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Game Name : Kohan Immortal Sovereigns
System : PC - Windows
Date Added : 2002-07-09 01:08:40

Written By : Daniel Crabtree

The Real Time Strategy craze started with the release of Dune II and has been carried on with recent hits like Age of Empires, Red Alert, Starcraft and Total Annihilation; Most of which have added new depth and life into an exciting and tactful new genre. However over the last few years we have witnessed a number of clones, while riding the popular trend they have stagnated the genre. Recently several Real Time Strategy games have attempted to break this downward slide with new innovative 3D interfaces. The problem is that these have become somewhat clumsy and tricky to manage. And to some extent they have detracted from the gameplay.

Kohan Immortal Sovereigns is an enhanced, more refined version of all those that have come before it, taking what made the preceding hit Real Time Strategy games great and intensifying and improving upon them. The game has taken the conventional user friendly interface and has refined it to perfection.

From the installation process to the campaigns the game runs smoothly and without a glitch. The game lets you choose from one of two installation types Standard 400MB or Full 610MB. Inside the box you will find a User Manual, Reference Guide and Game CD in Jewel Case. The 60 page user manual gives an in depth look at all facets of the game including the background story of Khaldun, an overview of the installation and game setup procedures and invaluable information on playing the game; ranging from the game hot keys to tables of detailed data on units, races and the other game elements. The reference guide gives you a quick playsheet you can refer to, that lists the different race advantages, build tree’s and hot keys; it is akin to the fold out sheet that accompanied the Age of Empires games.

Kohan Immortal Sovereigns has amazing gameplay and is an outstanding game because of this fact. The combat system in Kohan is a little different to other games, instead of just amassing huge quantities of units and marching them off to their deaths, companies must be assembled. Companies are made up of 4 frontline units, 2 support troops and 1 leader or hero. The 4 frontline units must be of the same type, while the support units can be the same or differing types. For instance a company could have 4 Infantry in the frontlines, 1 Archer and 1 Engineer for support and a hero. With over 40 units and 45 different heroes there is an enormous of unique companies that can be assembled. When a hero is used in place of a captain the company can gain special bonuses and some heroes can cast magic spells. Heroes are found as medallions and cost a small amount of gold to resurrect. Companies can also be grouped together to form regiments. Both companies and regiments can be put into one of 4 different formations. These are Pressed Mode, Column Mode, Skirmish Mode and Combat Mode. Each formation gives bonuses or penalties to the 3 unit values. For example in Pressed Mode the troops have a higher Movement Rate, but lower Defence and Attack Values. Companies are also affected by morale and when enough units die, the company will rout and flee to safe ground. Companies can also be ordered to retreat to minimise losses. The most exciting element of companies is that instead of needing to rebuild your companies after a battle, if any units of a company survive battle and return within your supply zone their health will slowly be replenished and the lost units will slowly be revived to fight again. This saves both gold and time, and gives a reason to retreat your troops from battle. Terrain also affects the unit values, forests slow down movement but provide an increased defence value, while mountains are impassable and they provide invaluable choke points to defend against incoming attacks. Several of the heroes and support units are able to cast magic spells which can have a profound impact on combat. Magic users have over 60 spells at their disposal including ice storms, fireballs and lightning, as well as more passive effects like healing and recovery.

Kohan Immortal Sovereigns has 4 Factions: The Ceyah, The Council, The Nationalist and The Royalist. Each race has unique advantages/bonuses, for instance the Nationalist’s get an extra component slot and a 20% increase in supply range. The Ceyah are special in particular as the units they construct are vastly different to those of the other 3 factions, instead of using human units they utilize skeletons, zombies and other undead fantasy creatures. Reminiscent of other Real Time Strategy games, Kohan Immortal Sovereigns have several different resource types that must be created to acquire and maintain units and cities. The 5 resource types are gold, stone, wood, iron and mana. Units requires resources to maintain them, for instance Archers require wood, while Infantry require iron.

The economy in Kohan Immortal Sovereigns can be deceiving as it looks overly complex at first, with 5 different resource types and with units each requiring different resources. But the economic system in Kohan Immortal Sovereigns is actually very easy to understand and manipulate to your advantage. All settlements produce gold through taxes and can create the other resources through components and mines on resources within the supply zone. Most resources are created by building components such as the Quarry, Woodmill and Blacksmith. Each city starts with just one component slot, but can be expanded upto 7 by filling the available component slots and paying a sum of gold to upgrade to a larger city that will also have a larger supply zone. There are 8 standard buildings in total, in addition to the three already mentioned, there is the Market, Barracks, Temple, Library and Wall. These 8 building components can be upgraded to provide either improved output or different results. For example one upgrade for the Woodmill will create extra wood, while another will sell excess wood for gold. Each settlement also has a zone of population; other settlements cannot be built within this zone of population, which in turn limits the number of settlements that can be constructed.

The game comes with a comprehensive yet easy to use map editor that will allow you to create custom maps. The interface is simple; you select the type of terrain and click or drag where it should go. If you allow the editor to mould the surrounding terrain it will smooth out your dragged terrain putting appropriate terrain nearby, giving a more natural looking map. The tutorial campaign dialogue is also helpful and even overly descriptive and gives a thorough introduction to all elements of the game. Continuing on from the tutorial campaign is an excellent series of campaigns and missions that unfold a deep and intriguing story line. Skirmishes can be played against a combination of 8 human and computer players on LAN or the Internet. You can of course blast away at computer players in the single player skirmish mode and with the excellent randomly generated maps to add to the pre-made ones and your own there is enough diversity to keep you playing for hours and hours.

Graphics: 8 / 10
The graphics are admirable and the unit animations are superb with excellent detail.

Sound: 9 / 10
All sound effects, music and voice acting are to a very high standard.

Gameplay: 10 / 10
The game interface is brilliant and is very simple and easy to use. There is a wide variety of units and spells to choose from for developing solid and engaging strategies.

Multiplayer: 10 / 10
Kohan Immortal Sovereigns features both small and diverse maps allowing both quick and brutal multiplayer mayhem as well as long drawn out sieges.

Overall: 93%
A well designed and implemented real time strategy game that brings new life to the genre through powerful game mechanics and particularly good gameplay.

Kohan Immortal Sovereigns
Game Type: Fantasy Real-Time Strategy
Content Rating: Teen
Developer: Timegate Studios
Website: www.kohan.net

System Requirements
Win 9x/ME/2000 (Tested and worked fine on Windows XP)
Pentium II (or equivalent) 300 MHz, 64MB RAM
400MB disk space, Mouse, 4x CD-ROM
DirectX 7.0 Compatible Video Card with 4MB VRAM
Monitor and Video Card capable of 1024x768 resolution @ 16bits
Internet Connection or LAN for Multi-Player

Review Test Systems
Full Install of Game with 1.3.1 Patch
CPU: Dual Athlon MP 1.2Ghz
RAM: 512MB Ram
Graphics Card: Leadtek GeForce 3 Ti 500
Sound Card: SB Audigy Platinum.
Operating System: Windows XP Professional

Full Install of Game with 1.3.1 Patch
CPU: Pentium 2 450Mhz
RAM: 256MB Ram
Graphics Card: Asus GeForce 2 GTS
Sound Card: SB Live
Operating System: Windows XP Professional

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