Mankind’s departure from Earth to colonize
other worlds was once thought of as a major step for the species. But what
was once a blessing can quickly denigrate into something akin to a nightmare.
Just as the early colonists to new worlds
in Earth’s past sought to severe ties to the homeland and become independent,
so too did those colonists. The humans back on the homeworld were unwilling
to allow that, and war became inevitable.
There was one last chance at peace and
a conference was set for Earth’s moon, but on the way to the conference,
the ship of a key ambassador was attacked and destroyed, plunging the inhabitants
of Mars and Earth into a fratricidal war. And wouldn’t you know it, lurking
on the edge of the solar system, waiting for both sides of the conflict
to be at their weakest is an alien race with thoughts of conquering the
Hegemonia Legions of Iron, a PC release
from Digital Reality, wanadoo and Dreamcatcher, is an real-time strategy
game that is visually stunning. But more than that, this is game that will
challenge cerebrally in a way few RTS games have in the past.
This is about one side versus another versus
another. As such resource management is key. You must colonize other worlds,
research technology and balance diplomacy with strategic combat.
The single-player campaign can be played
from one of two viewpoints Earth or Mars. Once you have chosen a
side, you take on the role of a hero (there are eight male and female heroes
available for the missions) and have to accomplish a task. You will be
issued orders and must follow them almost to the letter. Well, maybe not,
maybe there is a little room for freelancing, but each mission has definite
goals, which must be realized in order to move through the game.
You will have to colonize planets to improve
population base while developing technologies, and building and organizing
a fleet. Heroes can improve with each successive mission and actually enhance
chances of success by improving their stations. Crews can also gain experience
and become better as the game progresses.
This is a game that has a smattering of
many different ideas. The role-playing element raises its head in the hero
format, while the RTS elements are well represented with terraforming planets
to suit your race (in the single player campaign you can play as either
Earth or Mars, but you can play as one of the two alien races in the multiplayer
game). You do need to have certain technologies in place to colonize planets
or satellites, depending on their surface type.
You can spy on the enemy, lay siege to
a planet or try the diplomatic approach. The latter is rather limited in
the single-player missions, but does come more into play in multiplayer
The biggest initial obstacle to overcome
in Hegemonia is the control system. While the game tutorial makes light
of these elements, nothing could be further from the truth. This is a game
that will take time to learn. Whether working from the strategic two-dimensional
map, or winging it in the full-3D environment, this game is complex.
Hegemonia is a game of great depth. Yes,
you do have to accomplish several things in order to complete a mission,
but how you get from the start of the mission to its completion is up to
you. However, time is of the essence. While you are busy, so is the enemy.
The game’s AI is very smart and seems to evolve as your abilities within
the game increase.
This game is certainly a challenge, but
even more so, it is stunning visually. Hegemonia: Legions of Iron has a
solid options package, great gameplay and great replayability. While borrowing
some of the story elements from previous games, Digital Reality still manages
to blend it all into a seamless universe full of wonder, hard work and
This game is rated Teen for Violence.
While the mapboards may not be as vast
as space itself, they are a good size. The cutscenes are very well designed
and set up the game nicely. Load times are average for the genre. Though
this game takes place within a familiar universe, game players are not
plagued with years of space travel to get from point A to point B.
This game looks amazing. The three-dimensional
solar system, while not entirely built to actual physical reference
and with a few embellishments, is stunning to look at. The ship animation
The vocal characterizations can be a touch
off in places, and while there is no real sound in space (it is a vacuum),
the game does a good job with special effects sounds.
Even the tutorial was a bit confusing
and required having the manual nearby to work through the fundamentals
of the program. Figure on at least a 45-minute learning curve to get comfortable
with this game. That may seem like a lot, but you will be rewarded for
your efforts with confident game play.
The conflict idea has been explored before
and because of the RTS nature of the game, you will have to take care of
The multiplayer scenarios can be played
through a LAN, the Internet or over the GameSpy network. The game does
feature a cooperative campaign, as well as the king-of-the-universe mode
You will have to put in time to learn
the nuances of the game but once you get past that phase, you will find
this to be a solid RTS game with a few RPG elements. The game is stunning
graphically. While this is mission-based, it has depth of play. Like a
host of RTS games, this is a program with solid replayability features.
It may not have the most original storyline, but it is an excellent game