by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
Eat up hours
Writing a review for a game like King’s Bounty: Warriors of the North is an interesting task. It is one of those franchises which has a strong following of diehard fans, while people on the outside are looking in trying to make sense of it all. The fans of the series are probably going to buy and play this game regardless of what the reviews say. People who are not fans have probably made up their minds not to buy it as no title in the series has enticed them. The fact is that if you have enjoyed a King’s Bounty or Heroes of Might and Magic game in the past, Warriors of the North will eat up hours of your life once again.
The story and gameplay are nothing revolutionary. Developers 1C have a formula for this type of game which works, and they largely stick to it. There are some new inclusions to keep the series fresh, but fans will be able to jump right in. You play as Olaf, a Viking, and the youngest son of Tormund the Fierce. Undead armies are encroaching on your homeland, and it is up to you to stop them as your brother Eric seems strangely unfazed by the problem.
The game is split into two parts. As Olaf, you will be roaming around the world on your horse, searching for loot and finding enemy armies to defeat. This is viewed from a top down perspective, with a moveable camera angle. You simply click where you want to go, and Olaf will go there. At least that is what happens most of the time. Occasionally there are some pathing issues, where Olaf will get caught on a piece of scenery, or will get confused over the route you want him to take. The moveable camera also meant that I found myself accidentally clicking on something that had just come in front of my view, meaning my hero would turn around and move back towards me. If my character cannot get onto the roof of a building, why should I be able to click to move there? This was made all the more frustrating at times when I was trying to avoid a particularly powerful enemy army, only for Olaf to become unsure of where he was going and get caught with his pants down.
It is generally quite fun to explore the world though, as there are plenty of sights to see and loads of loot to gather. Most of the characters you see in the world will have some sort of quest for you, or be part of another one, so you never have to look far for something to do. The world is dangerous though, and enemy armies are often lurking around every corner, with the more powerful enemies guarding the more precious loot. It becomes a mini game in itself attempting to avoid powerful armies that you know you cannot quite handle yet. It is possible to lure them away from the treasures they guard, and quickly grab it while they are away, but this is always risky business.
You gather your own army by purchasing troops from vendors. There are a wide variety of different units that are to be found throughout the game, each with their own set of skills and attributes. Your hero has a leadership stat which determines how many warriors he can command.
Sticks to the formula of the series and executes it well. Good strategic elements to the combat combined with RPG elements. Excellent sound design.
Repetitive gameplay. Not very accessible to new players. Frustrating movement bugs.