Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Because this game forces you to think the same way a commander of the same time period would have, Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars is the greatest strategy game on the market.
  2. Even with its shortcomings, Cossacks II stands out in a cookie-cutter RTS world. [Aug 2005, p.61]
  3. A great combination of real time strategy and turn based larger campaign. Its greatest achievement is the complete lack of micromanagement. [July. 05]
  4. There is no doubting Cossacks II is a great RTS, however its overwhelming difficulty and, at times, overwhelming complexity, make it one for the "hardcore fans" only - whether that be the hardcore fans of this war era, or hardcore fans of RTS games who are looking for a serious challenge.
  5. Using diplomacy as the first line for your empire expansion adds a nice twist to the usual RTS.
  6. 81
    While not the most visually or aurally stunning, Napoleonic Wars has fun gameplay and a lot of lasting appeal and replay value.
  7. Napoleonic Wars, while not really pushing the genre to new heights, succeeds because it manages to provide an experience that feels different from the majority of current strategy games on the market.
  8. 80
    Fans of the Napoleonic period will get a rise out of Cossacks II, as will strategy buffs seeking out something a little different from the usual tank rush tactics. It's a terrific simulation of the age of "gentlemanly" combat, during which Napoleon almost took over the world.
  9. 80
    I would go so far as to say that this game has the best micromanagement system in any RTS. The options were sufficient to attract gamers from a fairly wide spectrum, and the graphics, considering the scale of the game, were incredible.
  10. Fighting in the 19th century looks boring on the outside, but deep down in the game fighting in the 19th century was about honor, and it is a lot more strategic than one would have thought.
  11. Cossacks II is a very enjoyable game, yet very frustrating and overly reliant on reloads and retries as you try and perfect the exact battle tactics needed for your current mission.
  12. Newcomers, on the other hand, will discover a somewhat quirky but enjoyable real-time strategy game that focuses on formations and tactics rather than base-building and tank rushes.
  13. First and foremost it was really nice playing a game that is not set in the normal historical RTS timelines.
  14. While not the most exciting title, it’s still enjoyable and a refreshing change from all the WWII RTS’ out there.
  15. Nevertheless, we can’t help but feel that it’s all a little on the dated side. An RTS that hasn’t been designed for the C&C crowd isn’t a bad thing, but Rome: Total War has already demonstrated that more tactical offerings are capable of crossing the boundaries and appealing to all sub-sets of RTS gamers.
  16. The hardest of the hardcore strategy buffs won’t be able to forgive some of the game’s shortcomings.
  17. 77
    Cossacks 2 is a bit better than the original Cossacks and a substantial improvement over "Alexander." At the very least, the time period is much more exciting and much easier for the general gaming general to relate to.
  18. Cossacks II was built to be played over and over. The only question is would you want to?
  19. A pretty good game, but it certainly can’t stand up to other RTS games out there. Regardless of that, Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars is an excellent 19th century based strategy game, a time period that has been dry for a long time.
  20. With more polish, a better campaign, and a little more attention to detail, it could have been a real winner. In the end, it's creative and novel, but its flaws prevent an unreserved recommendation.
  21. Twitch players in favour of the 'rush and crush' tactic will be deeply frustrated here, but those who like to take their time and mull over the tactical options available should find much to keep them occupied.
  22. The reliance of slow, methodical tactical play rather than letting things become a case of who can click their mouse button the fastest is implemented at an incredibly solid level, with very little to complain about.
  23. This is a nice game for fans of the genre; however, if you are looking for a game to jump in and out of quickly this may not be the one for you. The problem is that you must spend much of your time micro-managing your units, telling them when to fire, when to charge and where to move.
  24. A veritable treasure trove for history buffs, aficionados of that particular time period, or people otherwise interested in how wars were actually fought through human history.
  25. Cossacks II wasn’t a giant leap forward from the original game. However, the real-time elements are a blast due to the good variety of unit and formation possibilities.
  26. Certainly a playable game, and it has an obvious appeal to a certain variety of gamers. However, if you aren’t part of that group, odds are one or more of those flaws in the game’s design are going to make it just about impossible to really enjoy.
