Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades is developed by Unicorn Games Studio and published by 1C Company. All the Real Warfare titles have been an excellent way to pass the time of day. With the excellent tactical Real Time Strategies that have paid great attention to detail; they provide hours of fun and entertaining challenges. Real Warfare 2 Northern Crusades is no exception, with the developers providing a decent challenge that will compare against other favourable games in this genre.
Like many war games, Real Warfare is historical base; this particular instalment is set during the 13th century. Whilst in command of the Teutonic Knights you endeavour to drive out the Baltic peoples from Prussia. From the launch you have been evacuated into a frosty wasteland and are seeking to make good by participating in an oppressive holy war.
A lot of you will probably be comparing Real Warfare 2 with Real Warfare 1242, which was released back in 2010. If you have played Real Warfare 1242 then you will see that the developers listened to the player base and learned. The first game was little more than tactical battles connected by an over-arching narrative, this time around though they have made it a lot more free form with the inclusion of a campaign map.
The main storyline deals with the iconic Teutonic Order and how they waged a war against the Baltic peoples of Prussia. With the RPG elements of the game you will take the main role as a disgraced Knight, straight from the Holy Lands and stoning for his sins by serving the order in their new campaign of conquest. Your whole force is represented by your mounted knight avatar, who is free to journey across the map; dealing with enemy forces in search of campaign missions, whilst constantly invading anything and everything that is in you path. If you can successfully invade towns, castles or sleepy villages this will get you some XP and revenue in the form of merchandise that can be redistributed to enhance your overall economy.
This is one of Northern Crusades successes as it gets rid of most of the bookkeeping that can be expected, boasting easy to understand terms that make handling your assets simple with no evil menus in sight. Even though you are able to move around the map easily, choosing tasks of your choice does come across as a little prejudiced towards the campaign-centric missions. It seems to offer you a superior reward in terms of loot and XP compared to the rewards you can find during exploration. This is a good way to encourage players to experience the game as it’s meant to be played but can also be seen as punishing for the players who will choose to make their own path through the game.
The battle system does allow for much more creativity. Your units will have a staggering amount of attributes that will affect their performance, abilities and even their personalities. An example of this is that they will have the ability to decide to act independently or just stand idly until you give an order. You are able to upgrade everything using the XP that you gain through victories.
I found myself completely overwhelmed whilst watching my first ever battle due to the extreme post-processing levels and firm animation of the clashing units that the game engine churns out. While face melting bloom and HDR look pleasant on paper, I simply found myself becoming easily unfocused and decided it was best to turn it off if I wanted to get anything done.
Overall, Real Warfare 2 delivers a refreshing and crisp experience to gamers by incorporating a mixture of questing, RPG elements, tactical combat and trading. At a first glance it may come across as another Total War knock-off, but by adding the commerce and unit management it makes this stand out from the rest. This game will provide countless hours of game play between the questing and exploration modes.
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.