Monday, 5 July 2010

Indie Strategy Game Review - Hegemony: Philip of Macedon

Based on the life of Philip, father of Alexander the Great, Hegemony: Philip of Macedon is an impressive indie strategy game.  The whole game is one huge mission, split up into smaller missions of course, in which Philip has to rid Greece of its invaders and go on to unite the whole nation, ready for his son's future of conquering the world.

The story is told with narration and static graphics, beautifully created and cleverly creating a 3D effect by having multiple 2D layers.  The history is fascinating; I've read a lot about Alexander the Great, but practically nothing about his father.  It seems that military genius ran through the family... 

Anyway, RTS fans will be at home right away with the setting and basic interface.  A tutorial mode at the beginning shows you the basic commands, and hints / help features are available throughout the game.  The graphics are very nicely done and the zoom level is very flexible.  Everything you could expect from an RTS is here - resource management, troop production, cities and bases to manage / reinforce / defend, etc.  The computer AI isn't too shoddy either, definitely giving you a challenge.

There is a hell of a lot to keep your eye on though, and the game screen contains a daunting amount of constantly updating information.  I found it a little hard to keep track of everything that was going on, simply because there is such a huge amount of data to digest, numerous strategies to plan out, outposts to keep an eye on etc.  Judicious use of the pause button (spacebar) is definitely indicated!  Imagine playing Civilisation 3, but in real-time...  The effect of all this is somewhat hard to describe - I tended to feel completely immersed in the game and impressed with its size and depth, but sometimes a little frustrated with that same size and depth.  The RTS gamer in my loved it, the part of my brain that tells me I spend far too much time playing computer games (that would be the sensible part of my grey matter!) tells me it's simply too much effort.  The RTS part usually wins, of course...

Each unit can gain experience and level up, and you can promote companions to generals and capture a number of buildings to aid your cause.  You must keep an eye on population, resources and gold or you won't get very far at all in the game.

The controls are mostly good, but a couple of things I found rather awkward and I would definitely advise using keys to scroll the map as it's very jerky if using the mouse.  I thought some of the controls could have been easier to use, but on the plus side they are very versatile.  Aesthetically the game is very good, with moody music and speech (in the narrated parts), good SFX, and very nice graphics.

This is definitely a game that needs some investment of time simply getting used to the controls and how the game actually works, but it's well worth it.  Strategy fans will love the attention to detail, both in terms of the historical detail and the intricacies of the game itself.  Perhaps the learning curve is a little steep for those not particularly used to RTS games.  I give this a solid 8/10 rating.  Longbow Games are definitely a developer for strategy fans to keep their eyes on.

From the official website:

"Conquer the ancient Greek world for only $29.99! Act now, before the Persians invade!

With the full version of Hegemony you'll get 100+ historical objectives and access to the full map, covering all of Ancient Greece. That's a million square kilometres!"

Visit the Official Hegemony Website

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog GamerBlips: vote it up!


cs said...

awesome game is this? yes this a awesome game, not only awesome this is incredible game ever seen
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Jonathon Wisnoski said...

I always wanted to try this game out but never have.

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