Kingdom Under Fire Gold
Kingdom Under Fire looked very promising before it was released. However, when the game finally came to stores there was quite alot of criticism. Therefor Phantagram probably decided to create Kingdom Under Fire Gold which was supposed to get rid of all the bad things in the original game and concentrate on the good.
How they failed…
In KuF Gold you can choose between being the leader of the evil Orcs or command the brave heroes of humanity. Either way, you get a “hero” under your command which must survive at all costs while you try to complete your mission.
These missions don’t vary too much and most of the time you have to build or enforce your base and kill all opponents. Once and a while you have to enter a dungeon with your hero and kill every living thing much like the hack’n'slash of Diablo 2.
KuF Gold tries to combine the standard real-time strategy game with hack’n'slash of modern role-playing games, trying to create a game that would appeal to both game scenes. Sadly this fails miserably.
As a RPG gamer I would get sick of constantly building new units and having to organise them while being under attack. On the other hand, there’s nothing more frustrating for someone that likes RTS games than to see the game pause several times for a few seconds because one of the “heroes” wants to say something, making that you cannot continue with what you are doing and if you’ve got bad luck, the characters are on the other part of the screen, making you loose time while going back to where you were.
If that isn’t enough, the graphics are not good enough to compete with modern games. A resolution of 800*600 might be good enough for modern adventures like Myst 3 or old RTS games like Starcraft that are still very popular because of their budget price and great story, but a full-price title like KuF Gold should have better.
The sound is not impressive either. I agree that there isn’t much cool stuff to do with a game that acts in the time of knights and orcs but when you use a special spell for one of your heroes (yes, the RPG elements also affect the way you attack your adversaries) they start shouting really hard something like “yeehaa” and that gets extremely irritating after a while.
I will admit that I didn’t finish KuF Gold completely, but any game that tries to combine Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo2 shouldn’t take more than 3 hours to become fun.
Trying to pick in on the success of Blizzard with their games is a good thing, but only if you’ve got the people that can create a balanced game with at least as much entertainment value on its own. Kingdom under Fire Gold is worth buying as much as a second hand Pentium 1, especially if you consider that classics like Starcraft are currently sold at budget prices (even though the AI itself is well-made).