"Been there, Done That."
The time is more than 100 years in the future, after a nuclear holocaust has destroyed every last segment of civilization. Two versions of humans have survived. The first type, the Survivors (well named!), have dwelt underground for 60 years living on recycled food and water. The Evolved are those who have mutated in order to adapt to the harsh conditions and barren lands of the post nuclear earth. Ever since the Survivors stuck their heads into the fresh air, the battle for the surface has been raging.
KKND (short for Krush,
Kill and Destroy) is nothing special. If it had a twin, it would be Command
& Conquer. At the beginning of the game you have the choice to be the Survivors
or the Evolved. The game provides 15 missions for each side, including multi-player
support. Just as Tiberium was the ultimate resource in C&C, KKND ever
so creatively replaces it with oil (WOW!). The more oil you bag up, the more
money you get, and the more units you can buy. The object of 95% of missions
is, unfortunately, KILL EVERYTHING.
The gameplay is typical of any other strategy game. You use your mouse to point, select, and boss around units. You can assign units to hotkeys on your keyboard for easier reference and faster combat reaction. The difficulty of the game is moderate. It's definitely safe to say that I am no strategy genius, but in a few hours I was able to get to Mission 8 of the Survivors. But for all you genuine gung-ho strategists, there is nothing to fear. By Missions 7 or 8 life gets much worse and the game gets much trickier.
The AI of the game has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, the ups are for the computer and the downs are for you. For example, when your units are idly stored away at base while you tend to other matters and a surprise ambush takes place, your units will stand there and get pelted until you realize what's going on and tell them to counter-attack. As for the enemy, it has finally realized that it is a good idea to turn around and run away from your massive army of hundreds of men and tanks. YEP!!! That's right folks, it's learned to retreat!
The graphics, I must admit, are
more impressive than its predecessors. With most units and graphics pre-rendered
(along with landscaping), the game has a surrealistic touch with which other
games just can't compete. It's not overly impressive, but it is a definite improvement.
The game comes complete with actors and video clips of your commanders giving
you orders for the next mission. I don't know why, however, because I had trouble
understanding a single sentence. I just ended up skipping all the video and
going to the option box where I could read my direct objectives. They could
have added match battle scenes to liven up the game. Only the introduction caught
my attention in terms of superior graphics, and even then it falls considerably
short of the spectacular 3d rendered scenes shown in Diablo
, Warcraft II, and even Command
The soundtrack and unit responses in this game are absolutely horrible. I have never heard such annoying, repetitive, and generic sounds in my entire life. If you ever want to torture someone, put them in a room and play the soundtrack at full blast. You'll have a clinically insane person in one day. The sounds have no variety at all, and when you're giving mass commands, it gets extremely annoying hearing: "UH... OK, UH... OK, UH... OK, UH... OK, UH... OK" over and over and over (Ed note: Uh, OK...).
All in all, KKND isn't that bad. As a matter of fact, if it had come
out before Command & Conquer, I would
have given it a much better rating. Unfortunately, the game simply bombs when
it comes to originality. When you make a game like KKND, which has been
molded so closely to other popular strategy games, you must add something special
and unique that no other game of its type possesses (a real plot wouldn't hurt,
either). KKND just didn't have it. Sorry guys, been there, done that.