Need To Know

What is it? An RPG and tactics combo.

Expect to pay: $50 / £44

Developer: 1C Entertainment

Publisher: 1C Entertainment, Prime Matter

Reviewed on: AMD FX-8350, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, 32GB RAM

Multiplayer? Nope.

Link: Official site

King’s Bounty is an odd series, always more strategy than RPG, always more a game about tactics, cash upkeep, and combat maneuvering than one about epic roleplaying and exploration. In theory, King’s Bounty 2 wants to change that—to make a story following a main character whose choices affect the world. King’s Bounty 2 does just that, and it sucks the fun right out of it. Though it has the occasional joy of hex-based tactical combat, it simply wastes far too much of your time wandering about a charmless world filled with boring people.

In King’s Bounty 2 you pick one of three characters to take through the main story, each of which follows the same plot. Having been released from prison your character takes on a job for the king, who forgives you for whatever reason, and then goes wandering about trying to prevent a fantasy magical apocalypse because a wizard told you you’re the chosen savior. It’s absolutely bog-standard and nothing you haven’t seen before.

You then go out and wander the world, doing lots of side quests and fighting battles. You don’t fight the battles, mind, you stand on the sidelines like a kind of Commander/Cheerleader/Magical Artillery Piece and direct your troops around. Those troops fight in tactical battles, with five units dancing around tight hex-based arenas.

(Image credit: 1C Entertainment)

It’s serviceable combat, but the UI does it no favors and the details are predictable systems: Skeletons take less damage from arrows, fire attacks burn enemies over time, and spirit creatures are resistant to non-magical attacks. It shows little of the interesting mechanics you’d want from a modern tactics game, like forced movement or battlefield manipulation.

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