Average User Score: 7.3Oct 25, 2012Solid Fantasy TBS, a completely different game from War of Magic. It definitely has that one-more-turn addictiveness, although a few frustrations hold it back from being a true classic.
>Good economy, research, general empire-building - nothing revolutionary here, but it has everything you'd expect and it's well done.
>The RPG aspects, i.e. questing and leveling with champions, are really where the game shines: they're fun and smoothly integrated into the 4X parts of the game. Champions and trained units are finally well balanced (it was out of whack throughout most of the beta), but now you need to rely on both, it leads to good strategic combined-arms play.
>Great customization: from the very beginning, the different factions and sovereigns (not to mention custom factions and sovereigns) open up a wide variety of playstyles. Factions do play quite differently even if they look superficially similar. As the game progresses, the variety of traits for champions (particularly the path specializations), plus the great unit design, means that both your champions and trained units will be unique.
>Pretty good AI, enough to provide a credible threat without cheating, and the higher difficulty levels (with cheating) will challenge any player.
>Well polished GUI, empire and unit management is easy.
>The campaign scenario is a fun addition with pretty good writing, but really, the heart of this game is the sandbox mode.
>Tactical battles are fairly shallow, they get repetitive - feels like chance has far more influence than any actual tactics. Still a far better combat system than, say, Civilization 4 (i.e. roll the dice and that's it), but doesn't match up to the likes of Age of Wonders.
>Balance has some weak spots; for example, certain champion paths (specializations) are markedly better than others. Certain races/factions are also simply better than others - it's not an insurmountable difference, I actually enjoy trying to win with weaker factions, and you always have the option of making a custom faction. Not game-breaking, but the balance could use some tweaking.
>Magic is a little underwhelming. It's there, and it's useful, but it's not the focus of the game. On the plus side, unit buffs are varied and useful, and city buffs are a stroke of genius that really helps tie the RPG/magic aspects into the 4X side of the game. On the negative side, summons are weak, debuffs and direct damage are useful in some circumstances but too mana-intensive to rely on every battle. This makes it very difficult to play a casting-focused sovereign, magic is better in a supportive role, used to back up the melees that will do the bulk of your damage dealing/absorbing.
>Diplomacy is all-or-nothing: if you're leading the scoreboard all the AIs will trip over each other to offer you tribute and stay on your good side, if you're falling behind they'll race each other to dogpile you in one declaration of war after another. It makes the highest difficulty settings particularly frustrating, the AI bonuses give it an inherent head start over you, and it's hard to catch up when all the AIs decide they can push you around because you're weak. Diplomacy does work decently when you're evenly matched with the AIs, so it's not game-breaking, really a matter of finding the right difficulty setting.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Sep 14, 2011As a fan of Red Orchestra since the beginning, what can I say about RO2? It's not perfect yet, but it's good, it's very good, it's the game RO fans have been waiting for. Graphically, it looks amazing of course. The gameplay is still essentially RO with some essential features added (bullet penetration, being able to dynamically take cover behind objects of any height, controllable breathing and zooming, etc.). In some details it has a little less of that RO feel, though - guns barely sway even when held unsupported, for example. Perhaps it's better overall this way, it's hard to judge these things without taking all other aspects of the game balance into consideration, but it takes some getting used to for an RO veteran. There are also some assorted bugs - problems with the server browser, sometimes I miss a respawn ingame, now and then I get a wierd bug where the gun won't fire on first click.. none of which stops me from enjoying the game, but these little annoyances make it less fun than it should be, they make it feel more like the beta of a great game than a great game's live release. As for performance, my new pc runs it smoothly on 'ultra' (i7 not overclocked yet, 2x 6950 1GB, 8GB ram). The game is also playable on my old xp machine with 'normal' graphics (core2duo 2.4ghz, radeon 3870 512MB, 2GB RAM). I don't doubt the people reporting performance problems, but for my part I have no complaints. All in all it's a 10/10 game being held back by some problems as mentioned above, it could use some patching (which I trust Tripwire to provide in due time), still a great game and an easy 8/10 in spite of that.… Expand