by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
Valkyries and Vikings
It has been over two decades since the first King’s Bounty game was released. The next chapter in the saga, Warriors of the North will be coming to PC in October this year. At Gamescom 2012 we got to see how a new hero, young Olaf, who is the son of the Northling King, fights against the undead infesting the Northern Lands of Endoria. According to the presenters, ”he will face epic battles, valor and love. Accompanied by gorgeous Valkyries who will assist Olaf on the battlefield, he will liberate the icy wastelands of the North, dwarven dungeons and Darion, the heart of the Endoria, from the reign of necromancy.”
Warriors of the North brings back the trademark play style of real time exploration transitioning into a turn-based strategy battle system. Outside of battle, Olaf can move around at his leisure, speaking to people and collecting treasure. In the battle, the game turns into a hexagonal battle of wits, where you have to tactically move around the various characters you have at your disposal to defeat your enemy.
Those attractive Valkyries mentioned earlier provide powerful abilities on the battlefield, and all five of them will help the new Olaf defeat his enemies. Each one has a separate power, so Olaf will have to collect them all to do well. Another new addition is rune magic, which the Viking, the new race, uses to great effect. The Viking is a tank, an excellent warrior and has the best rage abilities in the game available to him. The Skald and the Soothsayer make a return also and will be familiar to fans of the series. The Skald is a leader, and can perform songs about legendary heroes to inspire his teammates, and also has the ability to resurrect fallen allies. The Soothsayer has the best magic abilities, but will have to stay back as he will not be good in a melee.
Familiar ground for King's Bounty
A generation has passed since the end of the previous game, The Legend, but fans of the series will definitely recognise the locations and some of the characters in Warriors of the North. There will be plenty of new content to explore, as the developers promise upwards of sixty hours of gameplay. The island mechanic returns from the previous title, along with the various types of ships the player can use, as well as a new ship, The Longboat. Land travel is still via horseback, but if your horse gains enough experience then it will sprout wings allowing you to fly around.
Warriors will certainly attract people who enjoy playing the King’s Bounty games and have been waiting for a new one since 2008. It probably won’t bring enough new to the series to bring in a lot of new players, but the franchise has always had a small, yet devout following, so this won’t be news to anyone.