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Review: Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms - PC - 9.1

04 maja, 2008

Kingdoms extends Medieval II\'s staying power to frighteningly high levels.

Creative Assembly\'s back with an expansion that adds tons of content to its award-winning Medieval II: Total War.

Kingdoms features four unique single-player campaigns: Britannia, the Crusades, the Teutonic Knights, and the Americas. Surprisingly, each campaign feels fresh and built from the ground up, complete with its own music, units, rule changes, and more. These campaigns play on smaller maps as opposed to the large, Europe map found in the original game, but they feel just as epic.

The new Britannia campaign has you playing as either England or one of the smaller nations (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Norway) trying to fight back. England is a challenge to play, with you being under attack from all sides right from the start. You\'ll be managing limited resources, trying to upgrade your territories and create armies.

The Crusades campaign lets you play from the perspective of either the Crusader states or their Egyptian and Turkish foes. Historical events often intrude upon your campaign, such as the appearance of another European crusade, or the appearance of the feared Mongols. Each faction has special hero units that represent famous figures from history, featuring extra abilities beyond that of regular generals.

The Teutonic campaign describes the attempt to convert the pagan Lithuania. This campaign features some gameplay tweaks like a castle-orientated economy for the Teutonic knights.

The Americas campaign lets you play as the Spanish, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Apachean tribes in North America. The Spanish will find themselves vastly outnumbered and have to use technology to outwit their enemies. The native tribes are quite different from the other civilizations. For example, they have no cavalry units and feature ritual sacrifices, which boost city happiness, as well as warpaths, the Native American equivalent to crusades.

Kingdoms significantly adds replayability to the original game, making it an excellent value. All of these campaigns are interesting and well done, and offer a bit more variety when compared to the original game\'s content.

Gameplay: 9 - Same, great gameplay as the original game with tweaks befitting individual factions.
Presentation: 9.5 - Great production values, each campaign feels like a radically different experience.
Graphics: 9 - Even more graphical variety with the addition of new lands and factions.
Sound: 9 - Fitting music and appropriate voice-acting.
Value: 9 - 4 more engrossing campaigns with several new factions, need I say more?

Final Score: 9.1 - Kingdoms extends Medieval II\'s staying power to frighteningly high levels.

Marcin Skok
Editor-in-Chief
"The Gaming Corner"