Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Soldiers of Anarchy

Go To
A somewhat obscure squad-based real-time tactics game released in 2002 by Silver Style Entertainment.

In 2005, humanity was devastated by the appearance of the Spontaneous Genome Degeneration Syndrome which was pretty much The End of the World as We Know It. A group of soldiers decided to ride out the catastrophe in the hermetically sealed bunker of the Russian military base they all served at as part of a multinational personnel exchange program. Inside, they could do nothing but watch as the world crumbled into anarchy, with billions dead, governments collapsing one after the other and radio stations going silent one after the other.

Ten years after they completely lost communication with the outside world, the group could take their isolation no longer and decided to go take a look at the outside world, even if breathing the unprocessed air would kill them.

The game was famed for its extremely realistic portrayal of real-life military vehicles, most of them Soviet in origin.


The game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: One of the final missions has the enemy sending a surprise attack against your base while you're attacking theirs, earning you a Non-Standard Game Over if you can't prevent it in time.
  • Almighty Janitor: new recruits are just as capable of kicking ass as veterans.
    • Not really. Veterans gain access to perks that make them more efficient with certain weapons, use explosives without blowing themselves, apply medkits "for maximum damage" or simply make them run as fast as a vehicle and take more bullets to the forehead. BUT, newbies tend to use all kind of vehicles with ease, piloting helicopters with no problems, even if they were farmers their whole life.
  • And I Must Scream: COTUC Death Knights are humans who have been kidnapped, brainwashed, partially memory-wiped and forcibly turned into cyborgs. One of the endings of the COTUC route has your team being turned into these, revealing that they are still aware of the outside world but do not possess free will any more. In the NOAH route, the team comes across a malfunctioning Knight who regains full consciousness and is quite horrified at what he had become.
  • Advertisement:
  • Apocalypse How: Planetary Societal Collapse at the beginning of the story. All attempts at curing SGDS failed, with military-enforced quarantine doing nothing to slow the virus' spread. It got to the point where the French government nuked downtown Paris to sterilize a major infection hotspot, to no avail. By ten years later, there is no organized structure to civilization any more; the only ones who have any say in the fate of the land are gangs with military hardware and the Seekers who supply said military hardware. Gangs usually leave the Seekers alone because the Seekers are the ones supplying them with ammunition and as the game puts it, running out of ammo in this world equals death.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Hoo, boy...
    • In general, the AI has serious problems with pathfinding.
    • AI-controlled NPCs under attack from outside their sight range run in the direction the attack came from to find the attacker. This by itself isn't bad - but the fact that nailing them with a thrown weapon from behind a wall makes them run into said wall instead of going around it is, especially if the wall ends not ten meters to the right.
    • Soldiers left on any stance other than passive are useless as decoys. The instant they get shot at, they drop what they are doing to return fire, even if the attacker is a tank.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Soldiers get promoted as they score kills.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The crossbow and the Dragunov. The former is one of only two weapons that can kill enemies silently, while the latter is a One-Hit Kill against anyone on foot regardless of armor and can also kill the crew of unarmored vehicles. They are both balanced out by the fact that ammo for them is nearly nonexistent in the campaign.
    • The worst thing is that you'll HAVE to use them if you wish to complete some mission without losses - if you won't snipe that heavy-armored soldier with anti-vehicle weapon, you are guarantied to - A) Lose a soldier; B) Lose a light vehicle AND a soldier; C) Lose half of your tank's armor, which makes it as good as dead: only tanks can withstand tanks, and enemies ALWAYS have twice more of them than you.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Several of 'em.
    • Humvees are available for use right from the first mission, though it's more of a fast attack vehicle than a troop carrier.
    • The BTR-80, an armored vehicle than can carry eight men, packs a mean machine gun and can even lay down a smoke screen.
    • The BMP-1, another armored vehicle that carries the same amount of men as the BTR but exchanges the smoke launcher for a 73mm cannon and an anti-tank rocket launcher.
    • The M163, an APC that packs a gatling cannon - ostensibly for anti-air duties but is just as good against ground targets.
