Kings Bounty: Armored Princess Impressions
In Armored Princess the hero has changed from a male to a female character. Apparently, there were quite a number of requests to have a female character in the game and so they picked an NPC from the first game - Princess Amelie - who was only a child at the time of Kings Bounty: The Legend. Now, many years later, she has grown into a woman that has been tutored and mentored by Bill Gilbert, the lead character in the original game. But the kingdom is in trouble and Bill Gilbert is nowhere to be found, so Princess Amelie saddles up her horse and goes on a quest to find him - and the kingdom in the process.
The interface of Armored Princess resembles the interface of the original game so players who played that should feel right at home. There still are 3 skill trees, but with some new skills and a different way of progressing through the trees. Some of the spells are new, though, like the spell to shapeshift your opponent into a sheep.
There are even more interesting changes - like you not having a wife anymore, which makes sense as you play a female hero. But Princesses don't carry too much themselves, so Amelie gets to choose a boyfriend of her liking. The boyfriend carries all the heavy stuff, such as armor and weapons and you get to choose from more than one possible boyfriend in the game. If you happen to find one that suits you better than the one you have now, you just replace him. And as you are not officially married in the game, you don't lose half of your assets when you dump your boyfriend. He does, however, take the equipment you gave him to wear with him when he wanders off, so you better strip him first before saying goodbye.
Next to the already known races a new race of lizards has been added, which you not only get to fight, but that can also join your army. However, the most important change in my opinion is that you no longer have the four Spirits of Rage. They were in a box and that box disappeared when Bill Gilbert did. Instead of them, you will have a pet dragon that you can get by going to a dragon farm where you select your own pet dragon (that looks like Stitch) to accompany you. There are different dragons with different colors and each of them has somewhat different characteristics, but they all start at the same low level as princess Amelie. The dragon also has fewer skills than the four spirits; nine compared to sixteen, but like the Sprits of Rage the pet dragon can only take action when it has enough rage points. Once it has done its trick, the dragon goes to sleep at the edge of the battlefield for two turns. Instead of casting a spell the dragon can also fly over to a chest on the battlefield, if there is any, and collect the loot in it for you.
The original Kings Bounty already had quite some hours of gameplay and this sequel is apparently pretty big as well. You start in the same area as Kings Bounty from where you quickly move to areas you have not visited before, by means of portals or a boat...the new game world is not one big area but consists of different islands, instead. The game should offer at least 30 to 40 hours of gameplay. More, if all the side quests are done as well.
Combat has not changed much compared to the original. You still end up on the battlefield with the hexagonal grid to fight the army of your opponent. However, you can deploy your units now before the battle starts, giving you a possible strategic advantage. This is an ability that you will acquire later on in the game; in the beginning your troops are still deployed for you, just like in Kings Bounty: The Legend.
One of the complaints in Kings Bounty: The Legend was that you had to fight each and everyone, even if they were a lot weaker than you. They've solved this by making enemies run away if they see you are too powerful for them - although you can try and catch them if you like, in case you want to fight them anyway.
Also new are the super bosses that are very different from the other enemies you will encounter. For starters, they are big and they scare the living daylights out of the pet dragon resulting in its refusal to participate in the fight. There are five super bosses: the giant toad Dersu-Kumatu; the steam-powered Driller; Zilgadis the mage; the lizard lord Ktahu; and the great arch-demon Baal. These bosses are very hard to kill but they do have weaknesses. It is up to you to find out what they are so you have a chance in destroying them.
When you are at 3/4th of the game your horse can grow wings, allowing you to fly to a new location to speed things up and avoid battles you are not strong enough for. This makes things interesting as it reduces a lot of footwork, and flying is fun anyway. Unfortunately it is not possible to travel to a different island. You still have to go through a portal or use a boat to do that. You also don't have to stay on your horse forever. When you are in an underground location you get to walk, instead of riding your horse.
Kings Bounty: Armored Princess borrows much from its predecessor, which is not that bad as there was a lot of good stuff in Kings Bounty: The Legend. If you played that you will feel right at home when playing Armored Princess. I do hope the dragon works as well - or maybe even better than the four spirits. The English speaking community has to wait for the release currently scheduled for the end of the year. The Russians can already play the game and hearsay has it that it was received very positively by them, which is good as there aren't that many good turn-based RPGs out there. In the meantime, the installation of the press demo of Armored Princess has finished so I’m off playing.
Information aboutKing's Bounty: Armored Princess
Developer: Katauri Interactive
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-11-20
· Publisher: 1C Company