  27. While more than a couple aspects of this game turn out on the bland side, and the single player campaign is much more difficult than it should be, the game is fun to behold.
  28. It's designed to be more cerebral than current RTS war titles, and can't match the visceral thrill of "Rome" or even "Medieval Total War." [May 2005, p.102]
  29. A curious mix. Some undeniably strong and distinctive pieces of game design, tarnished by some elementary errors, such as the lack of a decent training program or real in-game help.
  30. An average game that is held back by brutal difficulty and a design that would seem to fit better with a turn based model.
  31. Trying to please hardcore and casual strategy gamers, Cossacks II satisfies neither. [Aug 2005, p.87]
  32. 50
    It just comes a bit short as turn-based game, with underwhelming historical battles and lacks the rich RTS experience of the original.
  33. Seems like more work than play. [Sept 2005, p.53]
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. Aug 30, 2011
    5
    This Cossacks 2 has a good concept. Real-time strategy, unit based warfare like Empire Total War with real-time economic elements like AOE 3.This Cossacks 2 has a good concept. Real-time strategy, unit based warfare like Empire Total War with real-time economic elements like AOE 3. Two really good gameplay elements melded into one and it is really a shame that poor polish ultimately made this game unplayable. There is huge degree of micro-management, with workers, units, and buildings all needing a great deal of care and attention, and that attention soon gets spread very thinly. That said, I am not against micro-management, quite the opposite, but the way it is presented in this game make it feel like needless busy-work. The economic management is basically nil, so you can run out of a resource in the midst of a huge battle and have almost no way to make up the difference. The interface is very clunky, especially in the heat of battle when you simply don't have time to second glance your commands. Your unit AI is very simple and pathfinding and auto-targeting are broken. For instance you cannot set non-artillery units to auto-fire, which means you must constantly be clicking back and forth up and down your lines to make sure that your unit is not getting shot to pieces without so much as returning fire. And since reload times are based on individual units and not squads, it is difficult to judge when the squad will be ready to fire, since you cannot order individual units to fire independently. And the morale system is very wonky as well, with the designated morale meter not being a very good indicator of your unit's overall morale. Half of a unit could break and flee and the meter would still read 100% for the other half and at other times it is close to zero and your brave soldiers will still be fighting on. In all if you can keep your army small it would not be very difficult to manage everything but the AI has a habit of trying to wear your done with attrition, sending wave after wave of cannon fodder until you either run out of ammunition or are overwhelmed. That said the AI is not overly complex and while it will attempt maneuvers or capturing strategic positions this is just an afterthought for its main strategy. And since they AI receives resource cheats its impossible to beat them through claiming strategic locations. There is also a campaign, which is slightly better than the random maps via scripts, it is rather unimpressive and boring. One example is half the officers in the Royal Army have Californian accents. All that said, I did not give the game a terrible score and this is why: The concept is truly unique and there is a huge amount of potential. If GSC can iron out all the rough edges there is strategy game of the year in Cossacks 3. Improve the AI, improve the interface, and there is a really great game to be had. I really hope the developers stick with this concept. Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2014
    0
    Cossacks II "killed" the series and anything that had to do with it, after the fabulous start of Cossacks: European wars, it managed toCossacks II "killed" the series and anything that had to do with it, after the fabulous start of Cossacks: European wars, it managed to destroy what it's predecessor succeeded at: big maps, with thousands of troops, battle oriented but with an important role of developing the economy yourself, sea battles, technology playing a role in the game etc. Everything I just wrote was destroyed and thus it killed the Cossacks series, and for that it gets a deserving 0, not worth more than 2 euros/dollars and only for the nostalgic-sado-masochists that love Cossacks and want to try out Cossacks II. Full Review »
  3. Apr 18, 2012
    3
    One of the biggest disappointments of my gaming life. While not a terrible game in it self, after the relatively good cossacks 1, I wasOne of the biggest disappointments of my gaming life. While not a terrible game in it self, after the relatively good cossacks 1, I was expecting so much more, particularly in terms of LAN gaming and AI. The engine is dated, the maps small... I was converted over to the "Total War" series after this. Full Review »