  • BFG: The game has M60 and RPK machine guns, as well as shoulder-fired RPG-7 and SA-7 rocket launchers available for use. Also, the integrated weapons of COTUC Death Knights: either a chaingun or a rapid-fire rocket launcher.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All three endings of the game.
    • If you side with NOAH, COTUC is destroyed and the threat of a second SGDS breakout is removed, but many people had to die to get to this point and COTUC's disappearance will cause a power vacuum amongst the gangs they've been keeping in check with their superior firepower. The narrator notes that while more missions will be necessary, at least the world now has a chance to recover.
    • If you side with COTUC, NOAH is destroyed and the creators of SGDS have paid with their lives for putting everybody through all the shit that happened. COTUC will bring stability to the region but they do so through brutal oppression, with every other faction powerless to oppose them or prevent them from killing everybody with a second SGDS breakout. Your entire team is either carted off to a COTUC laboratory for conversion into Death Knights or killed where they stand.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Very much averted. Every single weapon in the game has limited ammunition, from pistols to tank guns. Even worse, all vehicle weapons except the Humvee M60 and Humvee Plamya grenade launcher can only be reloaded in the base between missions, by virtue of the ammo being too heavy for infantry to carry.
  • Brainwashed: COTUC Death Knights.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Comes in two flavors, Kevlar Vest and Heavy Vest. They essentially act as a second health bar, protecting the soldier's health until destroyed. Soldiers wearing a Heavy Vest can survive a tank shell to the face with barely half of their health gone and even less if the soldier received hormone therapy.
    • On the other hand, damaged but still intact vests cannot be repaired, the Kevlar Vest provides no protection against the crossbow and neither works against throwing knives and the Dragunov.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Taking the Athletic specialization improves a soldier's movement speed to the point where they can run faster than a tank.
  • Colonel Badass: As soldiers kill enemies, they gain ranks. It's possible to achieve Colonel rank or above and there's absolutely nothing preventing you from using them on the battlefield.
  • Combat Medic: Any soldier can use medipacks to heal others or him/herself. Soldiers with the Medic specialization heal about twice as much per medipack use.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: The majority of weapons (except grenades, Molotov cocktails and artillery) are line-of-sight ones; soldiers do not even attempt to fire these if they cannot see the target.
  • Cool Bike: The Bull. Not present in the campaign but using cheats or a custom map, it is possible to obtain one. Can only carry a single soldier and has no weapons or armor but it's the fastest land vehicle in the game.
  • Crapsack World: Very much so.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Wounded soldiers are just as effective in combat as healthy ones.
  • Crouch and Prone: Both are available, though they are mostly for stealth purposes. A prone soldier cannot be heard by the enemy and can sneak well into submachine gun range before being seen.
  • Cyborg: COTUC Death Knights, although it's not revealed until the very end, and they're considered to be just extremely capable Elite Mooks before the reveal.
  • Death from Above: Helicopters are available for use, providing massive firepower (if you have the ammunition, that is).
    • Later in the game, it is possible to call in an airstrike by acquiring a fighter, outfitting it with a bomb in the home base and planting a target market during the mission. The result is a humongous explosion that kills pretty much everything it hits.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Mines. Requires you to predict the path enemy vehicles will take but if they do drive over the mine and are sitting in anything but a tank, they're dead, no questions asked.
    • On the other hand, mines can only be used by explosives experts.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: Destroying a vehicle destroys the ammo too - one of the reasons why HEAT ammo is available for tanks, capable of killing the crew and leaving the heavily-damaged-but-intact vehicle ripe for salvage.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Everything that explodes does so with area-of-effect damage, potentially triggering chain-reactions.
  • Downer Ending: Siding with COTUC. results in this.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Everything on the battlefield except terrain is destructible. Don't want to take the front entrance of a heavily guarded compound? No problem; just blow up the rear wall with a tank.
  • Easy Logistics: The only thing you have to worry about while conducting missions is bringing/scavenging enough ammo. The game also doesn't have any currency; trading with the Seeker involves direct exchange of goods.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: While the AI can only detect you if you're relatively close, this doesn't apply to you. All of your soldiers and vehicles have a large enemy detection radius that's completely unaffected by line of sight.
