Become the Hegemon of the Ancient World
In a time when the real-time strategy games are all but gone, overshadowed by MoBA and 4X strategies, Hegemony III: Clash of the Ancients comes as a mighty reminder why the RTS genre is so awesome and so challenging.
Longbow Games have put a lot of effort in developing this one and it is telling from the onset. You would be submerged in the brutal world of ancient Italy by the sublime art and overall feeling of the game. Long before Rome was even a thing the Etruscans were fighting it off on the peninsula, trying to establish dominance and legacy.
Today it is clear that the latter didn’t go all that well but they still had some pretty neat ideas and many great men to realize them. Of course, Hegemony III is just the developers’ take on history but the game looks well-researched and feels rather historically accurate. With the great detail the graphics provide one can see how things are being built and how the cities are shaped into glorious settlements.
Growing in strength and becoming a mighty civilization has its price. Establishing supply lines and defending them from greedy raiders is only the first step to success. Finding enough recruits for the army and providing enough supplies for them to carry the campaigns to a successful conclusion is the second. Overcoming enemies and proving yourself to your allies is the third step that can bring you closer to ultimate dominance.
Here the beauty of the RTS format shines the brightest. Micromanagement, planned moves, anticipation, and quick reactions on several different fronts can tear your brain apart. The world is large enough to show you the real value of planning and securing supply lines. As the saying goes, “one does not simply march in…” anywhere. Without provisions your fighters would dissipate; without fresh recruits your campaigns would end in dismay. Without the right upgrades your allies would doubt your strength.
The AI of Hegemony III: Clash of the Ancients is very solid as well, giving you a real challenge on the battlefield. Enemy units flank when possible, attack where your army is weak, and receive proper support from ranged the back lines. There are no easy battles. Conducting successful raids and defending against incoming ones is crucial for the future of your empire.
It’s been a while since I lastly played so well-developed real-time strategy and managing all units, cities, and resources simultaneously proved to be a huge challenge. Pausing often was a prominent feature of my gameplay. Thanks to these frequent self-induced interruptions and the fact that I was playing in the Antiquity the game invoked allusions to the Total War series but in a good way. The armies are not as massive as the latest additions to the TW franchise, which allows more tactical maneuvers. As mentioned, the opposition is very solid. Another nice thing is how seamless the upgrades are and how they flow naturally throughout the course of your chosen city.
There is huge potential in this game and I am eager to see future expansions and DLC being added, for the world is really large. And often full of terror.
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