King's Bounty 2, the proven strategy of an increasingly role-playing strategy game

King's Bounty 2, the proven strategy of an increasingly role-playing strategy game

King's Bounty 2

After having been able to preview it during an online event, we finally got to get our hands on the latest incarnation of the King's Bounty series, so as to discover its first secrets. For a general account of the game and its origins, we refer you to our recent preview. Here, instead, we will limit ourselves to telling about our trial of King's Bounty 2 and why it made a good impression on us.


The first area is very cold King's Bounty 2 begins with the selection of the character. There is no way to create one, but you have to choose between three well-defined heroes: a warrior, a sorceress and a paladin. Whatever the choice we will find ourselves prisoners in the fortress of Crucis, a prison located in a cold and inhospitable territory, where we will take our first steps. At the beginning the plot is not very clear: we are made free by the king himself because apparently we are the only hope for the world of Nostria, threatened by a strong darkness. Necromancers and monsters have begun to attack the villages and their inhabitants with increasing violence and chaos spreads through the streets. Is there a pattern behind such brutality? Where does the root of evil reside? To find out, we just have to go on an adventure and travel far and wide for this inhospitable continent, where there is no shortage of things to do.

First Steps

At first, King's Bounty 2 looks like anything but a sequel to King's Bounty: action RPG style third person view instead of isometric, direct character control in real-time instead of a mouse-controlled turn-based system and modern 3D graphics instead of a drier style of pure strategy. In fact, if they had made us play it without knowing the title in advance, we would have struggled a lot to identify the connections between the two games, at least in the initial phase. It doesn't take long to discover that the spirit is still the same and that many elements, such as tactical combat, are left over. But let's go in order.

The first things to do are also the basics of the gameplay: the commander of Crucis invites us to retrieve our equipment, provides us with the first units of our army, gives us a horse and allows us to hire units additional payments by paying them with vile money. The fortress is a relatively safe place, but there is a bit to explore to find scattered loot, crammed into hidden containers. The latter will be a constant throughout the game and will be found almost everywhere. In fact they are the first motivation to explore far and wide the wide maps.

The plot is more articulated than it seems. Once out of the Crucis we quickly reach a small village that rises immediately outside the walls. The first steps into the game world reveal to us that the hybrid nature of the exploration system. Basically we are free to go where we want, but following the "corridors", ie the roads that branch off for the maps. There are of course many hidden and secret paths to discover, but in general, don't expect to be able to freely climb a mountain or ford a river, unless the map designers provide. This stiffness, which stretches quite a bit when it comes to larger maps, makes King's Bounty 2 more like the first chapter than we might think at first glance. But let's go back to our village, where the first real secondary mission takes place.


The second area is much larger than the first and allows you to explore more freely Two groups are in conflict between them: some dwarves would like to work without worries, but some humans demand an alliance to conquer the fortress of Crucis. It is up to us to take sides, which translates into: who do we attack? The choice is not as trivial as it seems, because each character follows certain ideals, ideals to which the actions we perform are linked. For example, having chosen the paladin as the main character, attacking Crucis would have clashed with her ideal of order of hers, pushing her more towards anarchy embodied by humans. Of course it is possible to revolutionize the characteristics of the characters, but at the cost of distorting them a bit and making them lose some of the initial advantages. The choice is up to us and much of the interest that the game aroused in us was born from these possibilities and how they then influence the troops: certain units get bonuses depending on the dominant ideals of the hero (on which they can distribute points by leveling up), while others get penalties from them. In this way our army does not become only an accumulation of the best troops, but above all the most plastic manifestation of the choices we made during the adventure and of the path we followed.


The fights recall those of the first King's Bounty In the end we decided to attack the humans, giving life to one of the first fights of the game (the first ever takes place against wolves at the entrance of the village, but it turned out to be little thing). The clashes are the strongest reference to the origins of the series, as they take place in turns on the battlefields divided into hexagons, obtained from the places where you are at the moment of starting. Note that there are no random fights in the game, which have all been designed by the designers. The hero does not take part in the action directly, but still affects all the troops deployed with his abilities. The only form of direct intervention is magic: during each turn it is possible to cast a spell / ability by selecting it from a book or from scrolls (consumables). There are attack, support and healing spells, the more powerful the higher the hero's level. Of course the warrior and the paladin are less versed in this art than the sorceress (we imagine that you had already guessed it yourself, but specifying it doesn't hurt).

The graphic style is quite poor, but some places are very beautiful Anyway, the first thing to do before fighting is to deploy and arrange the troops on the battlefield, carefully studying where you are and the forces at the disposal of the enemy. Then the actual fight begins, during which the units are moved in turn according to the initiative value. Each unit has unique characteristics and powers. For example, the lancers can carry a very precise and violent lunge, while the dogs can bite the opponents making them bleed (there are dozens to hire). The combat control system is very simple: select the troop, click on the target box, or on the enemy to attack and that's it. The winner is whoever manages to defeat all enemy units.

Game world

Our hero also has a horse to move faster As we discovered by continuing to play, the first battles of King's Bounty 2 are not very difficult. It is actually the whole first area that has been thought of as a kind of extended tutorial, which serves to practice the game and its various systems. When you get to the second map (huge open areas overflowing with points of interest), much larger than the first, everything becomes more complicated and clashes and missions become more intriguing, with the latter becoming more complex, while always requiring you to recover. something, kill someone and so on. Furthermore, the larger dimensions of the area make the exploration less linear, giving the player the opportunity to space more and to take some initiative, to follow a more personal path.

There are many dialogue sequences The possible interactions are actually not very many: you can talk to the other characters, take quests and buy goods, you can interact with the various bonus structures (sources of mana, pillars for fast travel and so on) and little else. In this the title of 1C Entertainment betrays its nature from strategic translated into role play. However, there are so many things to do in quantitative terms and by the time we left the game we had accumulated many missions, discovered several secrets and hired a good number of troops. We will see if the final version will confirm the excellent impressions we have made or if it will deflate them like a balloon with holes.

King's Bounty 2 has convinced us, despite some structural limitations that must be verified with the final version and despite the distance apparent from the first chapter. Equipped with an interesting narrative side and a good depth in the strategic field, it could be a nice surprise for all those players who are looking for something different (or at least not beaten like other genres). It is certainly worth keeping an eye on.


System of ideals very interesting The fighting remained tactical at the right point An important update for the DOUBTS series The RPG part must be verified little generic Have you noticed any errors?

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