King’s Bounty 2 (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 03.11.2021

Review for King’s Bounty 2  on PC

A tremendously popular sub-genre in the strategy realm of games is a type of turn-based strategy that was exemplified by the early Heroes of Might and Magic series that still have loyal fans to this day (read about the first one here. King's Bounty was one such title back then, with its mix between strategy and tactical combat with mystical units. This sequel has arrived years and years later, and while it has some okay parts, it bears very little resemblance to the source material, playing more like a… walking simulator?!

King's Bounty, at least the old one, played a lot like the old Heroes of Might and Magic; going around, getting better units to field in tactical combat against a myriad of fantasy trope enemies. Despite the general simple nature of these games, ranging from modest graphics, and simple gameplay loop, it inspired loyal fans and even to this day it's possible to see clones of these pop up every now and then. So, the continuation of this series would seem to herald a great new chapter - unfortunately the developer took a page out of some different game, and what is left behind is a mess.

This is played in a very straight campaign style. There are no random maps - simply pick your guy, start the story and that is it. The gameplay, to cut straight to it, is like a western-RPG like any BioWare clone, mixed with a walking simulator. You guide your slow, bumbling character around towns and woods, talking to characters along the way, and occasionally getting into some fights. It feels like an exact mix of various WRPGs like Dragon Age, Knights of the Old Republic and so on. Why is this bad? Well, it was never this type of game, and it is an insult to its core audience, as well as not being good enough of a WRPG to even recommend across genres.

Starting from the beginning of choosing the warrior guy, players are plunged into a jail and tasked with walking out. It starts off in a type of third-person camera, and this reviewer was very confused and alarmed why a 'strategy' game was setting up like some sort of medieval Resident Evil experience. After sincerely hoping that view would switch to a top down or isometric one after getting out of the jail, it was clear that even after leaving the town that this was the way this was, not some sort of cinematic intro.

Screenshot for King’s Bounty 2  on PC

Here is where the problems come in. Some of this part was actually kind of interesting, if forced, listening to side characters talk about issues in the world gave it some colour. The vast majority however is a drag, plagued by an absolutely atrocious camera (with one of the worst up/down sensitivities that, ironically, is almost wholly unneeded to even begin with). The character "runs" at a walk speed, and there really isn't much to do, walk from spot to spot, talk sometimes, fight sometimes… and mostly just walk.

There are some interesting things in here, such as four different skill branches based on a type of morality, but it really is such a minor part of the game. Because despite how it might be argued, this has strategy trappings, and these sections are easily stomped by anyone with a little bit of skill, because of how small the battles are. Even 'hard' battles often are easily won by baiting the AI into walking into range and swarming them one at a time.

It is hard to understate how wrong of a genre this game belongs to. Its roots are wholly in the genre-defining turn-based strategy realm, and to have the sequel as some weird, half-baked WRPG feels like a travesty. The walking sections are so bad and so slow - they alone could kill the game, and when mixed in with the general lack of structure or redeeming parts elsewhere, it becomes impossible to recommend. Despite what the pictures may look like, this is a complete let down from a strategy gamer's point of view.

Screenshot for King’s Bounty 2  on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Tough game to rate overall, as there was some care and time that went into this; it just went to all the wrong places. Players looking for a strategy/tactical experience are going to be absolutely repulsed by the mix of "walking sim"/WRPG that leaves much of the core experience behind absolutely. The battles are simplistic, and the few redeeming features are buried beneath too many complaints and issues. There is simply very little strategy in this game that occurs, or is interesting to think about.

Developer

1C Entertainment

Publisher

1C Entertainment

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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