Review by z129000
"An excellent, yet underrated, RTS"
Sure, it's been a while since it's original release, but i've decided to replay some of my favorite games and provide more than a single review on them.
A fantasy RTS game using both classic strategy and new-age RTS elements. It combines history with fantasy, as historical human civilizations clash for control of the map. A new feature to the series is the playability of Fryhtans, which are unique monsters, the scourge of the humans. An endless RTS game, focusing not only of military, but diplomatic sides of things. Diplomacy shines brightly in SK2, alliances can be formed, embargos made, cities founded and Heros employed. What happens when CivilizationIII goes real-time? Find out now..
Nigh gaming perfection has been achieved in this game. Games are played on RandomMaps, which are unique each time the game is loaded. There are 10 (Egyption, Japanese, Chinese, Roman, Cartheginian, Celtic, Viking, Indian, Greek and Mongolian) civilizations, each with a unique special unit and wonder to build. You begin the game with a single fort, a few men, the king, and a town. Quickly you must mine and recruit more troops. These troops are trained in forts, and an especially profecient soldier may be given generalship. There are WarMachines to build, science to research, diplomacy to be wagered, Heros to be hired, and more.
Although they cannot compare to other games of the genre, the graphics work for the game. Flat, sometimes pixalized, rather undetailed, yet still functionable. Generals, Kings, and soldiers all look alike, which would be a rather large complaint of mine, but all-in-all they do work.
Each civilization has it's own track of music, which calls for plenty of looping songs, but the sound effects are rather bland and overused.
Special events, tornados, heros, spies and equippable items should provide plenty of random secrets in each game. Seats of Power, which are very hard to build, give a God. This God provides you with the special bonus he/she provides. Each civilization has a number of heros. These historical men/women can be found wandering the land, at an inn, or will join you at random if you are especially nobel. Troops train to a maximum of 100 WAR, but can go up to 200 if used in battle, making veteran fighters/generals a reality..you never know if the man you just trained turns into your next 200/200 (WAR and Leadership) general, it's all a surprise as training develops.
This game will keep a strategy or RTS fan occupied forever. RandomMaps greatly add to replay value, but scenarios and a scenario editor are provided to get that extra appeal. Campaigns, although repetitive, can also be interesting the first few games. The learning curve isn't all that steep, and once you've mastered the game you can simply add more enemies (or potential allies) to step up the difficulty. There are PLENTY of options before each game begins, and this will no doubt keep a true fan of the genre pleased and entertained for a long, long time.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/02, Updated 08/15/02
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