Lucky they’re not worrier Kings, or we’d never have any fun.
When we saw Warrior Kings at ECTS there was not much of a game to be seen.
Sure there were loads of pretty models and nice words coming out of the developer’s mouth, but it didn’t have a definite sense of purpose. No definite sense of actually being a game at all.
But given what we have seen then, and since, it looks like Warrior Kings could grow and fruit into something genuinely interesting. The idea is to produce a multi-faceted RTS game based in a medieval fantasy world. It’s a world plagued by demons and evil, as well as guarded by Knights Paladins and the forces of good. This whole world is framed by a huge and ludicrously convoluted world history explaining why you must get militant and attempt to unite the entire world under your .
No surprise there then, but if Black Cactus manage to make the game as tactically rich and competent as something like Shogun, then they’ve got a definite winner on their hands. They’ve certainly taken some influences form that great game too – battlefield success will depend on how you marshal your troops. Competent use of formations is crucial to your success.
The problem might well be however that Black Cactus now have a lot to live up to. Warrior Kings might have seemed fresh and new a few years ago, but now – with the market brimming over with RTS efforts from across the globe – The Black Cactus team will have to work hard to make their game stand out from an increasingly busy crowd.
Warrior Kings revolves mainly around the fortress cities that act as the base from which the protagonists play out their 3D dance of polygonal death. As you can see from these screen there are some visually impressive ideas, good looking – if not particularly unique. And if a game grabs you by the eyeballs, that’s half the battle won. Sadly that’s also the easier half.
There’s nothing particularly unique here, but there’s plenty of stuff here to interest the RTS punter – a wide range of exotic units, from classic medieval siege mechanicals such as the ballista and catapult, through to huge chaos demon-beasts who rampage across the wreaking untold hideousness amongst the forces of good. Not only that but you can use these beasts and contraptions to lay siege to large enemy castles – an event that we’re all very interested to see running in a real game. The possibilities for siege scenarios are huge.
There’s a big management element to the game – health, strength and morale of your troops is going to depend on how well you manage the resources of your budding country. This is bound into how you run your campaign and also which of the three routes you go down. You can follow the holy forces of good, the demonic forces of evil, or become more technologically competent. Each scenario has its advantages and, of course, disadvantages.
All this is set in a whopping great dynamic campaign, which could have any of five possible outcomes, depending on how you play out the game.
It’s tough to see whether Warrior Kings is a going to be a hit or not. The trajectory is there, the ordnance is primed; but now we wait for the bombardier to do his thing – and he could stumble at any time. We’ll see more of Black Cactus’ mammoth project later in the year.
It’s got a funky 3D engine for those huge chaotic battles
There’s loads to think about including a economic engine
There’s going to be extensive multi-player support
A huge dynamic campaign gives it a long life-span
There’s hope for stagnant RTS market after all