Kingdom Under Fire (XBOX)
Sean W. Gibson / Oct 16th, 2005 No Comments
Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes is the follow up to a previous RTS title (The Crusaders) that was exclusive to the PC. Now in this new sequel to the game, on XBox, is a much more dynamic, engrossing, and engaging experience in a new type of strategy / action genre game. Although the game offers a steep learning curve and takes patience to learn, the reward is a very eye-popping and action packed title that will quickly addict gamers that enjoy some strategy and a whole lot of action.
Enhanced gameplay sharpens the experience – All aspects of Kingdom Under Fire – from improved action combat to the deeper rooted strategic elements – have been enhanced.
New characters join the fight of light against dark – Seven new playable characters have been tasked with fighting for the honor of their factions.
Action-packed campaign decides a kingdom's fate – Players set out on a journey to explore the growing rift between the two factions as they slash their way through 50 all-new action-packed missions.
Battle the world with the Xbox Live features – Up to six players can wage war simultaneously via Xbox Live in an effort to prove who the hero truly is.
Custom missions make each experience unique – Players must define the objectives, set the AI difficulty, and master their own creations.
Special moves and abilities – All heroes have special abilities that can be called upon in the heat of battle. Main heroes can perform melee attacks while sub-heroes can display magical abilities.
Slay enemies with stylish combos, special skills, and magic spells.
Command hundreds of soldiers with your own strategy to the ultimate victory.
Epic scale battles with over 3,000 soldiers in a battle field. Up to 200 soldiers displayed on screen.
Realistically detailed characters (main characters = 5,000 polygons, large units = 10,000 polygons)
Choose from 7 characters, each with his/her own campaign to show many sides of a continental war.
50+ Campaign Missions. Plus Random Missions and Custom Missions available. (50+ hours)
Various types of missions; all-out war, castle siege, scouting trapping, etc.
3 distinctive Live Game Modes: 4-Player Troop Battle, 6-Player Hero Battle, and Invasion Mode.
Over 35 different types of troops with diverse abilities. (Soldiers, Beasts, Dragons, Catapults, etc.)
Intuitive interfaces and optimized difficulty levels will let you approach the game with no frustration.
Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes has a tremendous viewing on the Xbox and has some of the nicest graphics perhaps of all time on this console. From the individual units to your hero (major character), each is detailed in amazing fashion with realistic and fairly fluid movement. You can see cloth rippling, blood splattering (yeah, it's pretty violent), and other great details that take the title really over the top with it's fantastic art direction and production. Great graphics to be sure – XBox gamers will definitely be pleased.
Nothing says hack n' slash action along side of strategic warfare like a custom heavy metal soundtrack. Extremely powerful, the guitar slashing sounds are perfect for the dark warfare motif of the title, with power chords rocking the way in every aspect of the game from battles to upgrade menus. The sound effects of the game are great, but the English voice acting is somewhat comical. It seems that the voice actors across the Pacific weren't the best for the game, but actually playing it with Korean sounds and English subtitles brings much more flair and authenticity to the game.
The game starts out in mellow-dramatic fashion in the form of text appearing to introduce the storyline. However, after a few missions things unfold very nicely to really engage the user into a deep and brilliantly crafted story. The game features four campaigns that are playable as two for each side of the story, and two that are available right away. Each campaign offers a different playable hero character who commands your armies as well as acts as the warrior in battle that gamers will take control of when in action mode. The storyline progresses as the story is unlocked by playing the linear story campaign that get progressively harder as you make your way through the game.
The heart of the game is the action and the combat which comes in fast and furious. A great mix of RTS (real time strategy) and hack n' slash action, you use your main character to battle alongside your armies in seamless fashion. In the strategic mode, gamers have the ability to command groups of armies at once with an interface that adequately serves its purpose. Units can perform special abilities, from powerful attacks to magical abilities which are varied in support of your troops. The game offers up a nice amount of unit types to offer a nice variety that will ensure the game won't stale on you as you make it through the campaigns. Upgrading and experience, along with gathering resources like money is one of the real keys to victory in the game. Obviously, there's a tremendous amount of things to do in Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes, but the amount of depth and detail to each aspect of this varied game comes as a nice relief to the norm that we see every day. All in all, an engrossing, engaging, and incredibly deep gameplay experience.
ONLINE / MULTIPLAYER
There's over 50 missions to battle through the various campaigns, but there's so many different ways to get through the combat that you really could play the game through a couple of times with different strategies in mind. The game has such nice visuals and has such a unique experience with it that gamers should enjoy a nice longevity factor with this title.
Rarely has a game for a console system so well incorporated the best aspects of RTS while integrating a fun and exciting "action" fighting mode. Even more rarely, it's rare to find a game that has this nice blend of gameplay experience while incorporating amazing visual graphics and a kick-butt guitar shredding soundtrack. Add it all up and you have one of the more original and unique titles ever to be released for Xbox.
Overall, Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes is an absolute winner for Xbox and one of the most original and engaging gameplay experiences ever for a console system. Mid-level and advanced gamers will love the steep learning curve, and young/inexperienced gamers will be put off by the difficulty and gore. Nevertheless, it's impossible not to recognize the impressive art direction, great blend of RTS and action, as well as superior gameplay.