King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame (Review) PC

King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame (Review) PC
Review Score:

King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame by Paradox Interactive is finally available. This long-awaited sequel to King Arthur: Fallen Champions is a role-playing/strategy simulation that has you commanding King Arthur’s army as you battle evil and rival factions.

King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame is a living world that can easily immerse you. Each turn you take while playing will represent a session; this means you must plan your attacks and moves accordingly. You can only travel during spring and summer because winter is used for building up your resources and training

Everything you do in King Arthur II affects the world. Your fate is ultimately decided by the decisions you make during the course of gameplay. Siding with one faction over the other – or working with a certain king or queen – will cause your standing to either increase or decrease depending on what you choose. Everything depends on the kind of ruler you want to be.

There are countless mercenaries, creatures, and demons that can be recruited into your army for battle. Who you help, and who you align with, will decide the alliances and friends your kingdom will gain during the course of each campaign. There are branching paths that can change the course of gameplay, giving King Arthur II plenty of replay value.

Aside from controlling large armies on enormous battlefields, you can also use heroic spells that can crush enemy units in a single blow. Each spell requires a certain amount of mana to be used, so planning your attacks around these spells requires a good strategy. Your mana will rejuvenate over time, but knowing when to use  a heroic spell can sway the battle one way or another.

King Arthur II’s world is so large, it is impossible to cover everything in a single review. It’s the smaller details that stand out the most, like some of the features in the combat system. The ability to hide your units inside a forest to ambush the enemy is just one of many small features that comprise the bigger package.

Another great feature is that certain units can have their own unique special abilities that can help aid you in battle. You can also trample your enemies if you happen to have cavalry units in your army. This adds to the game’s realism that you don’t find often in these type of games.

Also, while in combat, there are locations that are scattered throughout the battlefield called victory locations. These locations are like capturing the flag if you will. The army that holds the VL (Victory Locations) is the one that will be granted special buffs or magic abilities based on the location captured.

Every time you complete quests or even quests based on the story, you earn gold or even gear for your main character, William Pendragon. Later on, you can enchant items that are based loosely from the gear you equip. Enchanting (or combining) items requires artifacts that are gained from quests/missions. Two different artifacts are needed for the combining process, which will result in a new item.  This process is random; the item created will be different each time the feature is used.

Aside from making artifacts, you can also research new units, structures, and many other features during the building phase as the season reaches winter. As mentioned earlier, you cannot fight during winter. The winter season is for upgrading, leveling, building, and training your armies.

The winter season can also be used to spend unused skill and talent points. There are multiple talent trees to spend your skill points in; these skills range from attack magic to support buffs. The Morality Tree happens to be one of the most impressive features in the game. Here you will see the additional buffs and skills based on your attacks. If you perform actions that are considered morally wrong, you will gain tyrant points that will grant different skills and specials.

Your first fight on the battlefield is mind-blowing. Everything appears to be rendered in real-time, meaning you can see the buildings and structures that are around you. Before each battle, there is a stunning flyby of the battlefield from a first-person perspective. This feature can be skipped, but I find that it helps to plan your attacks and to see where the enemy is located.

Once in battle, you have full control over the camera. It is possible to get as close or as far away from the battle as desired. I enjoy zooming in on my units and getting into the thick of things. The detail on the soldiers as they hack and slash their way to victory is simply breathtaking. If only there was a feature that locked on to your units during battle, especially while zoomed in.  The free-roaming camera controls are perfect, but sometimes you want to follow the action without having to actually ‘follow it’.  Hopefully, Paradox Interactive will consider this feature in a future update.

King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame requires a fairly decent gaming rig to function at peak performance, but don’t let that scare you. There are multiple settings to customize the graphics. These settings allow you to tweak the screen resolution, the in-game shadows, and even the amount of anti-aliasing seen on-screen. Everything in King Arthur II is customizable, so gamers with lower-end rigs can still run the game with favorable performance.

Plus, there are multiple presets available for people that do not feel comfortable with customizing the settings themselves. These presets are simple and self-explanatory, and they are labeled as low, medium, high and very high. The presets can be customized too.

Paradox Interactive made it very easy to find the right settings for your computer; they’re just a click away. This allows you to spend less time customizing and more time enjoying the game.
If you are ready for a strategy game that is innovative and stands out above all others in the genre, King Arthur II is the strategy game that you have been waiting for. The role-playing elements take the game to an entirely new level, allowing it to create a fresh, invigorating experience.

King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame is now available at major retail sites like GamersGate and Steam.  I would like to see King Arthur II, or even something similar, released on console systems.  Since this genre is underdeveloped on console systems, releasing it on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 would be a great idea. Plus, it would be a killer port.

James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform:
PC

System Requirements:
OS:
Windows XP with SP3; Windows Vista with SP2; Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo (2 GHz) or equivalent AMD CPU
Memory: 1.5 GB RAM (XP) or 2 GB RAM (Vista, Win7)
Hard Disk Space: 16 GB
Video Card: ATI 3850 512MB; Nvidia 8800GT 512MB
DirectX®: 9.0c or higher
Sound: DirectX 9c compliant sound card
Additional: Nvidia (AGEIA) PhysX

Developer: Paradox Interactive
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $39.99

Paradox Interactive’s Website

Review Score
Graphics
The level of detail that was put into King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame is nothing short of amazing. You can even see the motion of the trees as they blow in the wind, and the light reflecting off the branches.
Sound
The narration is top-notch with wonderful voice acting.
Gameplay
One of the easiest strategy games to pick up and play. The learning curve isn’t as steep as you might think. There are plenty of tutorials to help you understand the basic concept, but King Arthur II is not a hard game to play by any means. With multiple difficulty settings to choose from, you shouldn’t have any problems finding your comfort level.
Overall
King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame is one of the most involving strategy/role-playing games available on PC. Everything is very straightforward; King Arthur II eases you into the game at a very steady pace. Unlike some strategy games, you never feel confused or overwhelmed.
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