Of Kings and Men is an Early Access Medieval Third Person Action game developed by Donkey Crew and published by Green Man Gaming Publishing. The game is intended as a battle simulator with elements of Strategy and RPG mixed in. As it is in Early Access the game is going to have some bugs and some content will be missing but naturally as development progresses these issues should be ironed out. The game has been in Early Access since 25th August and is being made by the same people that made the cRPG mod for Mount and Blade Warband.
*Disclaimer* This game is in very early access and everything mentioned here is subject to change and may not necessarily represent the final product. Any bugs present in the game may or may not be fixed by the time of release.
Of Kings and Men’s goal is to be a game that sets itself apart from other Medieval Action games by allowing you to mould the world around you in The Epic. Although not fully implemented yet, when finished it will give players a vast world to populate. Players will construct outposts and little villages that will overtime evolve and upgrade into towns or castles if you have the resources and manpower to build and hold them for the glory of your faction. Of course, you’ll have to protect them from enemy factions. War will also affect the world, fighting battles in the game will earn you and your faction cash, rewarding you for bullying your neighbours into submission. When completely finished you’ll be able to trade, raid, siege, hire, diplomacise and fight your way to the top of the food chain. Either in the Feudal Hierarchy of your friends or the world. I imagine it being similar to The Elder Scrolls Online’s PvP only players will build forts themselves and form their own alliances/allegiances thus immersing them further into the world as it is them who are creating it. Each player has a character progression which allows them to level up as they play, introducing the RPG elements into Of Kings and Men, something that outside of the mod the team developed for Mount and Blade hasn’t really been implemented into action games of this genre, especially not in an evolving open world. This is the exciting innovation Of Kings and Men is poised to give us.
As of this moment, this feature has not been implemented into the game. In the meanwhile Of Kings and Men does however have a multiplayer to show off it’s combat and levelling systems. Battles can be up to 200 players at once which at times can make it quite a cluster of death and slicing and please god no don’t hurt me. Players can use all manner of weapons at their disposal to destroy their enemies; polearms, spears, swords, shields, axes, maces, bows, crossbows, you name it. The combat is much like Mount and Blade as you would expect, so if you’ve played games similar to it before this should be a walk in the park. For the rest of us who haven’t played these sorts of games before (myself included) there is a bit of a learning curve but you will get used to it after a few hours of gameplay. There is also a levelling system which at the moment allows you to level up your character by adding to and re-specing your skills to make you swing quicker, run faster, hit harder and take more damage. Multiplayer is divided into three modes, Team Deathmatch, Instant Battle and Conquest. Team Deathmatch is exactly what you would expect it to be, two teams battle it out and each player has one life. Keep going until one team is utterly decimated. Instant Battle is similar only round based and each team who wins a round wins a point. Conquest is a King of the Hill style game mode where each team must capture points of the map. The team with the largest percentage of the points wins. I would also like to mention that the game has excellent theme music, it’s by far one of the best things about it. There is no way you cannot fall in love with the music as you open the menu. Paired with the background art the menu certainly gives you a good first impression for the epicness of the game.
The developers are very transparent with the development of the game. They have a discord server where you can talk directly to the devs as well as the rest of the community, their website and the game’s page on steam has a detailed roadmap of what the developers have and where they want to go with the game and they also have a team email address if you’re into that sort of thing.
At the time of writing the game is very early into it’s early access, having only been released 3 months ago and as such much of the game is more concept than feature. However the devs are releasing updates regularly including hotfixes and there should be another update out sometime before Christmas. Things to be expected from the game soon include; practicing combat against bots, perks and further development in the character progression system. There’s lots yet to be added in but if the developers live up to their promises and the game lives up to it’s potential you can be sure that Of Kings and Men will be a tale for the ages.