Eurogamer: Total War Kingdoms

By Kieron Gillen on September 9th, 2007 at 9:41 am.

Following on from Jim’s review, Eurogamer have published my piece on Total War Kingdoms. Which mainly exists as a glorified referral post to my previous first-impressions piece which almost warped into a full review. To avoid repeating myself, I wander into increasingly esoteric terrain. For example…

This is kind of one of the problems running through Total War games. You don’t really get to change history. Sure, you can make – as I did – the Apache run rampant over the continent, but fundamentally the Apache don’t change by their experiences significantly. What would Apache civilisation be like when they’d got hold of the Gold of the Incas, for example? Pretty much identical. One of the standard problems that the harder-core Total War fans have is with the quasi-fantastical units – the flaming pigs in Rome, for example – but when you severely changed history, you need that imagination to cover the holes and populate that alternate history.

I’m surprised I ended up marking this as low as I did – I thought it was a shoe-in for the top end of the marks, but when returning to review it, elements grated more. That I concentrated on the weakest of the campaigns (The Americas). A couple of extra notes though…

1) Completely forgot to mention the install system for the game, which required a full install procedure for each campaign. Clicking through it all four times was incredibly tiresome and a system where you selected which of the packs you wanted to install at the start before sitting back and letting it get on with it all would be far, far preferable.

2) It strikes me as odd that Creative Assembly (Or publisher Sega) choose to announce Empire: Total War just before the expansion pack hits. Following online conversation, it appears to have completely undermined anyone’s enthusiasm for the Kingdoms. Before, more Medieval II sounded splendid. Now, it’s difficult to be excited about. If they wanted to announce at Leipzig, bringing it forward even a couple of weeks would – I suspect – made a huge difference in terms of consumer buzz. Hmm.

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5 Comments »

  1. SwiftRanger says:

    Dunno, Empire is still probably a year away, and not all screenshots look as finished as they should be (the land battle shots f.e. look less detailed and diverse than what you see in Medieval II imo).

    That installation method sounds ridiculous idd.

  2. Xander says:

    Hmm. I mostly agree.

    Although, after first impressions, I actually think Britannia is the strongest campaign (which is bizarre because, you know, it’s just repackaged Viking Invasion).

    The new features are great. And yet, the cavalry charge is still fubar, pathing on the campaign map still blows, your generals still live to be 200 years old, and battles are mind-numbingly easy even on Very Hard.

    So, it’s the same old Rome engine. I hope they rebuild it all from scratch for Empire, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. rohan online crone says:

    When you have rohan online crone, and than you can go on this game.

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