King Arthur 2 is a unique hybrid game that combines the elements of an RTS with an RPG,developed by Neocore Games and published by Paradox Interactive. It is the sequel to popular King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame but expands on the original by introducing many new features such as new powerful heroes, more monstrous enemies, much larger maps and additional units that help enhance the possible scenarios and strategies in battle.
Don’t fear though as well as expanding and improving the game, King Arthur 2 keeps some of the features that were favoured by those who took to defending Britannia the first time round such as the morality graph. This shows the path you’re taking in your game depending on your actions, whether you’re shifting towards being lawful because you look to protect your loyal subjects or whether you’re a tyrant and would rather burn a village of innocent people down just to protect yourself from a plague. In addition it also tracks your religious stance between Christian religion and Pagan beliefs. Depending on the route you take in life you get offered different units and abilities while following the Pagan way of the old druid religion you can unlock war beasts and increase the power of your magic, but being offers you heavier armoured troops and a more powerful cavalry, so make sure you think about your options carefully as it could influence the entire way you end up fighting your battles.
Leaving the differences between the new release and its predecessor aside, the game begins with a prologue chapter known as Dead Legions. The story follows the start of the great collapse of the Roman Empire in Britannia, that see’s the rise of King Arthurs greatest adversary come to power, and the prices he pays in order to get there. Take the adventure to uncover the mysteries of Hadrian’s Wall and venture into the mists of the underworld to find the legendary ghost legions of Rome and rise to glory in a world of darkness.
Succeeding that, the main story of King Arthur 2 begins and is unlike any other story told about the legendary King. It’s not about a great man who pulled a sword from a stone, who gathered the most noble of knights at the round table, or who united the lands of Britannia to bring peace and prosperity to all. Instead it is the tale of a maimed King whose once glorious kingdom is no more, with his knights dispersed and turning on each other, his former realms under new rule of kings of which some aren’t even men, and monstrous enemies and rebellious gangs roaming the land, it lies to you to take back what is rightfully yours and save Britannia again.
This is a great game the quests are well-written and allow you to choose from a wide variety of options that lead to numerous different outcomes, and for those of you who don’t like reading too much each quest has a voiceover leaving you to use your imagination while listening to the many voices of the characters in the game. The battles are great too and where many have compared it to the Total War series it feels more balanced and better constructed. The battle map starts with organising your armies, you can lay a trap and hide your archers in the woods from advancing armies only to fill the sky with arrows and cast a shadow over them; and set out the formation of different troops to combat your enemies moves, whether you scatter them to make them harder targets for enemy archers or encircle them so they can be ready from an attack at all sides the game offers so much. When the battle begins you can capture special locations that offer special bonuses such as the Lightning Bolt and Crystal Shards spells that cause damage to enemies. One great thing about the battles as well is that you can break enemy spells and diminish the damage done by enemies with the ability to boost your shields against magic.
As for bad points about the game the tutorials could use a little more work as they don’t tend to provide sufficient knowledge required for those who are picking this game up before playing the first in the series. However for people who have played the first game this new addition will be very rewarding and enjoyable to play. Another downfall is that it doesn’t automatically detect the optimal settings for your computer, although I could play it in the highest detail available at certain points it did lag a little and I had to go to the settings and customise it myself to run smoothly without a glitch. The last minor problem I have with the game is something that is missing that I love about most over RTS and RPG games, and that is an online multiplayer option. I always enjoy playing these games online proving I’m better than others at building armies, commanding them and tearing my enemy apart but unfortunately this game only offers the single player storyline which although is good let the game down for me.
Overall I’d say King Arthur 2 is certainly not for everyone, but I myself enjoyed this game. If you have played the first instalment or take the time to learn the ropes as a newcomer it’s rewarding and enjoyable. The story is well written, and the uniqueness of combining the RTS and RPG elements is great and has a lot of potential to go far however as a 2nd instalment in a series it leaves me thinking it could have done more and been more adventurous. In addition the lack of a multiplayer experience in this game has ruined it for me somewhat; but don’t let that deter you from buying it if you enjoyed playing the first King Arthur game or playing games to just to follow the single player story.
Minimum system requirements:
• Operating system: 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
• Sound card: DirectX 9c compliant sound card
• DirectX®: 9.0c or higher
• Additional: Nvidia (AGEIA) PhysX
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.