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Warrior Kings Battles
(hx) 09:23 PM CEST - Apr,27 2003

Year ago, Black Cactus released their first title, the 3D real-time strategy game Warrior Kings, through publisher Microids. The game received a lot of attention due to its truly massive 3D maps and its hundreds of units on screen. The stand-alone sequel Warrior Kings: Battles is set 100 years after the events in the first Warrior Kings. The Kingdom forged by Artos collapsed after the current ruler was assassinated by a fanatical zealot, and now the whole of Orbis has fallen into anarchy. Every local warlord has seen their chance to grab a piece of land, and wars are being fought across the whole continent. The player is given the task of once again, reuniting the lands of Orbis, by the use of diplomacy and warfare.

Warrior Kings: Battles looks and runs very much like the first game. Similar in terms of units, formations and use of terrain. It's mostly the same units as before, but there are a few new ones such as the Arch Druid and the mighty Imperial War Elephant. The unit's are more balanced, strengthening the combined arms. There are a few other general enhancements too. If we're talking about gameplay, the maps have been well designed to force you into using different strategies depending on whether you are given a good defensive position. If there is one thing that the gameplay excels in it is the AI. The AI is damn good, it will test your defences, look for weaknesses and try different avenues and different combinations of units. However it gets very hard, very soon. Actually, I'm finding it hard to get beyond about half way through the campaign.

Warrior Kings: Battles features large strategic campaign with 22 missions (~over 35-40 hours of single player), a comprehensive skirmish game to allow you to fight against 70+ AI Generals (with their own personalities and strategies) + when you defeated these, you can create your own AI's, dynamically evolving game path - you decide which path to follow - the path of Imperial Knights, the Pagan demons, or the Renaissance scientists - each with a unique range of amazing units, abilities and strategies, over 70 different unit types of combat waging tools (cavalry, rocket launchers, catapults, spies, war elephants, arch druids, elementals, golems, summoned beings...) and over 35 building types.

The game also finally comes complete with a full skirmish mode and a new multiplayer mode called Valhalla (alike CTF - ideal re-spawning army without resource building) - the mode is points based, a number of flags appear on the map and while your in possession of them you generate points. The twist is that when your units die they automatically re-spawn back at your base, adding to the fast paced mayhem. One big advantage in all multiplayer modes is that they can be saved out at any time.

Overall, I think it's a great game, especially if you really like the strong tactical element. Warrior Kings: Battles is truly good value for money despite the similarities to the first game. Well done Black Cactus. You can try this playable demo (224MB).

System Requirements:
Minimum: 733MHz Processor, 128MB RAM, Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, DirectX 8.1, 16MB 3D card, 8x CD drive speed, 800MB HDD space, Mouse, Keyboard
Recommended: 900MHz Processor, 256MB RAM, Windows XP, 32MB 3D card, 32x CD drive speed, 1GB HDD space.
Multiplayer game: 56Kb/s for 2 player, 128Kb/s for 3 players, 256Kb/s and above for 4+ players

snd: 4/5 - well done sound effects and voices, excellent music
gfx: 4/5 - pretty good, complete 3D, nice lighting effects, hundreds of units can be rendered without any significant slowdowns, when ever you zoom in - textures look low resolution - but most of the time you will be using a long camera view
playability: 4/5 - unique additions to the usual RTS style, 22 missions (~over 35-40 hours of single player), full skirmish mode, LAN/Internet up to 8 players, pretty good AI, solid controls, some MP bugs
genre: 3D RTS
release: April 2003 (UK)
developer: Black Cactus
publisher: Empire Interactive
Overall: 81%

last 10 comments:

bruce willisposted - Apr, 28 2003 - 15:06
it should have a bit of action and horror

bidoleonposted - Apr, 28 2003 - 17:24
Usually you can find action and horror ... in Action and Horror games ... Not in Strategy games :-). This game is great but have some really annoying bugs even after the 1.1 patch (slowness when music is playing, peasant/cart stoping to work etc). Take a look at the forum at to have an idea. Hopefully the next patch will fix all these issues.

Ronaldposted - Apr, 29 2003 - 01:25
I think this game is just like 12 in a dozen. Nothing new, looks & plays like a value title.

NO your nameposted - May, 07 2003 - 04:24
i think hx needs to expand his brain a bit more than just limiting the rating to 3 sections sound, graphics and playability. There's more to game that just that. What about the style? What about the replayability? what about that clown that says "give me more"? is he there? a game can have great sound and graphics and still be crap. Sound and graphics don't "make" the game they are only parts of the game. I think this game sucks.

Neecapposted - Dec, 04 2003 - 11:51
I agree with you that Sounds and graphics doesnt represent a game fully. But Wk:B doesnt suck.

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