by Davneet Minhas
reviewed on PC
Baal opened the door to Endoria and stormed the lands, annihilating all who dwelt there. The dwarves and elves fell quickly. Now, only the stronghold of Kronberg and King Mark stand against the demonic horde. Endoria’s only hope is the valiant Bill Gilbert, who unfortunately is in another world called Teana. To get to him, the king and his chief advisor, Archmage Shivarius, have devised a plan to…
Well King’s Bounty: Armored Princess doesn’t really engage through narrative. Its story is fairly forgettable, which is compounded by its presentation – the game displays plot points almost completely through dense dialogue trees that the player can easily ignore.
Without going any further into the back-story, players experience Armored Princess as Princess Amelie, daughter of King Mark. She leaps at the opportunity to travel to Teana, find Bill Gilbert, and hopefully save Endoria from impending doom.
Upon starting a new game, players have the opportunity of choosing between three different classes – warrior, paladin, and mage. Each has varying attributes that result in the warrior being a better fighter, the mage being adept at magic and casting spells, and the paladin being a balance between the two extremes.
Traveling through Teana provides an experience similar to any action role-playing game. The land is littered with shops to purchase items, characters to provide quests, and enemies to fight. However, Teana is divided into numerous islands, each with their own distinctive atmosphere. The island that Amelie arrives upon is what one would expect from the story – a medieval fantasy kingdom with lush green expanses.
After completing each quest, defeating all enemies, and procuring all items, Amelie travels to Caribbean-esque pirate-infested beaches, Nordic-inspired arctic tundra’s, charred and desolate wastelands, and more. Arriving at each new island proves to be delightful and refreshing – that is, until you meet the locals.
Building an Army
Again, like any typical character in an action role-playing game, Princess Amelie has the ability to level-up and gain points for use in skill trees. The player can use these points, termed Talent Runes in the game, to increase attack and defense ratings, available mana, monetary rewards after battles, etc. Unlike typical action role-playing games, the playable character in King’s Bounty: Armored Princess, Princess Amelie, doesn’t actually fight during combat. She is more of a general in a grid-based turn-based affair.
Amelie has seven different slots for her army – five active slots and two reserve slots. Each slot can hold a single type of unit, and there is a plethora of units available for purchase across all of Teana’s islands. Archers, mages, knights, zombies, robbers, pirates, bears, griffons, and dragons constitute only a small percentage of the available types. Of course, different strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities accompany each unit type. Archers and mages can attack from a distance, but have low individual health. Bears can do a large amount of damage, but can only melee and are slow moving.
While Amelie can only take five distinct unit types into battle, the number of units is more variable. Each slot can hold any number of identical units, and those identical units’ attributes stack. For example, while a ten-Archer slot is identical to a five-Archer slot from an organizational standpoint, ten Archers will do more damage and last longer on that battlefield than only five archers.
That doesn’t mean Amelie can have any number of units in a single slot. Each unit type has a different Leadership requirement. If the number of units in a slot exceeds Amelie’s Leadership attribute, she loses control of that unit on the battlefield. Amelie’s attributes also build upon the base attributes of each unit type. An increase in level and subsequent increase in attack rating for Amelie, translates into an increase in attack rating for all of her troops.
The turn-based combat is superb.
The story is fairly forgettable.