It's the same stale story. A big, bad, terrible war has devastated a planet and the post-holocaust survivors have begun to battle for control of its resources. Enter Krush, Kill 'N Destroy, a game not nearly as original as its unorthodox title may imply.
KKND is best described as Command & Conquer meets Mad Max. Like C&C, KKND has two warring factions and you can play as either. There are the Survivors, an army that relies on technology and machines in battle. Their weapons consist of huge 4X4 vehicles with machine guns and armored vehicles bearing turrets and missiles. Conversely, the Evolved choose to use animals, not machines. It wouldn't be out of the norm to see an Evolved battle group of three or four huge, acid-spitting scorpions escorted by a few huge elephants bearing automatic guns. Oh, and don't forget that deadly Missile Crab.
Gameplay is consistent with any traditional real-time war simulation: Click on units with the mouse, then click again to order them to attack or move. To construct enough units to achieve victory, bases must be carefully built, and resources (consisting of oil patches that must be refined) must be managed and protected. Most missions consist of destroying the other faction's base, but other tasks, such as escorting convoys and search-and-rescue missions, help break the monotony. Although KKND is very much like others in this genre, there are some subtle differences. The units in KKND are complex: they become more deadly as they gain experience in combat. A green squadron of infantry won't stand a chance against a healthy veteran bunch that has notched a kill or two.
These intricacies are certainly welcome, but KKND fails to make the units interesting beyond their ability to become more efficient killers. Giant scorpions and 4x4 trucks offer nothing new. Sure, it's a crab that fires a missile and a scorpion that spits acid. Big deal. That's basically the same as a tank firing a shell and a big truck firing an automatic weapon. There really isn't anything that distinguishes one unit from the other, aside from their appearance. Clearly a killer scorpion could do something more interesting to its prey than just fire green gobs of acid at it.
Expert players of real-time strategy games will probably get the most out of KKND because of its sheer difficulty. The artificial intelligence is more advanced than other games in the genre, but that isn't saying a lot given the generally simple AI found in similar titles. It isn't without fault. The AI executes advanced tactics such as attacking positions from multiple fronts and probing your base's weaknesses in an effort to exploit them. But KKND's challenge is also due to problems stemming from the game's design. First and foremost, the map scroll rate is too sluggish, making it hard to react to battles happening in various places. Also adding to the frustration is the fact that it seems like the enemy is always one level more technologically advanced, artificially making your opponent tougher by default.
Technically, KKND is slightly above average. The crisp SVGA graphics allow for many units and lots of well-drawn territory to be onscreen, but some of the units could have been drawn and animated much better. The soundtracks are decent and the chirps of your men audibly responding "Alrighty then!" to your commands is funny - for a while. In all, the game would have benefited from a little more polishing.
KKND is a good game, but it doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as WarCraft II or Command & Conquer. The few innovations and solid gameplay make KKND worth purchasing - but only if you've finished the aforementioned games.