King’s Bounty 2 is a third-person turn-based RPG from F95Zone platform that follows the adventures of one of three main characters: warrior Aivar, paladin Elsa and sorceress Katarina. Events take place in Nostria, where a mysterious enemy, the Void, begins to break free. And the protagonist, against his will, will have to become the savior of the crown and the people around him.
The story of the hero of Nostria
This is a short retelling of the plot of King’s Bounty 2. Kings, robbers, intrigue and wars with an otherworldly invader – the game is the most standard, but not in a bad sense, fantasy. The story does not amaze, but does not annoy with the stupidity and conventions of the world invented by the developers.
Six months before the current events, the protagonist was at a reception in the palace, when the mysterious elven Diviner first appeared. He introduced our character to Vladyka Nostria as a deliverer from the coming trouble. The king did not believe this and ordered to seize the future hero, and then imprison him.
At the beginning of the game, the country is already ruled by the council of Nostria and the young Prince Adrian. The latter frees the protagonist from the dungeon of Crucis so that he investigates the prophecy and finds out what dangers the coming of the Void into the world of people conceals. This is where King’s Bounty 2 starts.
And it is interesting to follow the events. For a while, it will seem that the protagonist is just an errand boy, and not solving really important problems. But in addition to the orders of the young heir to the throne, the hero has his own motivation: Katarina wants to regain the title of count, lost 50 years ago; Aivar wishes to seek fame and receive a reward from the king himself; Elsa dreams of becoming the protector of Nostria and serving the crown. All this is accompanied by staged scenes, performed shamelessly even by modern standards.
Clever turn-based tactics
But the scenario and additional stories in King’s Bounty 2 are just an excuse for the main thing – tactical battles.
The recruitment of the army, as before, is carried out in different corners of the map, but since now the camera has shifted behind the protagonist’s back, the recruiters have become quite tangible people of certain factions. The game contains troops of different ideals: Anarchy is bandits, murderers and undead; Order – the guards and sorcerers of Nostria in the service of the king; Mastery – magical creatures(Dispel magic 5e) like golems and elementals; Strength – griffins, gnomes and trolls.
Each unit, even if they have one specialization, may differ from the brother of another ideal. For example, the dark spirits of the undead do great damage in ranged combat and have more lives and resistance to magic, but the Nostrian archers fit more in the squad – and this evens out the troops. They also differ in passive skills, and some of them have more than five! The number of active skills when pumping can reach three, but only for high-ranking units.
As with the old King’s Bounty, the army has ranks from one to five. They give a rough idea of the strength of the squads, as well as how much leadership it will take for a character to take them under his wing. For example, the fifth rank angels agreed to replenish my army in the final in the amount of two pieces, but the dragons flatly refused to obey – one needs more than five thousand leadership points, and the magician cannot afford this.
Hero, open world and gear
With the pumping of the hero here is complete order. Depending on the chosen ideals and the primary predisposition of the class, you will have to download one of four branches. To make such an idea out of a warrior magician, and it is unlikely that it will succeed, but no one forbids experimenting. You should better take a closer look at the latest skills in the branches and then decide what to pump. The game has the ability to reset skills, but you cannot roll back elections in side quests and reset ideal points!
Another surprise was the exploration of the open world. Imagine Dragon Age: Inquisition, but where there are no checkboxes and questions at all. Instead, there are many side quests, caches and altars to increase stats. Even during the preparation stage for the battle, they give the opportunity to retreat and reform the army, which was simply not the case in the previous parts!
Even so, King’s Bounty 2 still feels uneven. At the beginning, the tasks are evenly located on the map, but already at the start of the conditional second act in the city of magicians, everything around is dotted with yellow quest icons. Sometimes you just get lost and forget what is happening in general and what task is being performed at the moment. But after defeating one of the bosses, during the transition to the third act, everything magically returns to normal, and the dominance of markers disappears from the map.
Fly in the ointment in a barrel of mana
If we talk about the problems of King’s Bounty 2 specifically, then they all consist of some annoying little things:
- in order to recruit the army of the desired ideal, it is better to write down the name of the recruiter – otherwise the game will not display in any way where you can recruit trolls or guards of Nostria. You will also have to constantly run to him, and you cannot buy an army somewhere in one place;
- troops of high ranks are sold in very limited quantities, and if they are not left, then they will not be found anywhere else until the next act. They can be replaced with similar units from other ideals, but then you will have to download additional skills to raise morale;
- to complete the story, completing additional tasks is mandatory – you just can’t go through the story with a weak army of people.
Who would have thought that a Russian game with a small budget would become one of the best turn-based tactics in the last five years, along with XCOM 2 and Battle Brothers. Yes, King’s Bounty 2 is not perfect: for every plus there are a dozen little things that can be easily turned into minuses. The standard fantasy about the formation of a hero can be both praised and scolded. The abundance of the coolest side quests is definitely pleasing. Turn-based battles, where not only the strength of the army decides, but also the player’s mind is what you expect from the King’s Bounty series.
But it will not work to recommend it to everyone and everyone. If the genre of tactical games is not yours, then the second part of the “Guiding bolt 5e” is unlikely to be a revelation. But if the memories of “The Legend of the Knight” and the add-ons to it warm the soul, then one passage of King’s Bounty 2 will not be enough.
- Smart turn-based battles
- Variety of units
- Well-written side quests
- Captivating dialogue and voice acting
- Interesting character progression
- The system of ideals and influence on the world
- Standard history
- Anti-aliasing settings issues
- Too high difficulty in some points