Lionheart: Kings` Crusade Review (PC)
Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Oct 08, 2010 04:57
Contest Winners are: Morboth, mvjlc, Arakash, alee and Gloin22! All were randomly drawn by News Girl (she always looks confused when we have her do that).
King Richard never conquered Jerusalem on his crusade, but you will. That is where the game begins. First I took a quick tour through the tutorial even though I had already played King Arthur and had seen Lionheart Kings’ Crusade at GamesCom. The battle system is very similar with but has multiple phases including pre-battle deployment (in some situations) and this time, military engineering for siege and defensive equipment. I was also familiar with the interface, I just really wanted to see how well the tutorial did to explain it all and I have to say even a novice should pick up the game fairly quickly. The controls are pretty easy and they do a great job of explaining everything.
The Crusaders in Lionheart
There are some variations in Lionheart from the game mechanics of King Arthur. Each of four factions, The French King, Templars, Papal Court and Holy Roman Empire, support the Crusades with troops and bonuses. In each of the 16 campaign missions you are forced to decide whose interests you will serve. Doing so gains you particular benefits as well as Fame points with the faction. Fame points in turn unlock special units, abilities and bonuses.
- The French King - Heavily Calvary focused
- Templars - Economic upgrades and heroes
- Papal Court - More easily recruit units, higher Morale, special characters
- Holy Roman Empire - Strong infantry units, infantry-related upgrades
Oddly, none of them support strong archers which are really one of those most useful units in any campaign as they offer ranged support and the ability to knock down enemies before they even reach your front lines.
Along with the factional support structure you can also assign special items to your units. These include upgraded (unique and masterwork) weapons, armor and potions. You can also assign a captain (effective in melee), healer (restore 30% of fallen soldiers).
The Saracen in Lionheart
On the other side of the battle are the Saracen, led by the famous Saladin. There are no factions here as they are united in their cause to free their lands of the Crusading invaders. In place of factional appeasement for access to new units and abilities you have a tech three with three branches. This represents the scholarly-foundation of the civilization and so you invest points and Ducats into specific research to unlock its benefits. There are three branches, feats which are abilities for your leader, news units and general which are a range of updates.
As opposed to the Crusaders who begin in Jerusalem, the Saracen campaign takes place after the Crusaders campaign and you begin with a night strike in Baghdad to free it from the recently victorious invaders. Once that is complete you are then able to begin the push west to take back your lands.
The Saracen campaign is more of an advanced campaign so it is more difficult and there are no ’easy’ battles. You still have the same five choices for difficulty, but where there were some simple, quick options in the Crusader campaign, the best you can hope for is a medium difficulty battle as the Saracen.
Also missing are the Venetian money lenders and so you must make do with what you have. This does give a more guerrilla feel to the campaign as you can, along the way, enlist the aid of local rebels to help in your missions. The rewards are higher in many missions from a Ducat standpoint but you’ve still got to use it and your units wisely so that you have enough strength to take the next area.
Rating: 3.9, votes: 9