Total War / 'Choose Your Own Adventure' - fails as both

User Rating: 4 | King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame PC
This is an astonishingly irritating offering, your KAII experience will start immediately annoying you the moment you fire it up when you will be presented with a long series of text / narration for you to click your way through. About half your game time will be spent clicking through these and hitting 'esc' to jump narrative. Your choices rarely have any impact on the games development, there are so many irrelevant choices to make that the you end up clicking through the ones that do actually count (but not a lot).

The overall strategy campaign also sucks, there is no opportunity for you to plan your kingdom (e.g. by targeting a defensible region of the british isles such as the south west and expanding from there), you have to take territories in a predefined sequence, that is identical every time.

But the good news is that the number and type of territories owned makes very little odds to the game anyway. Yes there are certain territories that allow you to recruit specific units, but there is no cash generation, no territory administration etc. and you don't need the special units - see 'iron guards' below.

In terms of development of your character / units, this is complete overkill, if you have two armies of 20 units each, you have to click on each unit and select an attribute to level up, you cannot 'upgrade all' or a group at the same time. This rapidly becomes incredibly wearisome.

You can collect items, but to share them out or upgrade them that involves a return trip to a 'forge' for both your armies, this can mean a return trip of 7 turns. Ditto for swapping out your reserves at castles, although there are at least more of them.

On to the battles, bundle. That's it, just bundle, there are no tactics, every battle goes the same way: group your armies into 3/4 groups, send group 1 to enemy 1, 2 to 2 etc. in the usual 'rock, paper, scissors' fashion - cavalry against archers etc.

Trying any other tactic will result in failure, want to whittle them down with ranged weapons? Forget it, your line will charge off towards them as soon as they see them, want to set an ambush to take advantage of the 'ambush bonus'? Nope, same thing, those frikkin 'light infantry' and even your archers will wander out of cover for no apparent reason sacrificing the bonus and their lives.

Then there's the unit choice, Paradox have made one standard unit ('iron guards') so ridiculously overpowered that you won't buy anything else, spear men, cavalry and light infantry are basically pointless. Archers you need if the enemy has air units, but other than that leave them at home too (you can take down air units with your mage, sorry I mean 'sage' if you encounter them unexpectedly).

So you'll end up with 4 groups of iron guards + three heroes and bundle every battle. And you'll win.

What's good about the game? It's quite pretty I suppose...

Conclusion: wait until it's in the discount bin.

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