Total Annihilation: Kingdoms
Written by Shigamoto   
Monday, 23 May 2005

When this game was released in 1999 it was known as a slow and boring RTS game set in a medieval environment. Total Annihilation Kingdoms is pretty much like Total Annihilation but set in a medieval environment with magic and swords instead of tanks and aircraft carriers.

The story is actually quite nice but long. The country of Darien has fallen apart and four factions are at war to gain control of the country (to make a long story short). Cavedog has created two factions that are pretty straightforward without much magic, Aramon and Veruna and two that is solely based on magic, Zhon and Taros.

Each factions has different units, there aren’t that many units in the game but still it’s a lot more than in Blizzard’s Warcraft series. There are three different modes of play, trying to beat the computer, playing the adventure or play against friends in multiplayer.

To gain resources you need to build lodestones, these stones generates mana that you use to pay for your units. The lodestones has to be built in special portals, however on some maps there are no portals available, which makes that particular map very limited.

Beating the computer isn’t always that easy, tactics are important and artillery is as important as having swordsmen. The game is very realistic in the sense that each unit needs support on the battlefield.

But the realism disappears as soon as you meet units that are based on magic. These units are much stronger than regular units and some of them can actually destroy regular units in a second. This makes the balance between factions very sketchy since playing with a faction that doesn’t have much magic requires more units and more resources.

The graphics in the game is nice, the 3D engine was however known to be tremendously slow and Cavedog released a couple of patches that gave the engine some more speed. However the speed is not an issue if you have a Pentium 700 or above.

Don’t expect to use your Dolby surround when playing Kingdoms, the sounds are virtually non existent and the few that exist are half-hearted phrases like “Yes sir” and so on.

Total Annihilation Kingdoms is a fun game but it lacks sole and it feels like Cavedog developed it just to have something to do without putting much effort into it, there are better medieval games out there.


Developer: Cavedog
Website for game: N/A
Publisher: GT Interactive

O/S: Win 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game: About $8.

Requirements:
Pentium 233 mhz, 32 mb RAM, 4x CD-Rom
Tested on:
Pentium III Mobile 850 mhz, 384 mb RAM, Windows XP



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