It has been a while since I played North & South, a game that I have
fond memories of on the Amiga home computer. The game released back
then in 1989, and featured RTS battles between the armies of the
Northern States and the Southern States.
Based on the Comics that were published in France in the 1970’s,
the game itself bears minimal accuracy to the Civil War in the US
back in the day, it is more or less only borrowing a familiar
setting for the game. Unlike it’s Comic counterpart that served
as a fun to read Historical lesson.
Fast forward to 2020, and the game has been re-worked to fit into
the era that is today, with quick RTS (Real Time Strategy) battles,
FPS (First Person Shooter) styled attack and defend Forts & Trains,
on a smaller scaled map of the United States.
The gameplay setting is simplistic, you start with your home states
and a few ground troops that can be moved between state lines to
secure new borders, or used to take over Forts and attack enemy
troops. (See above pictures of Map & troop placement) as you progress
and take over forts (minimum 2) you will earn each turn gold from
the trains that run between the forts. Playing as the North you
will get reinforcements through sea transports as well. Getting enough
gold will allow you to purchase extra troops, and or immunity to
the weather, or indian attacks that could possibly happen.
Your objectives are simple, taking over all the states and forts to
win the game, there are various levels of difficulty to choose from
so the game is also a great game for folks who might be new to
RTS/Strategy games and or PC playing in general, the game is also
suitable for the younger one’s since it features no blood in battles.
Each of the battles in the grand scheme are short encounters, the
Real Time Strategy battles (starting with 6 riflemen, 1 cannon and
3 horsemen) is timed for quick exchange of fire. The Train attack
/defend scenario is also a fairly quick exchange, but you do have some
more time to play around the fort that you are attacking or defending.
The FPS encounters are the most fun in the game, enabling you to run
around the fort stopping attackers or defenders, picking up Ammo and
Health as you go. The train scenarios aim is to defeat all the attackers
and try not to fall of the train, or let in anyone into the helm,
and vice versa for the attacker, getting to the front of the train
stops it, and you have completed a heist and gained all the gold
the train is carrying between the forts.
There are four scenarios to play in the game, all equipped with the
same map layout, and encounters, but set in different Years, 1861-1864.
Overall each scenario can take anywhere from an hour to fully win the
game, to slightly more.. this is though depending if you made wise
moves or not.
There is also a free play mode where you can pick and choose from all
the maps in the game for the quick battles (RTS part) and the
Fort & Trains encounters. The game also features co-op if you have
a friend near by, or you can play through steams couch-co-op option.
The game does not require anything insane performance wise from your
PC to run, but there are a few things I need to point out about the
current state of the game, You will want to play the game on a Controller
as it is 100x easier to control the movements and flow of the game this way.
Keyboard buttons are not re-mappable right now, and the mouse sensitivity
is off the charts until you get it set to your own right level.
You are also limited to a max 1080p (1920×1080) resolution, which kind
of surprised me. But then again there is nothing wrong with 1080p
the game looks good with it’s Cartoon-homage-esque graphics.
The game is fun, and if you want a few hours to fly by quickly..
this is just the game for that. Simplistic is some times the king,
and ideas from the 1980’s still work in 2020 as we can see here.
- Fun strategy game
- Setting is interesting
- Game modes (Fort attack & defense)
- N&S brought into 2020
- 1080p max resolution
- Non remappable keys
- Missing accurate scenarios (historical battles)
- Limited troop selections