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Reviewed: Total Annihilation: Kingdoms: The Iron Plague
Author: Chris Kim       Date: March 29th 2000
Page: 3


 
Final Breakdown

Gameplay:

For the most part, the gaming remains pretty much the same. The addition of the fifth race, Creon, adds some more unique strategies and another race that is plenty fun to play with. Toss in the new single player campaign that is just as good as the original, and players that loved the original Kingdoms will simply love this new expansion pack. However, gamers that never enjoyed the original should stay away from this expansion pack, as the game is still the same Kingdoms with more of the game.

Graphics:

While nothing completely new is offered, the completely overhauled graphics engine that allows for much higher framerates and acceptable performance on slower machines deserves enough credit on its own. The new Creonite units included in the game are fairly detailed and have very impressive looking animations. All of the new textures used in the game are nice and very detailed.

Sound and Music:

Despite no new major sounds being included (the music and most sound effects for the most part remained the same), the music and sound is still enjoyable to listen to. The new Creon sound effects and little taunts are unique and different from anything else in the past that should bring about some change to the Kingdoms playing environment. Most impressive is the new voice acting in the story telling part.

Multiplayer:

Nothing especially new is offered here aside from the addition of the Creon race that adds many new strategies and elements already found in the single player game. The Darien Crusades, which are already freely available previous to the release of The Iron Plague, is tons of fun to play with other people online.

AI and Difficulty:

Despite the pathfinding AI still being pretty clumsy and units having difficulty finding their way around other objects, most of the enemy AI is respectable. For the most part, the game offers a fair amount of challenge, but on some of the single player missions, the game sometimes can get ridiculously difficult, making the game a task rather than enjoyable.

Controls and Interface:

Pretty much unchanged and unmodified from the original release of the game with the same keyboard hotkeys and mouse control. Still respectable keyboard layout and mouse response, only there might be slight confusion with the wide range of different hotkeys using Ctrl+X keys.

Overall:

As with the original Total Annihilation: Kingdoms game, nothing revolutionary or completely new is offered with this expansion pack, but what is offered is another solid single player campaign with great storyline, which adds in another enemy race that turns the race for Darien even more competitive and should add more enjoyment for the players that liked the original game. However, players that hated the original game look elsewhere as the expansion pack does not change the game completely, but just adds more of the great elements that made the original so much fun.

Pluses (+)
  • Fifth New Race
  • Solid Single Player Campaign
  • Cool New Units
  • More Balanced Gameplay
  • Minuses (-)
  • Some Iffy Pathfinding
  • Minor Control Issues
  • Might Be Too Difficult
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    Added:  Wednesday, March 29, 2000
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Score:
    Page: 3/4

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