Warrior Kings
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 0
Date 2002-07-02
Publisher Microids
Date 2002-03-01
Publisher Microids
North America Retail Box ArtCombining real-time strategic action with the character development of your average role-playing experience seems to be the Holy Grail of strategy gaming. Previous attempts at the "role playing strategy" genre have fallen woefully short of the mark, but Warrior Kings is meeting this challenge full-on and in glorious Technicolor. You might be forgiven for dismissing Black Cactus's magnum opus as just another mediaeval Age of Empires clone--forgiven, but wrong. Firstly it looks stunning. This is probably the best-looking RTS out there and is genuinely 3-D. The models, the backgrounds and the terrain are all beautifully rendered and even if you like to play your strategy games from a distanced, isometric standpoint (a la Shogun) you will want to get in to the fray just to see the characters inhabiting your world, close up. Graphics aside, it is the gameplay that really raises this out of strategy-simulacra obscurity. Essentially mission-based, there are three different factions to choose from, but you don't pick a side from the outset. You begin as a neutral duke trying to reunite the land, and the decisions that you make will determine your eventual alignment. There is resource management and there are peasants to build up your economy; there are objectives, some compulsory, others optional; and there is character development, in that your young hot-headed hero Artos will grow with the game. But the main course of Warrior Kings is more militaristic fare. This is a war game. Terrain and formation play an important part in your tactics. Remember Agincourt, five bow men can take out an army of slow moving infantry if they have the advantage of elevation, a cavalry charge will fall to pikemen and archers won't outrun your mounted units. Your army will also gain experience depending on how successful they are. If they make a stand and win, their morale and prowess increases and this experience is shared across the group. This only touches the surface of what kind of RTS experience is available in Warrior Kings. There are minor annoyances, it has a steep learning curve, for example, and those who don't like war gaming will balk at the amount of military strategy and thinking required, but they would be missing out on an excellent and challenging real-time experience with a rich and engrossing cinematic story line that is truly deserving of the title epic. RTS doesn't get much better than this.--Kristen Bowditch

- Real-time strategy game set in complex fantasy world
- Breathtaking 3-D graphics
- Multiple possible game paths
- 22 extraordinary levels made up of over 80 unique quests
- For one player
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