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PC Reviews: Haegemonia - Legions of Iron


Haegemonia - Legions of Iron Screenshots


The Final Say!




Haegemonia: Legions of Ironreviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 27 January 2003
Review Score: 9.4/10 
Distributor: Take 2 Interactive
Developer: Digital Reality

"Haegemonia Legions of Iron is a real-time strategy game of interstellar and epic proportions between Earth and Mars that will become the new benchmark of space strategy games."

Haegemonia Legions of Iron may have a strange name but it's no stranger when it comes to the world of real-time strategy games. Haegemonia is set in the distant future where mankind has finally colonised the stars and Mars is now an independent economy away from Earth. Unfortunately for the citizens of Earth and its colonies, an attack occurred on a Mars vessel by unidentified spaceships and this attack was blamed on Earth. 

In retaliation from the attack, the government of Mars has decided to cut all ties with their former home world Earth and has now established itself as an independent planet with no links to Earth. Little do the denizens of Earth and Mars know that there is now a third player in this battle of supremacy, an unknown alien race that will help decide the fate of the system of Sol. 

Haegemonia Legions of Iron is the next big game in real-time strategy space games and is a hybrid cross between Homeworld, Empire Earth with just a tad of Civilization thrown in for good measure. The game itself is played in real-time and not only must you defend your star system from usurpers but you must also manage your economy, research, exploration, defence and politics. 

The game starts with a beautifully rendered CGI introduction of the mysterious attack on two Mars vessels that caused a breach of the treaty between Earth and Mars and helps set the futuristic atmosphere of the game. Easily one of the most impressive and interesting cut scenes that I have seen in awhile on the PC. Before starting the game, you can either select Earth or Mars as your preferred race but their are only subtle differences between the two with the Mars campaign being more difficult than Earth. Apart from starting as either Terran or Martian, you can also select two other non-human races who are the Kariaks and Darzok that have various abilities and powers that make them unique from the humans. 

The first few levels of the game is an "unofficial" tutorial of the game that helps you get around the basics of the game such as escorting ships, engaging in combat, resource management and research. It should be noted that this tutorial is extremely limited and after a few levels, it will throw the gamer into the fray and if you have not read the manual, than you my dear friend are in for a whole world of star system hurt. The basic premise of Haegemonia is the mass colonization of the planets and the destruction of your enemies. There are also a variety of missions in the game and subplots but the major emphasis is to visit every star system and claim it for your face.  

Some of the levels actually include futuristic holocaust bombardments of planets until they finally submit to your raw firepower with the death of millions and sometimes even billions of sentient life forms. 

Thecontrol system of the game is similar to other real-time strategy games, themain controller of the game is the mouse that lets you control your fleets,economy and menu systems. The menu systems in Haegemonia are extremelyprofessional and are very easy to navigate, thumbs up to the developers DigitalReality. In order to progress through the game, you must discover and mine newresources such as asteroids and planets that gives you capital to create newunits and research new technologies. This underlining theme is prevalent inall good real-time strategy games, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The onlymajor obstacle with the interface of Haegemonia is learning how to control the3D gaming environment because as you all know, you can virtually go in everyangle in space. Fortunately, the developers have included various views and mapsthat help you move units with ease although it does take an hour or so to feelcomfortable with the control system. 

Anotherimpressive feature of the game is that all your units gain experience on the missionsthat increase their skills such as accuracy, piloting and firing weapons. Youare also awarded hero characters that you can deploy just about anywhere in yourstar system or even in enemy territories. All your heroes have variousattributes such as political, military or sabotage skills. 

Thecombat  is quite straight forward in the game (although you must pause thegame before you engage the enemy), you simply select the units you wish toattack the enemy and then watch the spectacular fire fight. The main problemwith Haegemonia (as with other real-time strategy games) is that you can createonly limited units which is a shame because you will not see any huge spacebattles like the end of Return of the Jedi. On later levels, you will discoverwormholes that let you transport your capital ships and colonists to otherplanets for colonization.

Graphically,Haegemonia is an amazing visual treat that not only contains some beautifulamazing CGI cinematics but awesome ingame graphics that contain a plethora ofspace paraphernalia such as star ships, planets, asteroids, suns and thelike.  The game engine is truly magnificent and contains some beautifullighting effects, amazing texture details on the planets and even reflectivesurfaces on water planets. All the star ships have been created with polygonsand actually look quite detailed when they fly around the various star systems.The combat effects in the game contain a variety of different effects such aslighting, particle effects and brilliant explosions that appear to have beentaken straight from Industrial Light and Magic, the developers responsible forthe various Star Wars movies. 

Thebackgrounds of the game are also amazing and contain various stars, nebula,black holes and other galactic wonders. Even the minute things in the game thatyou would probably not notice have been included by the developers such as dayand night on planets and you can actually see the heavily populated areas fromspace when the planet has fallen to night. If you look at the second screenshot,you can actually Australia that has been faithfully recreated that almost makethis game look like a space simulator. 

Thesoundtrack of Haegemonia: Legions of Iron really helps set the futuristicatmosphere of the game and contains enough ambience for it not to be annoying.The voice acting of the game has also been professionally done and contains somegreat character acting that really suit the characters in the game. The soundeffects of the game contain all the explosions, sounds of futuristic weaponryand strange sounds of space to help this title all come together perfectly.  

Minimum Requirements
Pentium III 600MHZ
128MB of Memory
16MB 3D Accelerated Video Card
Windows 98/95/ME/XP
Pentium III 1000Mhz or higher
256MB of Memory
32MB 3D Accelerated Video Card 
Windows 98/95/ME/XP

Haegemonia:Legions of Iron is easily one of the best real-time strategy games in a longtime that revolves around an epic storyline between Earth and Mars that willdefinitely become the new benchmark of space strategy games. With amazinggraphics, an easy to use interface and great multiplayer options, Haegemoniawill definitely keep you entertained for hours on end. Highly Recommended!

- Andrew B

Copyrightę2003 www.impulsegamer.com