Medeival II - Total War Kingdoms PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.3
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.8
Value 8.1
Developer: Sega
Review Date:
October 2007
Reviewer:
Edwin Millheim
Classification: G

8.0


Medieval II
Total War Kingdoms

Software reviewed on an Alienware system

Check out Alienware at www.alienware.com

The total war expansion pack is upon us and gives us 110 new units to take command of, as well as whopping 13 new factions, 27 new multi player maps and a few tools to keep things interesting for a long time to come. Speaking of the SDK tools, the designers are nice enough to give the player a few tools to bring their own twist on the game, those who are enterprising enough with their own creative spark now have the ability to create their own content or Mods. The tools you get to play with are the Battle Editor, as the name implies this tool allows the player to create their own battle maps. CinEd is an interesting tool that enables you to create movies using the medieval II total war replays.

Then there is the Unpacker, this nifty tool allows you to open up the data packs, then edit and replace some of the files. All of this is interesting and cool, but it is kind of weird to include these tools, not only are their warnings written in the manual about using them, but there is also a note that says that not all of the tools are officially supported by Creative Assembly or Sega. Well, well. Use at your own risk folks. What is the risk? Crashing the game, and causing to just not work at all. There is an active Total War mod community you can visit at www.totalwar.org or www.twcenter.net to perhaps get some ideas and or assistance, but nothing official.

The Kingdoms expansion upgrades "Medieval II - Total War" when you install this Expansion to version 1.3, eliminating the need to obtain and install "Medieval II - Total War" update patches 1.1 and 1.2 before installing the Kingdoms expansion. With so much going on in the game, even with some scalable option, you will want to make sure you have the graphics memory to play this to the max. While youíre at it, make sure the graphics card and sound card drivers are all up to date. Have some patience, because this thing takes a while to install.

Medieval II total War Kingdoms is separated rather nicely into four sections. Britannia, Crusades, Americas, and Teutonic. All have something new to offer, while not tinkering around too much with a winning formula. Other than each campaign installs with itís own short cut icon on the desk top, which is pretty welcome when you want to just click and go to a certain campaign setting right away. The only down side is, while in game you canít just jump to another campaign, you have to quit the game and then click on the desired campaign icon. There is no mixing of campaigns here, so you canít test the Aztecs against the other Kingdoms from the original game.

Each campaign is its own separate entity. Most expansions can be considered a MOD in some sense really, and Kingdoms plays out pretty much like a MOD. So when others consider themselves a bit pithy or worldly and point out, Gee, this is nothing but a MOD. The term Duh, does come to mind. I would say perhaps a bit more integration between the main game and this expansion would have been a very welcome thing. That said and done is the game fun? Is it worth laying down your hard earned money for? I would say yes, maybe for the single player gaming aspect.

Now about the laughable attempt at multiplayer gaming, the new Multiplayer Hot seat campaign is introduced. Riding the razors edge of harshness my fellow Impulse Gamers, I can say that this so called Hot Seat Campaign is various players using the same computer. This turns one of the most revered RTS game series of all time into the form of a cave man that has not even discovered fire yet. Sorry folks, that concept kind of took a stumbling fall. So this is not my favorite part of Kingdoms.

Iíve always enjoyed the single player gaming, and Kingdoms does not disappoint, at least not too much. I do have some issues with some inconsistencies. Such as armored knights getting clobbered by light infantry, mounted knights even whose horse is killed should at least have a chance to continue the fight. This is not reflected in the game at all. While not a game breaker it does annoy me a bit.

Medieval II Total War Kingdoms brings along all new campaigns as noted earlier on. The Americas Campaign contains the following factions English Colonies, Chichimec Tribes, Apachean Tribes, the Mayans, New France, New Spain, the Aztec Empire, the Tlaxcalans, and the Tarascans. Nothing like doing human sacrifice using your enemies! In the "custom battle" mode, players can select either "high" or "late" period (not "early"); or select one of seventeen (17) battle maps

The Britannia Campaign contains the following factions England, the Baron's Alliance, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Wales. In the "custom battle" mode, players can select either "early," "high," or "late" period or select one of twenty (20) battle maps.

The Crusades Campaign contains the following factions the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch, Egypt, the Mongols, the Turks, and Venice. In the "custom battle" mode, players can select either "early," "high," or "late" period; or select one of nineteen (19) battle maps.

The Teutonic Order Campaign contains the following factions Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire, Lithuania, the Mongols, Norway, Novgorod, Poland, and the Teutonic Order. In the "custom battle" mode, players can select either "early," "high," or "late" period; or select one of eighteen (18) battle maps.

It should be noted also not all of the factions are playable in "campaign mode," but are playable in "custom battle" mode. So either way, depending on your tastes and what you want to try, most of the factions can be tested.

Medieval II Total War: Kingdoms still holds the crown when it comes to RTS, but should have a care with such conspiring assassins such as Hot Seat Campaign ideas worming into the throne room and into the Kings ear.

Have fun, play games
Edwin Millheim

 






 
 



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