|Kohan II: Kings of War|
|Developer: Timegate Studios
Publisher: Global Star/Take Two
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1, 2 - 8 via GameSpy or LAN
If thereís one thing the world of PC gaming does not need, (besides another first-person shooter) itís another Real-Time Strategy game (thatís RTS for you abbreviation nerds), and with the promising Warhammer: Dawn Of War being released around the same time, Kohan II: Kings of War already has its back against the wall, but believe me, it wonít go down without a fightÖ
The main key to making a RTS for the PC now is innovation - most new games have had their own unique selling points, for example: being able to take over your opponentís vehicles in Codename: Panzers made people think differently about attack strategies. With Kohan itís hard to pin down a single feature that is new or innovative - everything feels similar, and easy-to-use, yet at the same time, it feels different and more engaging.
The world in which Kohan is played out looks particularly lovely, from the lush plains to the snowy upper reaches. Each unit has its own independent movement animations, and although they all move together, they look autonomous, not to mention nice. Merciless pawns of war have never looked so good! The buildings from each race all have their own style and animations, so there is always something moving, and something to watch. The only downside for all this beauty is that it was so beautiful that when more than about four or five companies were on-screen at one time, the game slowed down to the smoothness of a time-lapse CCTV camera. Granted, the test rig isnít the fastest of PCs, but RTSs shouldnít take that much power to runÖ
This tailor-made unit option is important if you want to out-smart the AI, which has definitely been doing its homework. If youíre not careful, you can easily be wiped out by the sneaky and evolving AI. Unlike most AI, where the tactic is to throw as many troops as possible at you, and keep going until you/they are dead, Kohanís AI uses its virtual noggin to attack you. Itíll throw a false attack to one side of your base, enticing you to commit all your troops, and then sneak a larger force behind you to pick up the pieces, or send in one company to make you chase them across the map, and into an ambush. Having loads of heavy bruisers on the battlefield is one thing, but you also need to watch out for the AI, and make sure that each unit has a specific use, otherwise youíll get rather swiftly killed.
Kohan II: Kings of War is a fantasy real-time strategy game, but has enough innovation and draw to it to make it a worthwhile purchase. The AI is top-notch, as are the graphics (even though it is a little hard to run smoothly). The story is also interesting, and despite the fact that itís a little hard to follow, with all the races being new, and confusing, the world holds water. The single-player campaign boasts 25 missions, and with the custom skirmish as well as online play for up to 8 players, thereís enough here to keep you sieging and pillaging long into the future.
- Innovative unit structure.
- Lovely graphics.
- Strong story.
- Lots to do.
- Storyline and races are a bit confusing.
- Some weird voice acting.
- Hi specs required to see it at its best.