Total Annihilation: Kingdoms was the anticipated second installment of the Total Annihilation franchise. Although the game was neither a prequel nor a sequel to the original Total Annihilation game, comparisons between the two games were inevitable. There were numerous thematic and design differences between Total Annihilation and Total Annihilation: Kingdoms.
A more in-depth storyline, told with cutscenes between missions just as Total Annihilation had, but with more detail.
A change from a futuristic setting to a fantasy setting.
Four sibling monarchs struggle for domination of the land of Darien: Elsin of Aramon, Kirenna of Veruna, Thirsha of Zhon and Lokken of Taros, following the disappearance of their father, Garacaius.
Simplified resource-management, with just one resource(mana) instead of two(metal, energy).
Four sides at the start, as opposed to the original's two, with an expansion pack that added in a fifth.
While the original Total Annihilation had players playing through the Core or Arm campaigns separately, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms switched between the four groups, players playing each side, as the levels progressed.
Unlike the original Total Annihilation which had most of the units on its two factions virtually the same, other than in appearance, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms had very distinct characteristics between factions.