The selling point of Kingdom Under Fire 2 is how the game combines two completely different playstyles into one single game. Not only that, you’re also required to very rapidly switch between both styles if you want to be very effective. This is the peak that Blueside wanted to and has succeeded in achieving with their game that’s been in development for over a decade. Through all the hills and bumps that the game had gone through, this is the end product. Was it worth the wait? Let’s talk about it in this review.
The game starts off with a character creation since at the very core of this game, players do actually control one character. They get to pick from a selection of classes ranging from an archer to a paladin to a battle mage, each with their own branching out skills, abilities, combos and playstyles.
The customization on a cosmetic standpoint is actually pretty good. The style and versatility of how you can use the game’s sliders is reminiscent of many RPGs that have nailed the customization aspect. You can make your favorite guy or gal would optimum ease and I feel like that’s a very important feature when you’re allowing players to make a character.
The game starts off pretty slow with your average run of the mill starting up quests. The game’s RTS feature obviously does need units to work. Units referring to infantry and all other kinds of manpower which is a steep slope to climb in attaining. I will admit that the game has a bit of a pay-to-win aspect in this regard but it’s not nearly as bad as a lot of games out there tend to do it.
The gameplay is as I mentioned above, a combination of two styles in one package. Blueside’s objective was to capture the simulation of being a General fighting alongside your forces. This is because after you issue and set commands in the RTS birdseye view, you have to switch to your third-person perspective and take part in executing your plans. The combinations you can execute by rapidly switching between both these modes can lead to huge amounts of DPS being created.
For example, you can cast a mage AOE attack using your RTS mode on a huge cluster of troops. After the attack leaves them crippled, you can take control of your hero and rush in to finish them off. The heroes also have a lot of different skills and abilities based on the class you chose.
While the game functions like an MMO with locked animation style action based attacks, you can chain them into unique combos as well to really change up the way you fight everytime you attack. The fluidity of the camera perspective switching between RTS and TPS is also done really well to capture how you really are in an ongoing battle. Not once does it feel like anything paused.
Acquiring your units has a leveling and rarity system of its own. This is one that’s pretty driven by RNG but also has a fair bit of control in the hands of players in regards to what they choose to upgrade and sacrifice for example.
Each unit has levels which go from 0-5. These 5 levels are placed in each tier of rarity or unit rank. It starts colorless, shifts to blue, then purple, meaning you have 15 levels for each card. This means you can scale pretty much any unit to get as strong as a rare card that you get down the line. Obviously, the choice and difference comes within actually knowing what unit you’ll need where exactly.
The game modes include a cooperative open world with a pretty open ended story that you can keep yourself occupied in for a while. The game does progress a lot more effectively and faster when playing with friends, however.
There are two types of raids as well, one being 6 man while the other is a 19 player raid. Obviously the huge difference in numbers means a huge spike in difficulty as well. The PvP aspect in the game is in the form of two modes as well.
One is a 4v4 conquest type war where the goal of both teams is to reduce the enemy units in numbers. This functions similar to Battlefront where you’re trying to just get rid of the enemy respawns. At the end of their ropes, the losing team deploys a boss, and the objective of the game mode is to kill that boss. This means that in close games, you can even have two bosses roaming the battlefield simultaneously.
The second game mode is more of a conquest type 6v6 game which involves moving along parts of a map. It simulates a Siege of sorts between two sides where you have to push onto the enemy while defending yourself. These games can be lengthy due to a lot of pushing back and forth in a typically tense game.
The matchmaking of the game isn’t bad but occasionally it can fail on you. This happens when you’re paired up with somebody that clearly hasn’t played the main game enough and has almost no special units. Ending up just being a burden on the entire team basically. Sucks when that happens but since it happens very rarely, it’s forgivable.
The pay-to-win aspect as I mentioned earlier does exist since a free-to-play game has to earn its money somehow. However, it’s not as obnoxious as most other games handle it. In fact, the way it works is to slightly speed up progress but not enough to leave free-players in the dust.
This is because the currency in game can be very easily attained by simply completing daily login type assignments and challenges to acquire huge bundles to use on your character.
Furthermore, while paying players do get a few unique cosmetics, almost everything in terms of stats and actual power can be replicated by a free player in half the time it would take grinding for it.
Other than that, the only issue with the game is how long the wait was. It sets expectations for people which just can’t be met due to how long it’s taken. Also, the blend of two very different styles of gameplay did leave each side relatively clunky in either aspect. Something not too forgivable for a game in the modern era we play in. Especially with what it was trying to be.
Otherwise Kingdom Under Fire 2 is a good hybrid game that does an adequate job of appealing to two different audiences while maintaining a pool of roleplayers in between.