Remember that feeling of contentment you got from watching your Settlers go about building up the kingdom? Remember the excitement of micromanaging your peons to amass an army solely to crush your best friend in Warcraft? Your joy at first hearing "Head shot", "Double kill", "Flawless Victory" and "Fatality"? That first time you and a pal climbed into a Warthog and went to town on loads of enemy troops? Itís all here in one form or another in King Arthur, the Role-Playing Wargame. But I donít know that itís right for everyone. Luckily, thereís a demo available (see the end of the review for links)
In King Arthur you obviously take on the role of the fabled king of all Britannia and lead your knights of the round table into battle to reign supreme, fight off the magical enemies and unite the lands bringing peace and prosperity to the island. Sound complex? Well it is. But itís also one of the most accessible wargames Iíve ever played. The only controls Iíve used so far are the mouse, arrow keys, Q and E (to rotate the camera).
The story opens, of course, with you pulling the magical sword from the stone and starting on the path of the Once and Future King. Along the way you must assemble Knights for your Round Table, subdue rival kings with diplomacy or force and stave off the forces of evil that would take control of the lands and enslave its peoples.
Yeah, itís a lot of work. The game features a mixture of elements from role-playing games, real-time and turn-based strategies and is complex without being cumbersome. The major gameplay is broken into the four seasons three of which you can move and attack during and the fourth where you make camp, rest, level up soldiers and knights and manage the affairs of the kingdom (once you achieve a stronghold). Battles play out in real time and instead of controlling individual troops they are gathered into units of up to 40 or 50 troops each. A well-thought-out strategy can see an inferior force (numbers-wise) successfully defeat a larger force. But the smallest mistake can spell disaster for you as well.