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Platform

PC

 

Genre

RTS

 

Publisher

Strategy First

 

Developer

Time Gate Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2001

 

 

- Easy to get into

- Decent backstory

- Good online multiplayer support

 

 

- Some may not like the lack of nitty gritty gameplay details

 

 

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Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

I have never really been a fan of PC gaming (silence your boos and hisses), much less PC real time strategy gaming (enough already). Surely good ol' Napoleon and Custer had a little more time to organize an assault than what we're given in the many RTS's out there, which usually amount to a quick defeat or an impossible victory (both requiring heavy casualties). 

 

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Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns has effectively done away with the pains of unnecessary death by deleting the fumbling mistake-prone system of micromanagement. Now to some Schwartzkopf wannabees, this may be a turn off, yet to myself, a man of true sophistication, I prefer my troops to have some sort of individual intelligence. 

Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns is a real-time fantasy strategy game set in the Tolkien-esque world of Khaldun where players take on the role of a Kohan, a race of immortals. They were once the ruling power of the world, but have had their culture and society destroyed by a series of destructive catastrophes. Conveniently 

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the Kohanís immortal nature prevents them from dying eternally, yet imminently the mighty Kohan are faced with the need to come to grips with their lost glory, their current hardship, and their ultimate destiny. Heavy stuff.

 

Kohan is a game which does a true general proud. You give the initial command, and the troops advance or defend with supreme confidence and skill, responding to the enemy without their hands being held, true troops. The initial 

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strategizing is the decisive area of generalship, for this Kohan relies on a fresh company command system. Instead of configuring down to the quark ones force, you simply gather troops from a preset grouping and go. As the groups are the groundwork for the battle system it is quite easy to construct an entire army made of a dozen or so groups. 

The greatest benefit of this is the ultimate ease of converging your troops onto an enemy and feeling assured of the outcome, assuming the necessary planning went into the initial formation. This is where the excitement begins. Because the gathering of forces is so customizable your mission can take on entirely new atmospheres. The stealth or carnage tactics of my favorite console games take on much more depth here. A company can be comprised of rangers and sorcerers, scouts, medics and engineers, and various other posts. This allows for a lot of things to be accomplished at once. The scouts can do their thing while the medics are healing the rangers and the spell casters are bringing down hellfire. Creating companies specifically attuned to the needs of the mission is a challenge, though not as tedious and infinitely more rewarding than the droll micromanaging found so often in the genre. 

To go with the premier plotting and pacing, Kohan divulges all the warm fuzzies of a gripping Tolkien or C.S. Lewis yarn (colleagues in fact). There is definitely not just the raw meat and potatoes of battle, kill destroy death stuff here, but a moving articulate epic which makes all the sin worth while. This however is only available in the one player mode, which does present itself even from the thorough tutorial as utterly linear.

 

To go along with the one player romp there are distracting multiplayer online options as well. Due to a cream of the crop matching service finding games is a cinch. Customizing them becomes a different beast, for there is no victory criteria yet established as the true test of Kohan supremacy. Some will wish to out conquer more cities than you, others will wish to collect more booty, others still will wish to display their abilities on the battle field (and all I want to do is move my companies around and here the goofy voice acting). Yet despite all the trouble itís all pretty fun. Also for those cursed with the dreaded 28.8/33.6Kbps, there is a tolerable customizable campaign mode which offers surprising flexibility.

The bottom line becomes this, for a true PC RTS to surpass the lazy day couch and button mash of a console classic, it must be fun! Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns is.

- Tolkiemingway

 

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