Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns

The little guy strikes back.

A game doesn’t have to say Blizzard or Westwood on it to offer a compelling, creative strategy game. A case in point would Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns, TimeGate Studio’s very first project, published by then relatively small publishing house, Strategy First.

11_1Conceived as a cross between real-time and turn-based strategy, Kohan brings many of the best elements of the two genres. You’re able to control, maintain, and build your empire in keeping with RTS conventions, but cities aren’t just the usual jumble of buildings and peasants. Instead, each city is represented as a single on-screen building with an upgrade menu. The game’s resources are harvested and/or traded behind the scenes depending on the building upgrades you choose for a particular settlement. This frees up time for what Kohan Immortal Sovereigns is really all about: real-time tactical combat.

The action centers on the Kohans – immortal warrior heroes who have awakened to find themselves without any memory of their past. In the single-player campaign, you’ll be on a quest to rediscover the Kohans’ true nature and purpose in the world.

9_1Whether in campaign or multiplayer mode, units in Kohan Immortal Sovereigns fight in companies, comprised of a Kohan or another leader-class character, three to four front-line troops, and two optional support troops. Though you have no direct control over the individual units in a company, you move them around as a group in one of several pre-defined formations. Each one unit impacts the group’s attack efficiency and movement speed differently. A good player will also want to be aware of his companies’ morale level and the type of terrain his units are fighting on.

Many units don’t fight as well in the woods, for example. If a company’s morale is too low as a result of a recent loss, the entire group may flee to safe ground in the middle of a fight, and you’ll be powerless to stop them. There’s so much more going on in this game then in your typical RTS that it’s impossible to cover it all..

Where it starts to lose some of its polish is in the mediocre voice acting and rather derivative WarCraft-like music. Also, the singleplayer campaign isn’t paced as well as it should have been, and gets quite difficult a scant few missions in. Still, with all of its grand strategy elements, solid multiplayer and great value, Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns definitely shines bright.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Windows 95

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