We turn back time to a medieval realm of humans, orcs, and elves who just can’t seem to live in harmony… or even neutrality. Throw in a corpses-turn-to-zombies mechanic with a little city-building, strategic card game playing, and a crafting system, and the result is Kingdom Wars 2: Battles.
Kingdom Wars 2: Battles Concept
Kingdom Wars 2: Battles is a fantasy real-time Strategy game, combining an element of Zombie survival and long term crafting with complex fast-paced city-building and siege combat. This all takes place in a beautiful, but somewhat bloody world where players can fight in multiplayer and coop matches with thousands of other players. The game also contains an episodic singleplayer campaign bringing the storytelling, countless battles and adventures we know and love. New Episodes will be released and added to the singleplayer campaign as a free expansion pack every few months, according to Reverie World Studios and TapStar Interactive, the powers that bring us Kingdom Wars 2: Battles.
Featuring three distinct races: Humans, Orcs and Elves – KW2:B offers players three unique was to play the game, and every aspect of each race feels very unique – from economy, to base building, unit roles and tactics. Humans remind me of the Warcraft British, Scottish, Irish, and other “ish” humans. The Orcs automatically and continuously spawn units, presuming the player has enough supply available, and I can’t help but notice their filthy mouths (did he really just say “f[you know what] me?!”). And the Elves are tree-hugging beings of mother nature, tapping into all the glory and love that her powerful living Treants can give.
Key Features in Kingdom Wars 2: Battles
- Episodic Singleplayer Campaign – Providing hours of engaging cinematic narrative, and original gameplay, campaign tells the story of the three great races, trying to survive in a world engulfed by total war. Each new episode will continue both the singleplayer and multiplayer story-arcs as well as introduce new races and locations.
- Stunning Siege Combat – Ram the enemy gates, scale the walls with ladders and siege towers, and unleash trebuchet bombardments, while building your own strongholds and citadels protected by boiling oil and wall-mounted catapults.
- Complex Crafting System – With over two hundred combinations, from dozens of components from blueprints and materials to legendary items and relics. Crafting is tied into every aspect of the game, from crafting new deadly siege weapons and buildings, to creating new game cards, or researching new industrial technologies.
- MMO Community Environment – Make friends, join guilds and alliances, master player driven crafting economy, engage friends in coop and challenges, or compete to become the ultimate warrior in progressive player ranking and tournaments.
- Skirmish Gameplay – With free base building, intricate stronghold design, realistic siege combat, complex economic model, and dozens of units – players can craft the ultimate playing style – from numerous rushing opportunities, to a defensive play-style, that can still bring victory.
- Long term tech-tree progression – As players fights across the battlefields, their avatar level ups unlocking various crafting combination to create one of many game cards.
- Strategic Card Game – Players can build endless combinations of playable card decks that they acquire through crafting. During multiplayer battles players will pit their decks against each other to try and turn the tide of a battle.
Overall Pros and Cons:
The Good –
The game’s environment and story mode are both beautiful pieces of art, while offering at least decent realtime strategy gameplay. The Orcs are absolutely delightful, for me, as it seems the teams at Reverie World Studios and TapStar Interactive have really captured what it means to be a snortin’ bloodthirsty orc. I also applaud the dev team for quickly implementing updates to the game based on what the majority of the community of players wanted. The “World Chat” system is also nice for those who are into finding new players to join up with; whether you are in the main menu, campaign, singleplayer or multiplayer, you’ll always able to speak with everyone else currently online.
The Bad –
This is a game I really want to like, being a diehard fan of RTS games like Warcraft and Starcraft, but I ultimately end up comparing all other RTS games to Blizzard’s masterpieces; in this respect, Kingdom Wars 2: Battles will lose in nearly every category. The graphics are on-par or worse than Warcraft 3 (my favorite Warcraft of all), but WC3 came out over a decade ago. There are times where the units in KW2:B seem hard to control and it is hard to understand what exactly they’re doing at any given time, so the responsiveness of units could certainly use a bit of fine-tuning. As a matter of personal opinion and taste, I’d also prefer that the game have a bit larger text when you hover over a unit or building’s description. I often found myself leaning in and almost squinting during high-pressure situations that needed my attention, just trying to read and learn what a unit/building does. While many of Blizzard’s RTS games that I mentioned do not have a card-playing element or crafting system, these actually might be superfluous elements of a game like Kingdom Wars 2: Battles. Perhaps more focus should have been on the core realtime strategy gameplay element, and then put any remaining efforts into the other features; sometimes doing one or two things really well can be better than doing five or more things only adequately.
Score: 6 out of 10
Kingdom Wars 2: Battles is available now on Steam, for $29.99 USD on Windows PC. A press code was given for the purposes of this review.