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Platform: PC
Genre: Real-time Strategy
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Black Hole Entertainment
ETA: Q4 2004

 

Related Links:

Review: WarCraft III (PC)

Review: WarCraft III - The Frozen Throne (PC)

Review: Empire Earth (PC)

 

 

 

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Armies of Exigo

 

armies of exigo preview          armies of exigo preview

 

In Armies of Exigo, players will command massive armies battling for control of both the surface and underworld of the fantasy realm of Exigo.

 

Developed by Black Hole Entertainment, who are, according to published reports, a Hungarian team of StarCraft fanatics, this new title, due out in Fall '04, brings a new element to real time strategy games by allowing players to burrow under the surface, waging battles both above and below ground.

 

As either the heavily fortified "Empire," an alliance of knights, dwarves, elves and gnomes; the nomadic "Beasts," which include tribes of ogres and trolls; or the "Fallen," a group of dark elves, undead warriors and swarming insects set on taking over the surface, players will 

be compelled to develop new RTS strategies, as every army has the ability to plan sneak attacks by traveling unseen in a network of catacombs and tunnels mapped separately from the world above.

 

As a big fan of Age of Mythology, I have to say that Apollo's "Underworld" miracle was one of the main reasons I always prefer playing as the Greeks. In terms of surprise attacks, nothing's better than amassing a huge army and then sending the lot of them underground to pop up in the middle of your unsuspecting opponent's town.  

 

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Yet where that Age of Mythology attack is a one-time deal, the separate underground world of Armies of Exigo will add a new dimension to RTS gameplay. Even if a player's surface defenses are impenetrable, another army, at any time, can burrow up into the middle of their fortifications, with the ensuing chaos sure to satisfy the inner megalomaniac in you, your computer or up to eight online players.

 

armies of exigo preview          armies of exigo preview

 

Here's the lowdown:

 

Wage war with up to 200 units on two fronts simultaneously above and below the surface with a unique dual layered map system.

 

The screenshots, to date, are bitchin'

 

Interactive environment allows players to destroy bridges, flood underworld areas by blowing up dams, create avalanches, divert subterranean lava flows and dig tunnels between the surface and the underworld.

 

The single-player game includes a three-part campaign and a skirmish mode; online play allows four multiplayer modes: Melee, Arena, Mission and Free-for-all.

 

While Armies of Exigo is sure to draw some comparisons to the Warcraft franchise, simply by virtue of being a fantasy RTS, by adding a separate playing field underground, this game looks to bring a genuinely new feature to the genre that will keep even longtime fanatics on their toes.

 

- M. Enis

(July 20, 2004)