E3 2002: Celtic Kings: Rage of War preshow report

This fantasy-themed real-time strategy game will be on display at this year's E3.

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Strategy First's upcoming PC real-time strategy game Celtic Kings: Rage of War will be on hand at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Celtic Kings will be a fantasy-themed real-time strategy game loosely based on ancient European history.

Celtic Kings is based on the conflict between Gaul (the area of northwestern Europe now known as France) and Rome that took place in 52 BC. The game will feature four powerful factions: the Gallic armies of Vercingetorix, Caesar's Roman forces, the Teutonic barbarian tribes, and the mystical druids, a small circle of mysterious individuals who possess magic strong enough to defeat an entire army.

You will be able to play as either the Gauls or the Romans. The Gauls will be a group of fierce warriors who compensate for their lack of military technology and polish with enthusiasm and sheer numbers. The Gauls will be allies with the druids and may be able to call upon their sorcerous aid in times of need. The Romans, on the other hand, will be a highly organized group of individuals, at least in comparison. The rigid structure of their fealty to their own parthenon of gods and of their developing political regime will be reflected in their organized battle tactics. Both sides will have hero units that will lead their armies.

The game will actually have two modes of play: a traditional strategic mode, which will resemble a conventional real-time strategy game, and an adventure mode, in which you will control a small band of heroes and perform specific missions. Developer Haemimont Games, the creator of Tzar: Burden of the Crown, is attempting to include role-playing and adventure elements in this mode as well.

Celtic Kings will feature high-resolution 2D graphics, multiplayer options for up to eight players, and scalable difficulty levels. The developer wishes to make the game as accessible as possible but will also have map editors and a random scenario generator for more-experienced players. The game is currently scheduled for release this July. We'll have more information at the show.

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