King's Bounty: Crossworlds Review

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King's Bounty: Crossworlds Publisher: 1C Company
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

Princess Amelie has the same problems she faced last year – she's stranded in an entirely different world, seeking out the hero who previously saved her and loyally served her father. With the release of King's Bounty: Crossworlds, orcs are swarming through that same alternate world, and while Amelie has more tools with which to find her father's savior, she also confronts more challenges and an entirely different race of soldiers that can be either powerful allies or deadly foes.

Kyle Ackerman

Almost two years ago, King's Bounty: The Legend brought a glorious bundle of turn-based combat and exploration to the PC. Last year, publisher 1C and developer Katauri delivered a massive, "stand-alone" expansion in King's Bounty: Armored Princess, adding an entirely new world and even more units to the already tremendous selection in the original game. King's Bounty: Crossworlds is an expansion for the Armored Princess "expansion." How's that for complicated?

Crossworlds adds two new campaigns to the required Armored Princess, but the big addition is lots of new content for Armored Princess – enough that it's worth replaying Armored Princess just to play with the new toys. One barely has to launch "Orcs on the March" (the expanded version of Armored Princess) to notice new creatures and items. The new items may seem like a decidedly minor enhancement, but all the new modifiers (particularly the item sets) add a lot of flavor to the adventure and further character customization.

The new enemies and quests certainly help, but the coolest enhancements of Crossworlds are the orcs (and their compatriots, such as the goblins). The game adds an adrenaline mechanic that makes the orcs play differently from other units. As the orcs battle, they build up adrenaline that can be spent on powerful skills. The more adrenaline, the more powerful the abilities. Interacting with those talents are spells and abilities that can increase or redistribute adrenaline. Playing with an army of orcs is like playing an entirely new adventure in the same setting.

The new quest lines for "Orcs on the March" inserted into Armored Princess are new and exciting, but take time to build up to. Anyone who has already played through Armored Princess needs to be committed to replaying much of the content to experience the best of the additions. But as I said, the orcs make replaying the game even more fun than it already was.

The two new campaigns ("Champion of the Arena" and "Defender of the Crown") offer even more play. These experiences are totally different than what was offered in Armored Princess, but are shorter and more geared toward serious tactical challenges. "Orcs on the March" enhances the already entertaining exploration and combat, but the new campaigns are more tightly focused on combat. That's just fine – they are made for those with an interest in tactical focus, making them more intense and interesting than the more casual, mid-range difficulties of "Orcs on the March."

If you already have Armored Princess, it's worth the $20 it will cost you to add Crossworlds to the experience. If you haven't played Armored Princess, then snap up Armored Princess and Crossworlds together for $30 and an amazing turn-based tactical combat experience.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on September 20, 2010 11:06 PM.

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