"Rule your destiny"
Kick ass,2 words which describe this game perfectly.Developed by Neocore Games I am VERY supprised this wasn't a professional,high budget EA kind of game.The graphics are gorgeous,the gameplay is fantastic and personaly,I love it.But lets not get bogged down in personal opinions,lets look at the nitty gritty.
First off,I play alot of RTS games,such as Medieval Total War 2,Dawn of War etc.So my views are that of someone who knows this type of game well.The graphics are gorgeous,as I've said.You can zoom right in to your soldiers and watch them fight.Nothing is more fun that seeing a heavy armour dude smash a mere footman into the ground! I'm yet to find many glitches but I did find one,sometimes when the Sidhe try to disappear the odd squad or two stay on screen but disappear on the radar,but hell I'm not complaining about that.
Gameplay,gameplay is important.It can make or break the game and in this case,makes it! It has your usual aspects of an RTS game,drag boxes,selecting units and such but on top of that you can cast spells! Oh yeah,magic.I laugh every time when I send my foes running home to mummy when I smash their archers with a good lightning bolt.You can even teleport,perfect for harrasing calvelry or taking out troublesome archers.The general types are replaced by the Knights of the Round Table.Sir Kay is your starting Knight and well I don't use him much.They come in handy in battle as they can be added to almost every unit,they can take down men in almost one hit and without them your armies would be lost,for a start armies can't move without a Knight leading them.During the game,quests will appear accross the map.Some are not very vital to your success but it's still important to address them.The main quests follow the plot line of the game ranging from Excalibur to the dreaded forrests of the Sidhe.The time moves in seasons,a bit like MTW but more than 2 seasons per year.In the winter,all the armies hold up in camp and level up.It's also the one time of the year you can manage your main stronghold.The gameplay isn't that hard to get used it,if you've played RTS games you know what your doing,but that doesn't mean it's easy.
Why isn't it easy? Because the AI freakin cheats! I swear it does! You know usualy in a game,the story progresses when you complete one objective? Not here,take your sweet time and the next bit starts up on top,usualy accompanied by 2 armies in the dead center of your kingdom.I cannot fight armies of ghosts,Unseelie and Welsh all at the same time,nor when the Crusaders arrive to smash my backside.That,is an aspect that needs tweaking,slooooow doooown game.Most RTS players like myself prefer to take their time and plan things out.And don't say to me "Oh juet keep an army within your kingdom durr",no shit sherlock but it's hard to do that when you're trying to take over an enemy kingdom since the only way to beat back their armies is to go in guns blazing since they will alyways,always always always outnumber you.Not that I don't like that,but come on play fair! I can't shove armies whereever I feel.
Oh but the Sidhe,my favourite aspect of the game and also my most hated.Basically,along the pathways of the game you eventualy get one of your many moral choices.To join the Seelie or the Unseelie,good or evil basically.Whichever one you choose,the other attacks you.In one quest after joining the Seelie you are told to send your "Strongest Knight and strongest army" to meet with a representative.I do that,since Wales is allied with me and the entire south of England is mine,what do I have to be worried about appart from the Crusaders? During the quest one of the Seelie says something about "powefull Unseelie armies" moving into your kingdom,your allies responce "Oh good,if your king can beat back this threat without the help of his strongest troops we'll know we made the right choice" what is fair in that!? Oh I get the point,you know can you win without your best,most trained men.I get that,I can do it,but come on! Warning please! It's moments like this that make your groan.Though I do like the Sidhe,they're actualy pretty fun to fight since they make you think your strategies instead of 'run and gun'.It's a shame you can't play as them,they're like the Eldar of DoW.
All in all,this is a good game.A very good game.I really hope they make more like it.Worth a buy.
Final Score: 4/5
Notes to producers: Tweak the things I mentioned about having to deal with so much,so fast.If an experienced player finds it tricky,your average player will get stumped.Stop overpowering the spirit soldiers,they destroyed my army which was twice their size.Make it so you don't have to have Knight leading an army to move it,it's kind of pointless.