A real time strategy game similar to Cavedog's Total Annihilation.

This game is a medieval-style game that has four distinctly different kingdoms. Each kingdom has a different set of units and powers, all of which follow a theme. Unlike in Total Annihilation, there is only one resource in this game: mana. This eliminates a lot of the difficulty in balance between two separate resources while commanding units into battle.

The four nations are:

  • Aramon -- a nation, based on the magic of Earth, which works strongly with high technology of the medieval era, including cannons and muskets.
  • Veruna -- a seagoing nation, and the only one with a significant naval fleet. This nation's magic is based on Water.
  • Taros -- a nation of nightmarish undead creatures and mages. This is the only one of the four nations to put a significant number of mages on the battlefield. Based on the elemental magic of Fire.
  • Zhon -- a nation of wild beasts and few structures. This military never gets tied down to one location since it uses few structures for building its military. Like the Air, it is always on the move.
It is a computer game made by Cavedog Entertainment. I have got Total Annihilation Kingdoms, this is a quite new version of the original. I think this game is fantastic, you get to control one of four armies. Two of these armies are a more traditional army with units like catapolts and archers. The other two teams are more fantasy with characters like bears that throw spears and also contain an element of magic.

The whole game is fantasy as you conjure up items like barracks to produce more units.

In this game you can attempt missions with the various teams which have objectives and can be compared to a kind of command and conquer game. As well as this you can make battles in different scenarios with up to 7 other teams, each team has a leader who is more powerful than most units, the game play and possibilities are endless on the fantastic game, i would recommend it to anyone.

There are loads of different units available in this game but no team has a real advantage over another as they are all good and one thing and bad at another, I think one of my favourite units to use is either a mage unit or a Harpy, both of these characters are able to control the minds of a few opponents units, which allows unavailable units to be on your side.

I understand that the original game is loved by everyone and so this version is a must for everyone, being a strategy, fighting and skill game makes it exciting for all computer game lovers.

Other units that enhance the game include dragons, witches and all kinds of weird creatures that could be imagined, Cavedog, the producers, deserve recognition and I recommend playing online for even better game play.

The cream on top of this game is that one of the stronger characters is what looks like a flying monkey, any game with a flying monkey gets my vote.

With the game's first (and only) expansion, The Iron Plague, the number of races was brought to five- added was Creon which specialized in expensive, alchemical, pseudo-Rennaisance units. Think Galileo with dragons, necromancy, and electricity. In their backstory rejection of magic, the Creonites... Creonians... whatever, they are associated with no element. They do, however, bring the number of races to a healthy Discordian 5.

Alas, TA:K was a game mortally brought low by insurmountable shortcomings.

Where Total Annihilation had a brilliant score that varied with the action (that is, building music was soothing and measured, but combat music, which activated automatically, was fast and exciting), Kingdoms's stayed boringly Medieval throughout. Worse, the music was the same track regardless of which race you played, or even the environment- If I'm tromping through a cave, Where are those minstrals hiding? We're in the jungle, fighting trolls, looking for some ancient Kaldran artifact or something- I want to hear SCREECHING MONKIES.

In addition to a pathetic soundtrack, TA:K's graphics were dated. In 1997, anything 3D was automatically awesome. But three years later, big, flat surfaces with distractingly pixellated edges wouldn't cut it. To the game's credit, the terrain was much improved and third party developers have taken TA:K's map graphics for use in the original TA.

Even the gameplay, brilliant in TA, was lackluster in Kingdoms. A large group of units, when sent to the other side of the map, would invariably arrive strung out, in single-file: Easy pickings for the defenders. Formations would have solved this problem entirely.

Whereas combat in Total Annihilation was massive, visceral, epic, combat in TA:K tended to be much smaller, involving several dozen units at most {while TA's used dozens per side at minimum).

The switch over to melee units, such as the ridiculously overpowered Aramon Knights, and the almost complete removal of air forces as a viable strategy made combat much simpler and, frankly, boring. In TA a base would have to be taken by massive combined-arms forces in tense minutes of the most incredible show of force that any RTS has ever made, but, in TA:K, the assault would generally consist of flinging a mob (or, rather, a line) at the enemy, watching the fight while queing another mob, repeat. Ho-hum.

Some units in TA:K had multiple attacks; whereas an Aramonian archer simply walks around and shoots, a Tarosian Fallen Angel had its default 'unholy sword', a secondary fireball, and a screen-clearing Armageddon attack. However, to use the alternate attacks of each unit, the player would have to select the unit (or a group of identical units) and toggle to the new attack- unless the unit had insufficient personal mana, in which case you'd have to wait until it recharged. The result is excessive micromanagement; units in TA were smart enough to use their multiple attacks on their own.

Worst of all, there were no giant explosions, which are of course the best part of any game.

Finally, multiplayer was reportedly a mess. I never had a chance to play on, for instance The Darien Crusades, but, according to other reviews, finding a stable connection on Cavedog's network, The Boneyards, was only by the grace of fate.

With the failure of Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, Cavedog's fate was sealed. Drained after its defeat in the RTS war between Total Annihilation and Starcraft, the company rolled over and died, absorbed into Humongous Entertainment. Chris Taylor went on to make the masterpiece Dungeon Siege, but the RTS genre went the way of Half-Life multiplayer- Dominated by "l33t" fools who play 2forts and Counter-Strike over and over again: while Total Annihilation required chess-like skills in planning, strategy, and patience, Starcraft and, more recently, Warcraft III games can be completed within a half an hour. The art of the game is lost to the perfection of build-flowcharts and timing.

Shame on you, Humanity.

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