Pages: 1 2 3
Graphics: While the graphics are nothing to get excited about in this decade. they do an adequate job of immersing you into the world. The explosions, however, do look kind of cool, and there is no graphics stutter due to their simplicity. Color is brilliant and shadow is used for optimal effect, particularly if you manage to get up enough gold and reputation to summon Ra himself as your leader and fly him into battle.
Interface: The mouse is your friend (well, at least it’s mine), and games that use it as the primary tool are ones that I find the most user-friendly. Seven Kingdoms is one of those games. You use the mouse for just about EVERYTHING. For the most part, it’s all intuitive. Move the mouse to move the camera. The scroll wheel controls the zoom in and out. Left click to select a unit and then right click to where you want the unit to move to. You can also assign groups of units quick access numbers, from the numeric keypad, in order to deploy masses of units into large scale battles. Saving is a breeze and can be done at any time from the clearly visible drop down menu.
Gameplay: It takes only a few minutes to learn the basics, but to master all of the nuances and techniques requires serious dedication. The concept is simple: eliminate the other guy before he eliminates you. There’s no one way to do this and no pattern of moves that will accomplish this. Watch the enemy and match him move for move. It really is a chess match and a test of patience.
While I found no bugs in the game itself, there appears to be one in both tutorials. The city that you’re supposed to invade and overcome about halfway through is blocked by a barricade that’s impossible to circumnavigate or destroy with the troops allotted. This doesn’t affect the game, so I recommend that you read up on any special units in the manual and only take the tutorial as far as you need to become familiar with the mechanics of the game.
I really wanted to give multiplayer a try, but perhaps Seven Kingdoms is still too new. There just wasn’t anyone available to battle with, which was a shame, because I was sure I’d fare better against real people.
Sound FX: The voice of the tour guide for the human tutorial reminds me of the man that used to do the voice over for grade school films. If you’re going to try to ride it out – caffeinate or turn him off. Everything that you need to know is written on the screen anyway. His demon counterpart is far better in a slightly sexy British way. She almost sounds like a demon. Aside from that, all of the requisite sound effects are there, and they never become overbearing regardless of how big the battle is.
Music: There’s some nice Celtic music mixed in that provides an interesting background. While some of the music is quite enjoyable, other selections include blaring trumpets and annoying primitive drum beats that had to be turned to the “off” position after repeated plays.
Intelligence: Your opponents appear to be of random intellect in the campaigns, but that said, random doesn’t appear to include either easy or medium. They’re all pretty darn smart (some are just pure evil geniuses), and you’ll often find yourself in a chess match to the death. They also appear to learn your moves and anticipate where you’ll go next.
Difficulty: Hard as heck would be an adequate description, but I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing given the nature of the game. Seven Kingdoms: Conquest is a challenge like none I’ve ever experienced, and it kept me coming back again and again for more abuse. The satisfaction of finally having defeated one of my opponents was well worth the hours spent.
Overall: I’d have liked more of a story, but the brain bending challenges posed by this game more than make up for any plot shortfalls. The replayability is definitely there, and I know I’ll be returning again and again, as I have four more human and five demon opponents to make pay with their blood.
Pages: 1 2 3