    • The only exception is mines, which are only seen by soldiers on foot.
  • Exploding Barrels: Some maps have industrial fuel tanks that, when hit with a stronger weapon, vaporize everything within thirty meters.
  • Foreshadowing: The guy at the cemetery in the first mission, talking about "ghosts" who killed his wife and took his son to their own world. Becomes even more chilling in the NOAH route when you encounter the malfunctioning Death Knight, implied to be the abducted son in question. The second mission has the drunk guy in the woods rambling about "them" sneaking in the woods, watching. His description of "them" being demons with hideous faces and fire coming out of their hands sounds like insane rambling, until the player meets the COTUC Death Knights who have skull-faces and Arm Cannons. Then you realize that the guy wasn't insane, he was having a Freak Out after seeing one.
  • Friendly Fire Proof: Averted for explosives, played straight with other weapons
  • Gatling Good: The M163 has a gatling cannon that can utterly demolish anything in the air. Most COTUC Death Knights are armed with handheld gatlings.
  • Geo Effects: The game takes place entirely outdoors. A great majority of weapons is restricted to line-of-sight. Do the math.
  • Glorious Mother Russia: The game takes place in Russia, three of the starting characters and almost all reinforcements are Russian and most of the vehicles are ex-Soviet hardware.
  • Grid Inventory: A simple version. Inventory is composed of slots, with the storage capacity of one slot varying with item type and who's inventory it is.
    • For soldiers, thrown weapons, mines and small arms ammunition can be stacked for three items per slot. Everything else (weapons, heavy weapon ammo, medipacks, vests, vision equipment, airstrike markers) takes the entire slot. Each soldier has six slots, aside from the specialized ones for their currently used items (vest, vision gear, primary weapon, thrown weapon).
    • For vehicles, thrown weapons, mines, small arms ammunition and vehicle-only ammunition stacks for ten items per slot. Everything else stacks for five items per slot. Vehicles have varying number of slots but only unarmored vehicles (civilian cars, Humvees and Ural trucks) can be used for storage; armored vehicles can only store their own weapons' ammunition and cannot be loaded/unloaded outside the base.
  • Hollywood Healing: Medipacks instantly restore a soldier's health. If a soldier is hurt and the end of a campaign mission, the base infirmary can fix them up in a matter of hours (with only a limited number of hours available after each successful mission).
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Easy, Normal, Hard and Apocalyptic! (exclamation mark included)
  • Immune to Bullets: Don't even hope to kill a tank with anti-infantry weapons.
  • Instant 180-Degree Turn: Averted. Even soldiers take a moment to turn around, to say nothing of tanks. Ambushing a vehicle from behind is pretty effective, as its turret takes a few seconds to line up with targets not directly in front of it.
  • Instant Sedation: The game has stun grenades that instantly knock out human targets for a short while. Unless you have no moral qualms about shooting sleeping men, it's not that useful.
  • Item Crafting: Sorta. Between campaign missions, the infirmary can manufacture medipacks and Fly drug.
  • Kill It with Fire: Molotov cocktails and Plamya incendiary grenades are available to burn your enemies to a crisp with. Too bad the AI is not stupid enough to stay in the blaze if caught by surprise. The T-80 also has a flamethrower.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The BM-21 Katyusha rocket artillery and holy shit is it a Game-Breaker! It's extremely accurate, can launch from way beyond visual range, fires over hills and kills the strongest tank of the game in four hits. Its only drawback is the speed at which it guzzles its ammunition supply.
  • Made of Explodium: Exploding vehicles do area of effect damage.
  • Marathon Level: The entire campaign. You are massively outnumbered and outgunned, with the game giving no rewards for speed. Expect to spend several hours per mission.
    • Every mission takes place outdoors and even the tutorial mentions that you have to cross large distances, hence why there are so many vehicles in the game.
  • Multiple Endings: Three, depending on whether you side with NOAH or COTUC and in the latter case, whether you lay down your arms in the final mission or go out guns blazing.
  • Player Headquarters: Between campaign missions, you return here.
    • Drill Yard: The opening screen. Assigns specializations to soldiers and assembles the team for the next mission.
