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Review: Heroes of Annihilated empires - PC

by Steven Williamson on 2 November 2006, 14:43

Tags: Koch Media, Strategy

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qag7e

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Original magic system based on cards with spells

Magic plays a big part in Heroes of Annihilated empires so keeping your mana metre full is extremely important. By picking up magic cards from the battlefield, buying them at shops (scan the area for question marks as they often hide pots of gold) or by receiving them for completing tasks, you’ll have a superb range of spells. For example, in campaign mode the Tree of Life magic card allows you to plant a tree that slows down any enemies; extremely handy when you have a few dozen undead heading your way. We also picked up a wind power card which increased the range that our arrows could be fired. The range of spell cards on offer ensures that fighting never becomes boring and casting a spell is simply executed by clicking on your hero, selecting the appropriate card with your left mouse button and then choosing an area or group who you wish to cast that spell towards.

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As you progress you’ll eventually become involved in base building in order to produce combat units and to build a secure settlement for your elf warriors. The interface is once again easy and simple to use, and whether you’ve played an RTS title in the past or not, you’ll soon get the gist of it. To construct buildings it’s the age old premise of using workers to gather the necessary resources, selecting the necessary building and then choosing a place on the terrain to host your new construction. The icons representing the available buildings are well-drawn and easily to tell apart, so you’ll soon be constructing shops, altars, which can help with healing and increasing mana and dozens of other buildings. The range of constructions on offer is excellent in campaign mode and help to bring to life the fantasy world of the elves.

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From the ancient fortresses to the alchemist shops, the buildings are extremely well-designed, but the colours of many of the environments and characters can be extremely garish and bright; just check out the bright blue colour of the undead! For some reason you can’t zoom as close in on the action as you can in many RTS titles; we’d guess this is because the character’s lack the fine detail of the lush forests and buildings, but from this distance they look good enough.

There was something in Heroes of the Annihilated Empires that really annoyed us. We couldn’t find a way to turn off the speech bubbles that appear from the mouth of your hero whenever he speaks. Whenever he opens his mouth the action halts and you have to manually close the bubble after each sentence. It doesn’t ruin the game, but it’s one of those things which made us ‘tutt’ every time it happened.