King's Bounty: The Legend Review

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King's Bounty: The Legend Publisher: 1C Company and Atari
Developer: Katauri

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 4 2.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, GeForce 6800 or Radeon X800 video card or better with at least 256 MB VRAM, 5.5 GB HD space, Windows XP or more recent operating system

The King is in need of a new errand-boy, someone to hunt for treasure, collect tax receipts and search for long-lost objects. Little could the king have known that his humble treasure-seeker would prove so reliable and such an able general that the royal treasure hunter would be dispatched to save the royal heir and save the world.

Kyle Ackerman

King's Bounty: The Legend is like ice cream. Or meatloaf. Or soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It's comfort food of a sort. It's a return to glorious, turn-based gaming and revisits a classic PC game older than some college students. The original King's Bounty ran on DOS, almost two decades ago. At the time it simply made sense to offer games with tactical, turn-based combat. But just because we have the processor power to spare to make games operate in dynamic real-time doesn't mean it's more fun. Sometimes, the leisurely pace of turn-based combat in a richly detailed fantasy world is exactly what we need. I loved playing King's Bounty: The Legend. The game has a few flaws, mostly in terms of English localization, but it's exactly the sort of game I'd want to curl up with on a sick day to cheer myself up.

Rather than relying on nostalgia to make a current game fun, King's Bounty: The Legend reaffirms why the original game was so engaging. It's the simple reliance on regular, pocket-sized, turn-based, tactical battles that keeps me coming back to King's Bounty: The Legend for more. What this update adds to the classic formula is state-of-the-art graphics and an entirely new adventure, filled with different types of units and special abilities.

Because of the vast array of available units, players can take a variety of approaches to battle, ranging from straight-up troop domination to clever ability enhancements and complex spells that transform the tide of battle. Not only does the game allow for a tremendous variety of paths to victory, it allow players to choose a style of play that best fits their preferences. The game's hero, the King's Treasure Searcher, can use inventory items, learned skills, magic and troops to approach the problem of combat any way he chooses. That's much of what makes the game so compelling. It's not only entertaining and tactically deep, it's personal.

The other joy of King's Bounty: The Legend is exploration. Tying together the many, brief, turn-based tactical combat sequences is an entire world to investigate, filled with tons of quests and petty plots that provide frequent diversions from the main, world-ending quest. While few items are critical to progress, thoroughly exploring the world in search of extra runes, spells and items will help win the final battle while simultaneously uncovering a rich and beautiful world.

I tremendously enjoyed King's Bounty: The Legend, so my criticism isn't with the play, but with the localization. The writing may have been excellent in the original Russian, but the English isn't particularly polished. Some fragments are acceptable, while others are rife with errors and unusual idioms. The story and exploration of the world are much of the fun of the game, so it would have been appreciated if the game had gone to the effort of reading decently for a native English speaker. That qualm aside, the game is tremendous fun and playable at your own pace – which is particularly important for comfort play.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on October 11, 2008 2:13 PM.

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