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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Kingdom Under Fire Preview

Johnny_Liu By:
Johnny_Liu
01/07/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Strategy 
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER G.O.D. 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Animated Blood, Animated Violence

What do these ratings mean?

We didn't start the fire.

In the world of real time strategy games, it often seems that each game has to try some different 'hook', a way to distinguish it from the rest. Most pick a different theme. There's your science fiction and fantasy RTS's. Other games pick one historical era, or encompass the total span of history. There has to be another way to open up this genre of gaming.

Well, Kingdom Under Fire is attempting a new route. Yes, its your traditional fantasy-based RTS, filled with warriors, orcs, and other elements of Middle Earth. But it adds a RPG element to the mix that may well deliver a fresh take on this tiring genre.

Units will gain attributes and strength with victories, becoming stronger and more powerful for the challenges ahead. Action and dialogue in the vein of role playing games, plus a plot with more defined main characters, will help immerse the gamer.

On the continent of Beriah, there is an epic battle between the Race of Light and the Race of Darkness. Rick Blood (from the Long Island Bloods), bearing great strength with the magic of Darkness, has become the Ruler of Darkness, giving him more power, more stock options and better health coverage. Blood then began invading the human nations in the name of the Dark Legion. Haroniden, the nation of Sado, was Blood's first target. Haroniden's hope lies with Gernot Von Rechersberg, the prince and head of The Knights of Court.

In the one level campaign preview, the presentation of the game works nicely, with smoothly animated characters and interesting sound effects. Everything keeps with the Middle Earth style (think The Hobbit) that the plot promises to fulfill. The game already boasts 120,000 frames of animation and soldiers yell out some pretty funny voice clips. And, as with most RTS games, hotkeys become quickly learned, allowing you to jet through the game. Without hotkey knowledge, you'll be left slightly slower.

RTS and RPG together at last? Will this be a happy matrimony, to be followed by many children? Or will it be more like Albertson's and Luckys?

Lucky's is a west coast supermarket chain. Albertsons is a larger supermarket chain. Albertson's bought Lucky's out. For a while, the many new Albertson's stores showcased advertisements of Albertson's and Lucky's grocery bags being married. Isn't that so nice and happy? Two grocery bags together at last. They even had wedding cakes at their supermarkets.

But now it's a different story. The honeymoon is long over, and you never hear anything about Lucky's. Poor Lucky's! Completely caught up in this marriage, overshadowed and left to neglect by mean ol' Albertson's. Name changed and identity gone. Business merger, you say? More like Lucky's is trapped in a loveless marriage that never should have been!

(Note: Game Revolution neither agrees nor disagrees with Johnny's inane ramblings about supermarkets, and frankly, we have no idea what prompted this turn of events or what it has to do with Kingdom Under Fire. We only left it in because it needed to be said. - Ed)

This is sarcasm, folks. Who cares about two grocery chains? Hell if I do. Microsoft and Bungie on the other hand... let's just say the jury is still out. Anyway, check out the pictures and watch for the game's release this winter. If RTS and RPG can truly be wedded and bedded, than this game will be more than a one-night stand.

Huzzah! Kingdom Under Fire is due out Fall 200 for the PC.


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