Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades Review and Giveaway (Windows PC)

Posted by Rory Klawien, Dec 09, 2011 22:24

When I first got Real Warfare 2: Northern CrusadesReal Warfare 2 northern crusade I wasn’t sure what to expect as I did not have the opportunity to play the previous title, but sometimes starting with a fresh canvas is a good thing. As with most games, I jumped into it by running the tutorial. 

Right from the start I realized that this game’s focus was definitely the battlefield and all that goes on there. I was amazed by the awesome detail of the units and the look of the misty hilled and wooded battlefield before me. I stood in awe by the amount of control I had at my fingertips and the depth of detail that each move I made had. Camera controls, troop formations, unit placement, squad groups, terrain benefits, game speed, and the list goes on and on. In fact, such detail seemed daunting and I would be lying if I said I was not overwhelmed at first. However, by the end of the tutorial, I was scouting the field, taking command of my troops, and marching them to victory in my first battle. Though they say that a single battle does not win a war in this case it certainly won me over and made me a fan of Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades.

Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades is a strategy game based on 13th century Eastern Europe and the battles that took place around the Baltic Sea. The game strives to remain true to history and bring to life the dynamic combat of that period chocked full of galloping lancers, gritty foot soldiers, and skies darkened by flights of arrows. Beyond the battlefield, the game includes a campaign which introduces the player as a Komtur (Commander) of a Teutonic contingent with a storyline based on conquering the pagan Prussians.

During the campaign the player utilizes an overland map noting key Strongholds, Cities, and Villages to move about and perform various quests or duties given to him by his own commander. The map is real time meaning that other units such as merchants, peasants, and armies (allied, neutral, and hostile) are constantly moving across and patrolling the map as you are. This can lead to numerous encounters and battle opportunities both planned and unplanned. As you engage in battles and complete quests, which can range from arriving at your stronghold to taking an enemy castle, you gain experience which allows you to increase your abilities in a number of skills, most of which directly affect your units. Furthermore, encounters and battles can result in trophies, salable goods, and gold which can be used to purchase additional units in allied castles and towns.

lush environments to drive your army through

Troops gained through purchases are limited by the leadership you have, as well as the experience of the overall army you control, both of which increase with each battle as your level increases.

The campaign’s purpose is to tell a logical story which gives a reason and purpose to each battle, but really it’s the battles you buy this game for. While there are some economics to the campaign; collecting taxes, selling goods, and purchasing troops, the game’s true purpose and focus is the battlefield.

Outside the campaign, numerous modes are available for players to jump right into battles. The game includes an online system that allows you to create or find other live players, as well as a direct connect multiplayer system that allows several players, both live or AI-controlled, to battle each other. Both modes include a large number of options to set up the games with numerous maps to march across. The options include time limits, army sizes, pause restrictions, alliances, and a host of others which help to keep games both fair, and fun. The ability to limit game lengths and number of pauses really helps prevent someone one from just dodging your forces with his last unit, or those who like to pause every two minutes to ponder their next move for hours on end.

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Our Rating for Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades Review and Giveaway (Windows PC)
8.0 Replay
With a Campaign, Online play, and a Multiplayer Mode (where one can play against friends or the computer) with the latter including a host of options and plenty of maps there is ample replay value, though the focus of the battlefield will favor those who live to command an army in the field.
8.5 Graphics
I found the landscapes to be beautiful and well-constructed and really appreciated the details of the individual units. Like the rest of the game the battlefield is where the graphics shine (along with the armor) though the campaign map has more than adequate graphics for its purpose.
8.0 Sound
The game’ s sounds truly make the game come alive, from the sound effects and music, to the voice overs for the campaign the sound truly enhanced the game experience. My only grip might be the very repetitious voices of the individual units, as the game demand constant troop attention the same response to selects and commands does get a bit tedious.
7.0 Gameplay
On the battlefield the controls are stellar with every type of command and formation that a general needs to wage war with sword and bow. Where gameplay stumbles just slightly is in the campaign, not from the story itself, but with balance issues in the economics verse maintaining an army that is sufficient enough to move through the campaign.
8.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Both online play and direct IP connect multiplayer is available with plenty of options and maps to select from, including time limits and pause allowances during the game. Profiles do include win percentages I would have liked to see an experience match feature.
7.5 Overall
This game was forged to wage war and so it is on the field of battle where its strength will be found. It will definitely hold the attention of those players who enjoy commanding troops in the field. This one sided attention however will leave players looking for deep economic management wanting. That said the campaign while having some balance issues, has potential with a good storyline and some RPG elements to turn a part time strategist into a full blown warlord!

Rating: 5.0, votes: 7

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