I picked this up last year looking for something to sate my BFME style needs. I tried out the demo, loved it, especially as unlike BFME it had an AI that could play the game, so I proceeded to pick up the full thing. I grabbed myself every custom AI I could find, played it a few times, then got caught up in other things.
For some reason I fired it up again a few days ago, and was hooked. I launched a campaign mission I'd had problems with, problems I found out were due to me being stupid and blind. Over the last few days I have lived and breathed that campaign.
I had come here to talk about Kohan II, the things I liked and why it worked so well, but then I finished the campaign.
WTF? I haven't been so disappointed, so utterly let down by an ending since I finished Syndicate. I even fired up my final save again using the CD instead of Game Jackal just in case I missed something.
Where the hell's my pay off? I could have said many good things about Kohan II, but all that's going to stay with me for the next few days is that ending. And how shit it was.
It's funny I actually picked up the game last week because I had wanted to play it after I played the demo and I got caught up with other stuff and then came WoW. Saw it in a game store that I walked in and just picked it up.
Going to play the campaign too.
The campaign had an ending? I've long forgotten what it was but I remember many other things about Kohan 2. Your payoff is playing such an amazing game!
But I was looking for payoff from the story to. Actually, the campaign has a very Tolkien feel to it, I think they did quite a good job of making me feel like there was this large world with greater issues, and all these factions fighting their own battles beyond what was happening on my screen.
But then they just sort of... stop. There was a fade, I was waiting for the next scene, then it ended. Ouch.
On the other hand, they made good use of AI allies. The second to last mission especially was superb fun. It's far more interesting IMO when you only control one faction at a time, and any others are in AI hands. The Kohan AI is component enough to handle this, and since you can direct it with commands (but it doesn't always obey) you get a wonderful feeling of an allied force, but with each element having its own agenda. Much more interesting than "four factions, all yours, go go go!"
I daren't watch any pro replays of games though lest I spoil the fun by finding all the balance issues and micro methods. I can already think of ways to abuse the retreat command.
Game holds up really well in skirmish though. There's a vast number of custom SAIs out there (AIs), each one playing differently. Fire up a game with a bunch of randomly picked AIs... it's great.
Campaign was a touch too easy IMO. I played on Hard. Though I admit my play improved vastly when I watched a replay of mission seven... eight, something like that. I'd spent the mission trying to overcome overwhelming odds and multiple enemy settlements, yet watching the replay I found the enemy had no more settlements than I, and in fact all that had happened is that I had camped my base and teched, assuming this was the standard RTS "enemy owns the map" campaign, when in fact most missions were more akin to skirmishes with a twist and the enemy had simply expanded faster than me. Once I realise that the campaign became a lot more fun, as it was possible to try and out-expand the enemy and play a far more aggressive game.
The AI doesn't seem to see through the fog either, which is nice.
Last edited by Quitch; 01-11-2007 at 05:39 AM.
Funnily enough, I found myself digging out Kohan 2 last week for no discernable reason I could work out. As I was installing it i was trying to remember something about it - that there was an aspect which was so silly that it had stopped me playing before, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Maybe something to do with the voice-acting...
Within four clicks I'd found it. That sorceress character stating, in a slightly distressed, melodramatic tone whenever you tell her to do something:
"I... feel nothing".
Which constantly brought to mind a perpetually disappointed upper-class english lady distressed at the size of her lover's genitalia in an "Is It In Yet?" manner.
This may just be me.
The VO was very middle of the road for the most part IMO. Melchior(?) was well voice though. It's no where near as bad as, say, Spellforce 2.
I think this game was reccomended to me by someone on this board, probably in the BFME2 thread. Many thanks to them, it's a superb game. Just need to see if I can get my brother into it so I can get some LAN gaming in.
World's End Supernova
Great. Thanks for eternally ruining that line reading for me, Gillen.
Originally Posted by KG
For all my complaints Kohan 2 is still a very elegant game.
I live to share.
Originally Posted by TomChick
Heh. I loved the first one, but while I was playing it I got into a fight with my girlfriend, got drunk, and finished the game. Now, the thing is, I don't remember the ending. I just know that when I woke up and went to my computer the game was done.
Originally Posted by Quitch
I kinda liked it happened like that, so I never played it again.
Been thinking about picking Kohan II, but I dunno... at least in the first one it was my drunken stupor that made me miss the ending, but I do like "closure" in my campaign games, can anyone else confirm this ending thing?
Note> not that I don't believe you Quitch, but it may be a perception thing? someone else played this and considered it to have a nice ending?
In my opinion, the best part of the Kohan game is the skirmish play, both vs AI and vs human opponents. The Skirmish AI is actually quite competent and their are downloadable custom AIs of great ferocity. The Awakening site has quite a few goodies to download.
If you want a team game, it is possible to set yourself up with AI allies and oppose a team of AIs. The AI allies are actually not idiots (most of the time) and you have some rudimentary control over them via the team commands menu. They don't always comply immediately but if you designate an attack target they will usually send a troop or two to help out. And they give you money :0.
Online play, when good, is one of the greatest online games I have played. Sadly the current community is tiny and hardcore, making entry for a new player an excruciating experience. If there is any interest in a QT3 "Kohan Night" we could designate a date and time to play some passworded games. That's probably the best way to get some online Kohan in.
