previews\ Sep 24, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Hegemonia: The Legions of Iron - PC - Preview 2

One reason to expect big things from DreamCatcher next year is Hegemonia, the latest offering in outer space RTS games. 


In the future, planetary journeys are nearly as common as bus rides.  The expanding human race has colonized Mars, which already has over 700 million inhabitants.  Much like the Yanks wanted away from the British Empire, Mars declares itself to be an independent planet and rebels against Earth.  But that’s just the beginning.


Whether players choose to control Mars or Earth, the objective is still the same.  Reunite the human race, and return the galaxy to perpetual happiness.  Further in the game, interstellar travel is discovered and with it, new alien races and a whole new set of problems.  Seems the galaxy just isn’t big enough for several races, and full scale war breaks out between species. 


Hegemonia is a full 3D real time strategy game with jaw-dropping graphics and excellent gameplay.  It’s more geared toward the action side of RTS games rather than an incredibly deep managerial side.  The game makes great use of three-dimensional space, requiring adept maneuvering around the X, Y, and Z axis to commandeer your fleets successfully. 


Resources are used like most RTS games.  Mining needs to be done, taxes need to be collected, and technologies need to be discovered in order to develop a powerful army.  Floating debris from fallen enemies can be used as resources, so there is never a shortage of raw material.  Specializing in one specific branch of the technology tree is recommended, otherwise your colony will be a jack-of-all-trades but master of none, which means a hasty extinction for your people. 


Hegemonia is a visual glory to behold.  The graphics are so detailed and gorgeous, the fine people of NASA would be jealous.  Interstellar dust, distant star clusters, and enormous planets all look incredible and give a realistic impression of the depth of space.  Each of the more than forty spaceships looks fantastic, and the larger motherships are so detailed, you’ll swear you can see people waving out the windows.  Zooming in and out is as simple as pressing a button, and the game renders the graphics splendidly.  As much a joy the spaceships are to look at, they’re even more fun to blow up.  Spaceships crumble and break apart extravagantly, the larger ships culminating in supernova-like explosions.


Other features of Hegemonia include an RPG element, where veteran ships carry over from battle to battle provided they aren’t reduced to floating scrap, a multiplayer mode which supports both competitive and cooperative modes, and two separate single-player campaigns.


Hegemonia is expected to be released this November.

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