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Hegemony Early Moments

May 19th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Ancients

There will be a full review of Hegemony: Philip of Macedon published on Gameshark once I finish writing the damnable thing. I’m still relatively early in the campaign, but I’ve been distracted by other writing I have to do among other chores, responsibilities and shiny things.

One of the weird things about the game is how slowly narrated cutscenes will just pop up and interrupt you in middle of a battle if the battle is an important objective. Early on you have to take revenge on the king of Illyria for being a murderous, aggressive pest so you are dispatched to go and settle things once and for all. While you are managing this battle, a cartoon starts with somebody intoning how you (Philip) refused to pardon Bardyllis and by the way, this is how you ended up marrying Olympias and siring Alexander.

Weirder still is the way the narration switches nouns around. Sometimes your kingdom is Macedon, sometimes Macedonia. Sometimes your subjects are callled Macedonians and sometimes they are called Macedons. The jumping around in terminology is a little off putting, and the narration really isn’t needed at all.

From a gameplay perspective, I am finding myself playing Whack-a-Hoplite more often than I would normally like in a game like this. Hegemony starts with you surrounded by enemies with your general objectives forcing you to push out your borders to the point where they become hell to manage. Eventually you can secure one front or two, but then you have rebels and new enemies. Diplomacy is more event/objective driven than anything else. You find princesses and marry them to Philip to secure allegiance. But, just as Philip was really about burning and killing, this game is pretty tactless on the diplomatic side.

I am enjoying it so far, though, and not just because of my known bias to ancient themed games. I love the way it looks and the interface is actually quite elegant in many ways. It is pausable real time, so you can always take time to explore the map. The game lets you know when you have opened up a new region, but the gradual unveiling never lets you get too ambitious about where you should strike and reminds you that your focus – for now – is whatever is just over the border.

Now if I can just get a port city or two and stop those Athenians from landing and burning my farms.


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