Review by zombiesmusher01

"A very good, classic RTS."

Graphics: Visually this game isn't impressive at all. Soldiers are decently detailed sprites, grass and fields look bland and aren't that detailed. I don't want to put down the visuals, but the truth must be stated. They stink on almost all levels. Water doesn't even move, animations are very limited, forests look like blobs of pointy stuff. Nothing here is impressive. Its a mixed bag though. Something's look okay, and some are horrible like water and fire. But if you judge this game on the visuals alone and don't want to give it a try because of the Super Nintendo-like visuals, you should look more deep. 4/10
Sound: Again, another miss fire. Voice overs are very poor, battle effects like bows flying through the air and sword clashing is bland and doesn't really stand out. The narrator in the intro cut scene things is pretty good. But that's really where it ends. When you're in an open battle all the clashing, explosions, crumbling and other sounds of war blend together into a living thing almost. You hear clashes mixing with explosions, roars mixed with yelling, and splattering mixed with arrows. All the sounds don't stand out, and kind of mix together like mentioned above. Like in other RTS games you won't get a feel of intense battle from the sounds of battle. The music in this game is absolutely pathetic. Its a happy little tune mixed with cheap bird effects and wind which constantly plagues the entire bloody game. Its one of the worst musical scores (If one can call it a score...) I've heard in a game. 5/10

Story: There are many stories in this game. And by many I mean /many/. The tale of a great samurai, Richard the Lionhearted and many more like Attila the Hun, and the list goes on. I found them all very interesting and some were really good. Though of course its all history so there aren't plot twists and lots of cool characters with good writing and stuff, but its still refreshing. I can't say much about the story since there are multiple plots in the game. All of them were interesting and fun, and fit very well into the game. I have no qualms. 7/10

Game play: This game is more complicated then you think. It adds to Age of Kings with loads of units, areas, plots, and at least to my eyes slightly updated AI. You build your base with a wide variety of buildings, walls, towers and forts. You can virtually make any type of place you want. A small town surrounded by a wood wall mostly for farming? No problem. A castle detailed to the final flower with whatever you want in it with guard patrols, towers, platoons of men guarding the gates and more? Its all up to you. You can do almost anything you want with your base. Its really fun and great. And there's no better feeling of making a huge city detailed to your whim, and then seeing an enemy legion on the horizon charging. Then you can do whatever you want, like sending a defensive patrol to hold them back while you put the villagers in safety, locking down the gates, putting archers in the towers and setting up catapults to hold them back. Anything; the battles are in your control. Speaking of the battles, they can get very epic. Depending on your computer specs you can have virtually any amount of units fighting. Well, in free mode at least. Not in story mode. Want literally seven hundred or more troops fighting off endless amounts of enemies? No problem. Some of my battles have taken around ten minutes straight! I lost many a hero and warrior in sieges and wars like that. The fighting, though simple, is still fun to watch. Each unit has about two moves. Slash, and a different direction of slashing. Normally they all strike to the left or right, but a few upper cut or down slash sometimes. I know, not varied at all, but its okay. Each unit fights differently at least. Horsemen will strike down from their mounts in downward slashes, and foot soldiers will strike left and right differently. And watching a group of samurai cut through a small army surrounded by fallen bodies and blood is always good to see. Moving on, like I mentioned there's a free mode. There you can literally build any open fields, forts, armies and battles you want. You can detail the land down to the last tree and bush. There are millions of ways you can make the battles and lands. Putting fallen buildings in the center of the map with the city covered in moss, flowers skeletons and graves with whatever else you want while you put down some troops in there and an enemy legion attacking is great. You got to use your mind though. Imagine those men have just been through a violent siege and are honorably standing when they could just run so they can protect your city. Its a lot better that way. There simply isn't enough time here to describe the thousands of things you can do. There are ships, boats and war vessels too you can you just imagine the epic sea battles you can have. Though not impressive visually, its still a fun beginners RTS, or for someone like me with not a very powerful computer that can't play war hammer 40K or Imperial glory to name a very few. 9/10

Replay: If you're into epic medieval battles, sieges and warfare you will adore this game. I've played 100+ and I'm hardly bored yet. Probably because I have a load of other games for the consoles so keep me from getting bored, but still. This game will last you quite a while if you're into it. But there are better looking, better playing, and better detailed Real Time Strategy's out there. Don't think I'm saying this one is the best, its far from it. But still its very fun. 9/10

Final: Well, if you own Age of kings then you should pick this up since its an expansion and requires age of kings to play. And also since you can't rent it I think you should pick it up if you're a fan of real time strategies. It can play well on Windows 98 computers, so if you have an XP lying around it could probably play it with ease. Well, hope you enjoyed my review.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/19/05

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