    • Tactical Room: Briefing on the next mission and Encyclopedia Exposita on the world's factions.
    • Stock: Equips soldiers, trades equipment with the Seeker and provides Encyclopedia Exposita on every item and vehicle in the game.
    • Garage: Equips vehicles, repairs damaged vehicles and adds extra armor to a fully-repaired vehicle. Uses time as resource for repairing and armoring, with armoring taking a fixed 12 hours and repairing taking an amount of time depending on how heavily the vehicle was damaged.
    • Hangar: Equips and repairs aircraft.
    • Lab: Heals injured soldiers, increases healthy soldiers' maximum health via hormone therapy and produces medpacks and Fly drug. Operates similarly to the Garage but production uses a separate time pool.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only in-game difference between males and females is a different character model and, in the campaign, different voice during conversations.
  • Real-Time Strategy: The entire game is in real time, with a later patch adding the ability to give orders while the game is paused.
  • Save Scumming: Very much possible, especially with the game having quicksave/quickload buttons.
  • Scavenger World: Seekers make a living out of salvaging and trading with pre-SGDS stuff. Wladimir in the first mission mentions that he deals in everything, "from sour drops to tanks". Given the kind of game this is however, all we see him sell is military hardware.
  • Smoke Shield: Fog grenades are available for use, both a hand-held version and one that can be launched from a BTR-80, M1A1 or T-80.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Slingers > Claws/TFR > COTUC
  • Super Soldier: COTUC Death Knights
  • Synthetic Plague: The Spontaneous Genome Degeneration Syndrome is rumored to be this. Too virulent to be a natural occurrence and resisted all attempts at finding a cure. It turns out to be synthetic alright, NOAH having created it to cash in on the cure but the virus mutated and the cure became ineffective.
  • Take Cover!: Setting up ambushes around corners and behind hilltops is the standard tactic.
  • Tank Goodness: Yes, please.
    • The T-55 is your bread-and-butter tank, armed with a 125mm main gun that can be loaded with fragmentation, HEAT or APFSDS rounds, and also carries a coaxial and a top-mounted machine gun.
    • The M 1 A 1 is the toughest vehicle in the game, replacing the top-mounted machine gun with a 40mm grenade launcher and adding a fog grenade launcher.
    • The T-80 is not quite as tough as the M 1 A 1, restores the top-mounted machine gun and adds a flamethrower.
    • Not quite a tank but the ZSU-23-4 Shilka, mounting a quad-barreled autocannon that kills aircraft dead.
    • Also the BMP-1, mounting a 73mm cannon, a coaxial machine gun and an AT-2 anti-tank rocket launcher on a relatively fast chassis that can carry up to eight soldiers.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted. The enemy uses the same equipment as you do, so aside from COTUC Death Knight weaponry, everything you don't blow up you can take for yourself.
  • Urban Warfare: Several campaign missions take place in urban terrain.
  • Vendor Trash: By the end of the campaign, 9mm ammo. If you were diligent in scavenging it, you can end up with several thousand rounds which worth next to nothing to the Seeker.
  • Veteran Unit: One of your starting soldiers in the campaign is a Second Lieutenant. If you take him on every mission and keep him in the thick of it, he can reach Brigadier General by the end of the campaign.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: When trading with the Seeker, you can haggle the price somewhat - but paying him substantially more than what the equipment you're buying costs will prompt him into offering more stuff.
  • We Sell Everything: Seekers aren't picky about what you sell to them and accordingly, they can offer for sale everything from Berettas to helicopter gunships. And it's not just weapons they sell; according to Wladimir, he also sells "sour drops".
  • With This Herring: In mission 4, the Seekers ask you to solve a gang war by helping one of the gangs win, in exchange for the information you seek. Sure enough, your team complains about the price being a bit much. The Seeker promptly sweetens the deal with a T-55 tank as reward; when your team asks for a down payment, he throws in... some machine gun ammunition, an RPG with a few rounds and a Humvee with a TOW rocket launcher. Come on, you are the guy supplying both gangs with their gear, is a lousy Humvee really all you have?!