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Total Annihilation
Can this old classic still cut it in today's cut-throat games market?

By Richard Harrison, Forum Manger

Just two years ago, a small, almost unheard of company called Cavedog (www.cavedog.com) created a new game that would revolutionise computer strategy games forever.  And nobody knew.

Total Annihilation was released with very little marketing, advertising or fanfare. What it did have was an improved graphics engine that revolutionised the whole concept of height advantage and added the reality of physics to the imagination of strategy games.  It also had one of the widest ranges of weapons in any game, and intricately detailed maps that gave new meaning to the term "strategic manoeuvers."

And it worked. Suddenly, Total Annihilation was the talk of every game reviewer, magazine and MUD. People just couldn't stop raving about this futuristic game--ney, masterpiece--that was surely going to be Number One in the games charts. And they were right.

But now its two years later, and Cavedog is about to launch Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, the follow-up to their classic and much loved earlier release.  The anticipation is intense, with RTS gamers eagerly waiting to see if the new game is anywhere near as good as the old.

And its worth wondering about. TA is regarded as the best RTS game ever, the one against which all other games are measured. Even in the fast moving technology world of real-time strategy games, TA not only still cuts it, but remains the games all other comers have to cut. And this will be every bit as true for Total Annihilation: Kingdoms.

But until June, and the release of Kingdoms, Total Annihilation and Cavedog remain top dog.  With the game on its own for about 10, and the game plus two gigantic expansion packs and a brilliant strategy guide for 30, it doesn't look like you can get a better deal. 

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Richard Harrison is such a die-hard gamer he'll load blood and guts CDs onto your PC whenever you're not looking. You can email him with questions or comments.

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