One of the greatest pastimes for a kid is the sleepover. It’s like having a whole new set of rules while being able to hang out with your best buddies for a whole night! You’re able to eat nothing but junk food, show off your new toys, have sock wars with each other (or some other war of your choosing), and most importantly, play video games later than you would otherwise be able to stay up.
One of the most memorable sleepovers I ever had involved three things: eating more Doritos than I thought was humanly possible, all of us (ages 7-11) making a movie and being able to rent two video games instead of one. I’ve never eaten as many Doritos since then, and I’m pretty sure we burned every last copy of that movie, but I’ll never forget those games.
One of them I’ll get to soon, but the other was ‘General Chaos’.
That was the first time I stayed up until midnight. My friends and I played match after match, yelling at the shenanigans, complaining when the ebb and flow of who was winning went to a certain player, and in general, enjoying a multiplayer experience that none of us would have again until the rise of the PC.
The next morning, we woke up, poured ourselves another bowl of Doritos (seriously, it was A LOT of Doritos), and booted the game right back up.
HERE’S WHAT I REMEMBER:
Unlike the memories surrounding this game, the actual gameplay itself is lost on me. The real sumbitch of it all is that I KNOW I played this game in college. There should be SOME memory rolling around in my noggin about what’s in this game. Yet here we are. If I strain really hard I can make out a few fleeting images. If you don’t know why this is so hard, try to remember the night of your 21st birthday party. For those sober readers, try to remember when your parents divorced.
I can vaguely make out a battlefield. I think you could choose your soldiers in a way similar to a sports game. Each soldier had different abilities they could utilize, giving the game a tactical feel as opposed to straight running and gunning. Once the battle started…uh…this is where the memories get fuzzy again. All I remember is running around, complaining about the controls, figuring them out, winning, then losing, then complaining about how the game wasn’t very good.
Of course I then played it for three days straight.
I wish I could remember more, but except for it being colorful (no idea if this is true), all I can remember is using the demolition guy over and over again. I might have even made entire teams of them. I don’t remember what his weapons were or what he looked like (a fat guy maybe?), but I used him all the time for the one reason any child would; to blow shit up.
HOW DOES IT HOLD UP?
I don’t think I remembered a single thing correctly about this game. I wasn’t just wrong, I was remarkably wrong. This type of fuck up belongs in a museum. People could discuss it for ages. Scientists could use this as a standard of the futility of memory…
For one, you don’t get to choose which characters are on your team, at least not with single player. The game consists of a series of maps and each map has their own set of characters. Sometimes it’s a diverse team with long, short and explosive weapons, other times it’s five guys with their dicks in their hands attempting to not die from an onslaught of grenades and bundles of cartoon dynamite. I can’t be certain, but I’m relatively sure that the imbalance in weapons comes from getting your ass kicked.
At the start of each mission, you can pick from either from either a squad of five men, or a team of two. Why would you pick a team of two instead of five? Because you can control them. Each character has a different weapon allowing you to freely maneuver the battlefield and use your own skill to defeat the enemy. It can be difficult at times since your teammate needs you to tell them where to go while you simultaneously try not to die. It’s tricky, but not impossible.
When you take over a team of five, on the other hand, you’re essentially playing an RTS. You move each soldier to a location and once they’re in position, you press the A button to make everyone fire their weapon. That’s it. Sounds simple right? It is! It makes playing the game nearly fucking impossible, but it’s easy!
As you maneuver your troops, you may notice the enemy switch tactics and rush a specific area. In something like Star Craft, you could split the units and focus fire while retreating. In ‘General Chaos’, you get to either have your disorganized troops fire randomly, some of them hitting nothing at all, or run away altogether and hope that you don’t get knocked down in the retreat.
Did I mention that you can get stun locked in this game? Because that’s always fun, right?
My enthusiasm for this game crashed harder than an alcoholic with an empty wallet. I had such high hopes for this game. My memories were filled with so much fun! It was surreal how poorly this game held up for me. The moment I hit the start button, I felt a sudden internal shift as if something traumatic just happened. I felt like someone told me my dog was hit by a car driven by my least favorite cat. Time stood still and I couldn’t believe it was real.
Not liking this game has been the biggest kick in the nuts since I started this series. It’s not like it’s an important game either. I didn’t lose my love for a classic, or watched my nostalgia melt away. It’s General-fucking-Chaos! Why am I so bummed that THIS one sucked?