Warrior Kings: Battles update

Empire Interactive releases new information on the real-time strategy sequel currently in development at Black Cactus. New screens inside.

Empire Interactive has today released new information on Warrior Kings: Battles, the sequel to Black Cactus Games' real-time strategy game Warrior Kings . Warrior Kings: Battles is set in the same medieval fantasy world as the original game but takes place well over a century later, by which time the unity and peace that players brought to the world in the first game has come to an end. War is raging across the lands of Orbis, and, assuming the role of a ruler of a small province, players will have to restore peace by ascending to power and uniting the empire.

As was the case in Warrior Kings, players won't actually get to choose to play as a particular faction at the start of a game, but they'll choose their own path through a nonlinear upgrade tree as they progress through the game. The defensive imperial and primitive pagan factions from the first game are still an option, and they have been joined by a new renaissance faction that uses technology rather than gods or demons in war.

The game will feature more than 60 different unit types, and Black Cactus is promising that to win battles, players will not only need to assemble large and varied armies, but they'll also need to know how to use them effectively, taking advantage of different troop formations and the surrounding environment. Column, line, orb, and wedge formations can be made up of hundreds of units, and the formations will all have their own advantages and disadvantages in battle. Terrain will also play a large part in determining tactics, with high ground affording units a better view of the surrounding area and allowing them to charge downhill at enemies. Certain types of terrain will also only be accessible to certain unit types, so, for example, only scouts will be able to climb cliff faces.

Players will also want to concern themselves with the state of their economy, since in addition to acquiring resources such as wood, stone, and gold to assemble an army, they'll need to ensure that they have plenty of food to keep their soldiers healthy. According to Black Cactus, the AI generals in the game will have exactly the same concerns, and they won't be able to "cheat" in any way, even needing to send scouts out to locate the enemy before they can think about attacking them.

In addition to the 22 missions of the single-player campaign, players will be able to engage in skirmishes and other multiplayer modes for up to eight generals. Any number of the armies in a skirmish can be controlled by AI generals, and Black Cactus claims that all 50 of those included in the game will have different personalities and will play the game exactly as a human opponent would. If players manage to defeat all 50 of the AI generals, there will even be an option to create their own, although it's not yet clear how this will be implemented.

Warrior Kings: Battles is currently scheduled for release in March. For more information, check out our Warrior Kings of the game.

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