Hegemony: Philip of Macedon Review Kurt Sasso Game, Kurt Game Reviews, Podcast, Shows, spotlight Last year at Fan Expo I didn’t know what to expect. This was the first Canadian comic convention I had ever been to. It was completely packed and many times beyond capacity. That didn’t stop a great Canadian company named: Longbow Games. We spoke with President and Game Designer Jim McNally about their latest game; Hegemony: Philip of Macedon. Here is our review of their award-winning, first game. This game is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game. Which means you are constantly managing your armies, cities, funds and expanding your bases to the far reaches of the map. It’s a VERY time consuming way to play a game and you really have to be on your toes to play. This is not a genre for everyone. But, for those that love this type of game, Hegemony is most definitely for you. This is a game that takes elements of Total War series, and keeps you constantly moving around, searching and strengthing your positions, units and trade routes. This truly pushes you as a player and it makes sure to let you know what needs to be micro-managed. The patented Hegemony zooming map feature of the game is amazing and seamless. In and out, rotating the maps, dealing with battles of hundreds and thousands of units, does not bog this game down at all, even on the highest settings. There are a few points that can be troublesome at the beginning. Most notably is the interface in the game play. Until you get used to it, you can pause the game and work through the situations you need to get a handle on which units can do what, etc. As you go, you may use the pause that more and more, unless you have your strategies down, or depending on what difficulty you play at. The objectives of the game are a nice touch and help out with getting you gradually built up in the game. Doing side tasks, as it were, if you were focused on that were beneficial in the sense of gold, food, etc. The art of this game is beautiful as long as you don’t zoom in too close. All the models, buildings, environments, ships, siege weapons and people are in 3D. However, the finer detail points in the actual people, if zoomed in during a battle, are lost with all the motion of the battles that take place. The hand-painted detail of the cut scenes were a nice approach to breaking up the 3D aspect of the game. Historical games are hard to create, only because we know the ending. But, take into account that not everyone has done light reading on the life and strategies of Philip in their spare time. The team at Longbow Games definitely did not leave any musty tome unturned and it truly shows in this game. Wikipedia could take note and use this game as reference, it’s that complete. Pros – The first “True” Real-Time Strategy game that can easily be compared to the Total War Series – Art in the scenery and buildings are well done and historically accurate – Story of Philip’s conquest of the warring Greek states are historically accurate that it makes Historians smile. – Voice work in the cut-scenes is dramatic and easy on the ears to listen to. – Multiple ways to play the game based on your style. Cons – The interface in the beginning can be hard to understand and navigate – Units that are battling don’t immediately move when you want them to flank or retreat, if they are in a battle action – Unit art is generic when you zoom in. – Diplomacy itself was more troublesome than it was worth. Overall: This is a game that I think everyone that loves a true challenge of your skills as an RTS player. You will be tested in your ability to micro-manage, you will have to deal with rebellion and constant attacks. The warring states of Greece didn’t let up on Philip, and neither does this game. Best part about Longbow Games as a Canadian company, they saw they had a gem of a game and have made an expansion called: Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece. They took the feedback from the first game and have improved upon it so much that PAX Expo took notice and gave it the “Most Improved Sequel” Award. I have purchased this next game and will be playing and giving it a review. I look forward to any other games that Longbow Games will create and you should as well. Look for their next interview from Fan Expo 2011. ABOUT LONGBOW GAMES: Longbow Digital Arts Incorporated has been developing technically innovative and artistically unique computer games and utilities since 1998. These include the award winning Tread Marks with its cutting edge 3D terrain engine, the very popular DX-Ball 2, king of breakout-style games, and the delightful Particle Fire screen savers. Our more recent products include Rival Ball, Triangle Trifle, Vortiball, Stone Cutter, and Rival Ball Tournament, as well as Norupa’s Lizard, an electronic children’s book which we offer for free. We’re currently working on Hegemony, a critically acclaimed series of historical strategy wargames set in the ancient world. We’ve developed a new and innovative 3D landscape engine for this project to combine battle and strategy in the same unified 3D world. Our business model is based on digital distribution through www.LongbowGames.com.