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Default King Arthur 2 - Mini Review

January 9th, 2012, 04:18
I want to state first that I am a terrible reviewer. I don't know how to balance the good and the bad, and sometimes I over-exaggerate the issues I face. But please, do tell me where I'm wrong. I really want to know why my heart isn't burning with desire to play this game.

Perhaps it's because I am no longer King Arthur?


This is basically the gist of the opening slides: King Arthur successfully reunited the southern Britain. Romans in the north is getting beat down by barbarian hordes. You are Septimus, you lost a battle, the horde now broke through Hadrian's Wall. Now win it back.

Why am I not King Arthur? This is something that disconnected me from the whole game premise. No more Sir Kay, no more Sir Gareth. It's all Septimus. And other latin names I have to re-learn. Oboroohgawdiamgonnacum.

Am I willing to forgive the game for that? I don't think so. It's a stupid reason, but I can't overcome that barrier. Now, on to the good. (or bad)

Heroes abilities are revamped.


Skill picks are slightly toned down this time. Heroes no longer have bonus skill pools that they can pick. Probably to balance the game slightly better, cause I remember unique heroes like Sir Balin, the Champion with Dragon's Breath is imbalanced. I have no complaints. Except for the UI not being clear enough how to confirm or deselect my choices. Also, the text font is kinda small for such a crucial pick. This is a permanent choice that may affect how the game is played - why is it so hard to read?

Do you know why some prints are made fine in contracts?
I think it's to make it difficult to read, trapping the signer with conditions and clauses he isn't aware of at the time of signing.
Why would you want to do that to skill descriptions?

Moving on, nothing changes with the unit skills and advancement. Stamina is replaced with…Will to Fight.


Research trees


The research mechanics are changed. You need to increase Lore to unlock new research options. Lores aren't spent. It simply is a minimum level you must reach before the option is available. Once it's available. You spend gold and wait for it to complete.

To be honest, I did not delve enough to see if techs actually made a noticeable difference, but yes, unit improvement options are tied to research level.

If you look at the bottom of the screen-cap above, there's Blackcarts - Trader. This is a 'location.' In King Arthur 2, you control locations - and they give upgrade options. The trader sells artifacts - upgrade his shop and he might expand his selection or reset his artifacts more often. Other locations include your own castle - as well as village of spearmen, village of archers, village of cavalry, and village of .. you get the idea.

Is everything incline or decline so far? I am not sure. I am cold. But here's what makes me warm inside. Slightly. It tingles.

The Quest


A wide array of choices are available to the player when they undertake quests. Battle - Adventure etc. Pay attention to the I , II and III tabs. I don't know why the devs did not name it better. But tab I gives another set of choices that relates to Good morality. Tab II (what the above screencap shows) gives Tyrant options. Tab III is mostly alternate means with no morality attached or other political gains/loss you can get out of the quest. (Shown below)



Battle

The addition of flying creatures adds a new dimension of threat to warfare. Just like cliffracers of Morrowind. These guys are annoying as hell and has no terrain penalty. Capping points and homing in on archers with quick effeciency.



Other than new skill sets and spell resist & penetration mechanics. Not much has changed. Spells are no longer 100% guaranteed to work. Armies have a level of magic shield that must be whittled down before spells can affect them. Reduction or increase of magic shield can be gained either from captured special locations in the battlefield or sacrificing your unit lives.

Is this game still pretty good looking? Well, yes.



But do you play the game with that sort of perspective? No. This is what you'll see most of the time:



And I have a niggling annoyance in this game - I can't tell units apart from a glance.



The banners are just too small. I have the option of selecting it from the army bar at the bottom. But really, it shouldn't be the case. It ends up being a RTwP battle cause I had to constantly double check what is the army being attacked at the moment or the location of the archer I just selected. That, or zoom in or mouseover. Those alternatives aren't as pleasing (to me, at least) compared to just having a bigger banner with icon over the unit.

Conclusion: I'm stupid. A very stupid man who likes to dig tunnels to hell and mine stuff.

This game has improved upon the original.
Tweaked the balance, letting the army do the work instead of heroes being Kal-El.
Has amazing soundtrack that I listen to while writing this review.
And great production values and art.

I shouldn't be too harsh.
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