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Medieval 2: Total War +Kingdoms

Here's my small review for this really cool RTS game called "Medieval 2" and it's addon "Kingdoms".

Medieval, as the name suggests, lets You take lead of one of the few available European countries in the medieval times. The game's pretty much turn based, You've got a big political map of Europe, You move Your units on it and when it comes to the battles, You switch to real time strategy.

So, starting of from gameplay. It is really cool ;] To be able to rule one country and conquer all others arround You, either by destroying them or by diplomacy. Buying regions, trading etc. You can forge alliances, make deals, even go on crusades if Pope decides to start one.
Everything is quite complex and there are plenty of options for every aspect of the game. Upgrading towns, recruiting units, handling taxes, spying, assassinating etc. Although the economy could have been more complex, it pretty much comes down to setting how high the taxes are going to be.

In the main campaign You are suppouse to hold 45 regions, including Jeruzalem. It is quite long and it will take You some time to get every friggin neighbour country off your back before You can head onto Jeruzalem... I had so much trouble with every country arround me. Even though we all had an alliance, as soon as I went to conquer some other enemy country, the allied countries attacked me like there was no alliance Surprised :[

I started out as France, I quickly conquered all rebel settlements and made France as big, as it is today. Then I head onto Spain, Portugal and England. After conquering them, I started expanding to the east. Denmark, Holy Roman Empire and the Papal States... It was so fun to finally get rid of the Pope and his goddamn inquisition that can burn for herecy everyone, even my king :O
Not that I'm some sort of God Hater, I just don't like his fanclub (church).
My country was getting bigger and bigger, I build new buildings, upgraded existing ones, developed new technologies. Quickly I was the biggest and strongest country in Europe... All untill Mongols came along... Those bastards had so powerfull army it took me losing quite some time and quite a few regions to finally get rid of them...
So after about 150 turns (1 turn = 1 year) I finaly was able to assault Jeruzalem. The game had limit of turns, about 220, so I had to hurry it up. After few smaller and greater battles, Jeruzalem had fallen under my control and the France was the almighty ruler of Europe Very Happy

As for the Expansion: Kingdoms. It gives You additional 4 shorter campaigns.
Shorter, because so far I have played 2 of 4 campaigns and the first one I have passed in like 60-70 turns and the second one in about 50. (The main one took me over 200)
But If you add up all 4 it will be longer than the main game.
First campaign is: "Americas". It lets You conquer whole North America in the times of Conquistadores (XV century), if You will play as New Spain, You will be able to conquer whole North America with Hernan Cortez, famous Conquistadore.

2nd: Crusades. Let's You play in the times of the Holy Crusades for the Holy Land Jeruzalem (XI-XIII century). I have started as Jeruzalem, the very country I had to destroy in Medieval 2 ;]

3rd and 4th I haven't played yet, as it all takes a lot of time. But their names are Brittania and Teutonic.

Pretty much Expansion is only new lands, units and countries. Nothing significant was changed in the core of the game. But every campaign feels like a different game.

As for the graphics of Medieval games, they are pretty cool. Decent looking and can be pleasant for the eye. Animations are smooth, battles look really breathtaking, they are full of action. Awesome battle music adds up to that breathtaking effect.

As for minuses I would say that sea battles were completely ignored... You can only have auto resolve battle when it comes down to fighting on the sea.
Even though the game has plenty options, they are pretty simplified. At first it seems complex, but later on as You pass through the game You will notice that sometimes there could have been more detailed options for diplomacy, economy etc.
Takes massive ammount of HD space, I have all 4 campaigns installed + main game and it is about 11gb Surprised
But thankfully when it comes to the expansion, You can install each campaign seperately, so it doesn't take up so much space then.
Music, I only liked the one that was in the main game. In all other campaigns it wasn't bad, but it lacked that awesomness of the music from the main game.
AI sometimes is messy. Sometimes when You go for auto resolve battle, where Your forces compared to the enemy forces are like 5:3 and enemy forces are all archers and yet you lose it :/
Movement could have been better, in crowded places during battle some group of soldiers seem to be standing in line Surprised waiting for their turn to attack the enemy.

So I would recommend this game for RTS lovers, tacticians, Medieval lovers and maybe even historians. Because this is one of the few games, where You can alter few centuries of world's history. This game got me playing for many long nights ;]

Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Overall: 8/10
I really liked your reveiw. I played only Rome: Total War and it was pretty fun but hard because i wasnt used to use.... tactics. I was just sending my army fast in straight line and the enemy was allways winning.
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