I still have Kohan ready to go although I play rarely these days. But if there's any interest, I'm in :0.
I just wish Ceyah Humans were viable and not doomed to lose from time 0. In fact i wish Humans didn't suck so much in general :).
Gah if we get in some online Kohan stuff soon that means I'll have to play the campaign soon to familiarize myself with it. Before the Burning Crusade frenzy sets in :P
Oh aboslutely, it was the demo skirmish which hooked me in the first place. I don't understand RTS demos that exclude skirmish mode.
Originally Posted by Sharpe
I was surprised how much the campaign grabbed me, because it hadn't at first. Like I said, I think it has a lot to do with most of the missions playing like a skirmish, but with a story or unique twist behind them.
Fear not, the first thing I did upon getting Kohan II is grab every SAI which works with the latest version (and collected a few new ones recently). Makes skirmish games that much more interesting when you have genuinely different personalities playing.
I'm not one for online RTSing. I just find it too competitive, in a way FPS isn't. Probably because in FPS you hide in a crowd, while in RTS so much depends solely upon you. So I stick to AIs... plus I get to pick the time and the settings :)
Didn't this game get totally screwed by hardcore fans who didn't like the fact that Timegate didn't just slap a new graphics engine on Kohan: Ahriman's Gift? And it came out same time as Dawn of War and Rome:TW. Really bad timing. I really like this game. It's cool.
Yep, crappy timing. Coming out just as Relic decide to be the new Blizzard.
Kohan 2 sucked -- lousy interface, and they trashed the zoning/supply model in favor of Kohancraft. I was one of those hardcore fans who wanted a facelift and content expansion for KAG, not a sloppy fusion of Kohan and Warcraft.
Doug don't make me come over there and raze your city center! This debate has been had. If you don't like Kohan II, go play something else :0.
If this were WoW, I would do a /shoo pest emote :0.
I feel... nothing.
Originally Posted by KieronGillen
Kohan 2 is the best online multiplayer RTS experience I've ever had. I was a fan of the original series, but 2 did just about everything right, in my book at least.
I've still got the cd, but I have no idea where the cd-key lives. Probably on the manual in a landfill due to one of my several moves...
That would have made you and the 10 other people who actually bought the first Kohan happy. It also would have done wonders for it on the review sites.
Originally Posted by Doug Erickson
Wasn't KAG a significantly better seller than Kohan 2?
Dear God what is it with this Kohan/Warcraft bullshit? I haven't played the original Kohan, but I have played the sequel and a hell of a lot of Warcraft III.
Kohan II is nothing like Warcraft III. NOTHING. It's nothing like Warcraft I or II either. In fact I'm struggling to think of many RTSs that could be described as LESS like Warcraft III than Kohan II.
Some people just have no idea what they're talking about.
Uh, actually, much of the game was, on a very basic level - graphics, themes, storylines - lifted right out of Warcraft 3.
Well, I would disagree with you on all three counts. I mean, Christ, the Warcraft III story is as old as time in the fantasy world.
However, I was responding to the criticisms of the gameplay.
The original Kohan has the distinction of being the last game I truly fell in love with. It was a day one purchase for me, and I played the shit out of that game in multiplayer. The community was pretty small, and it seemed to me that most players were familiar with the others that were playing. (I played under the nickname "Stronmaus".) People who worked on the game were semi-regular players, and it was fun to go up against them.
For a little while I tested patches for them, and let me tell you, they had their act together. It was the most professional game-testing I've ever been a part of, and I've done it for a few. My life/work schedule became unwieldy, and I had to cut back on gaming before the Ahriman's Gift expansion was out.
I'd be interested in picking up Kohan II and playing some games. I have to agree with other posters that it looks like it's been ripped straight out of Warcraft 3...but what do I know...
That's like saying it's just a coincidence that Braveheart, the movie based off a story that 800 years old (known by anyone who likes Scottish history) is released just before Age of Empires 2 is published, which includes the Woad covered Celts.
Originally Posted by Quitch
What the hell? I just started replaying Kohan2's campaign last week. Damn, subliminal Qt3 mind control.
I think the problem with K2's campaign is that it got good. It started out feeling very hokey and stilted, but it grew on you. The voice acting was always "oh-so-Tolkien-esque" dramatic, but still very good quality. After a while you start to agree with Melchior or respect Naava's formality. Though in the end, the campaign story never got good enough to be more than an RTS story. GFW's recent article on game writing would apply here.
As for the gameplay, the only similarity between WC3 and K2 is that they are both semi-generic fantasy settings. If there were a World of Kohan, I'd imagine it would be quite different than WoW. I didn't like the interface change to a more typical 'click more buttons in this lower right hand box' but one nice touch was having your unit groupings creatable and selectable in a bar at the top.
Traded Gears for Mario game
The Elves and Undead art sets may owe a debt to Warcraft III, and sure, they're both RTS games, but holy tapdancing christ! Kohan II models morale, and flanking, and re-supply, and doesn't mire the player in micro hell. Kohan II is one of the best games I've ever played, of any genre - it understands that you want to be a General, not a bloody Quartermaster (I think that may be a line from Tom's CGW review, if so: sorry).
I played Kohan II recently, enjoyed it thoroughly (though it took a while to understand this different model), and thought it felt rather different from any other RTS I'd played.