disappointing mess in its current state.
A few head-scratchers pop up right from the get-go, like the fact that the cool plot setup is never explained or even directly referenced in the game. It's the year 2065, and history is poised to repeat itself when deteriorating relations among several states in the Union spark civil unrest and threaten to destroy the government. Around the same time, a freak Hadron Collider accident creates a temporal rift, allowing a general with ancestral ties to the Confederacy to return to the 1860s with modern-day technology in tow. This leads to an arms race as rival states ferry high-tech guns to the past in an attempt to win the war and rewrite history.
It seems absurd that you have to hunt around online to download and read the instruction manual to get any inkling of why Union and Confederate troops are duking it out with machine guns. It's an unfortunate oversight and a missed opportunity, considering the main appeal of the game hinges on its unique futuristic twist on American Civil War history. Figuring out controls and how to play without searching online is equally confusing, since there's no tutorial to speak of. You just have to dive in and experiment.
The online Army Skirmish matches have you building a custom army and hopping onto the battlefield as either the Union or Confederate forces. You're free to conduct your troops by issuing traditional RTS commands with the mouse, or you can drop down at any time to take direct control over a single unit in third-person view to blast away at foes at ground level while the AI takes over the rest of your soldiers. You don't lose your troops permanently when they die; fallen units respawn automatically at your starting camp. Matches continue until one side runs out of ticket points, which are lost every time units are killed and also slowly leak away over time as your opponents capture more territory.
Deathmatch mode, the more enjoyable and functional of the two available play options, changes this up slightly by ditching the RTS controls and focusing on the third-person aspect in bigger matches for up to 64 players. Either mode can also be played offline against the computer AI, but whether you're fighting bots or fellow humans, Gettysburg: Armored Warfare's numerous issues manifest quickly.