KKND Xtreme Review

The improvements prove to be nothing more than a cheap face-lift of a rapidly aging game.

When Krush Kill 'N Destroy arrived nearly a year ago, it was a passable entry in the real-time strategy genre. Although the game won over some hard-core supporters, it left much to be desired. It isn't a true sequel (KKND 2 is currently under development); rather Melbourne House's KKND Xtreme is a stand-alone game that fixes some of the original's shortcomings. Unfortunately, its improvements prove to be nothing more than a cheap face-lift of a rapidly aging game.

KKND was a decent clone that attempted to capitalize on the resurgent real-time strategy genre fueled by WarCraft II and Command & Conquer. It borrowed and repackaged elements from each game, and then dropped them into a postapocalyptic setting similar to something found in a Mad Max movie. Not coincidentally, the resource drastically sought by both factions in the war is, you guessed it, oil. These two sides are known as the Survivor Army and the Evolved Warriors. The Survivor Army is a humanoid race whose units consist of riflemen, flamethrowers, sappers, 4X4 pickups, and tanks. The Evolved Warriors are much more interesting and grotesque. Their forces are composed of organic mutations melded with technology. Missile-firing crabs, acid-spitting scorpions, gun turrets mounted on elephants, and bombardier beetles are just some of the weird weapons the Evolved Warriors employ. It's too bad that some of these oddities weren't better drawn and animated.

Although Melbourne House excelled at creating a very twisted battlefield, KKND's gameplay was still unimaginative (read the KKND review on this site for more elaboration). Once the novelty of attacking tanks with mutated bugs and elephants wore off, KKND's regurgitated gameplay became stale. To be fair, there were a few noteworthy features such as its detailed map terrain, utilization of "veteran" units, and above-average computer intelligence that made it worth playing.

Instead of trying to significantly improve the game in an effort to keep up with fierce competition, KKND Xtreme offers few improvements. The main additions consist of a Skirmish "KAOS" Mode (allows you to practice against the computer in a multiplayer environment) that should have been included in the original game and a new batch of 20 difficult single-player levels. There are other finer adjustments such as a slightly improved user interface, six-player network support (used to be four), and a smarter computer opponent (despite this AI upgrade, my old tactics seem to work pretty well). And for those not looking for a challenge, a strategy guide is provided. These rudimentary upgrades do little to freshen up KKND, a game that is showing its age when compared to great new titles in the genre such as Dark Reign and Total Annihilation. Because the bar has been raised since KKND first arrived, KKND Xtreme deserves a lower score although it is a slightly improved version of the same game.

With so many excellent real-time strategy games on the market, there really is no room for worn-out, repackaged games such as KKND Xtreme. Even if you're a hard-core fan of the game, I suggest you skip this extremely lackluster follow-up and scour the Internet to find some single-player maps to tide you over until the real sequel arrives.

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KKND Xtreme More Info

  • First Released Oct 31, 1997
    • PC
    The improvements prove to be nothing more than a cheap face-lift of a rapidly aging game.
    Average Rating64 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Beam Software
    Published by:
    Melbourne House, ASCII Entertainment
    Strategy, Real-Time
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.