King’s Bounty II – Preview
Follow Genre: RPG, turn-based strategy
Developer: 1C Publishing EU
Publisher: 1C Publishing EU, Prime Matter, Koch Media, Deep Silver
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

King’s Bounty II – Preview

Good: Seems like great old-school fun with plenty of fantasy to enjoy
Bad: The story isn't all that great, Dialogue options are not there
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Every now and then, a series is picked up again because investors, developers, or publishers see the potential to give them a second lease on life. Often this goes hand in hand with an established fan base, especially for some games that have achieved a certain cult status over the years. The King’s Bounty series might be one of those almost-forgotten series that will receive new life on PC and consoles on the 24th of August. For us, this was enough to spend a little hands-on time with what might be an absolute gem in a treasure chest of old-school gaming.

To dive right into this preview we can immediately say that there are some great maps with beautiful graphics when playing through King’s Bounty II. We could honestly say that the graphics really do justice to fantasy as a genre. This great visual style is then accompanied by a quality musical score, and fairly decent voice acting. There’s also definitely something good in the unique way that King’s Bounty II mixes up some playstyles. We see a nice and balanced mix between open-world gameplay, classic top-down turn-based combat, and RPG elements with a fun fantasy story. You get to build an army, use magic, and collect (and loot) better gear. With this fun mix of gameplay elements, the sound design and its visual style, King’s Bounty II is already doing its very best to win over its potential player base. Sadly, when everything is handled in a top-tier level, the minor parts of a game (or in this case the beta) will stick out like a sore thumb.

In this case, King’s Bounty II’s quests and story are probably the two aspects that need the most polishing. Yes, there’s fun to be found, and yes, you can actually find yourself immersed in a world full of magic and mysteries. Sadly, the game lacks a certain depth, to make you really care, or to allow you to properly immerse yourself in this newly crafted fantasy world. The story at the start is certainly enough to get you started, but just not that engaging. Choosing between three characters with different headstrong emotions, background stories, and a set of skills, you start in a damp dungeon with your character, no matter which one you choose. Locked away to rot in some fortification for a variety of reasons, you are just about to be pardoned by a prince who wants your help. Obviously accepting your freedom, you gather some small necessities, while playing through a little tutorial, and head out. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself occupied with sidequests and battles, which does mean there is some additional content to explore.

Battles are quite easy to grasp and become a lot more fun as you progress through the game. You start by placing and shifting gathered/recruited packs of units from one hexagon space to the other, so they get in the right positions to attack others. You’ll be fighting in a turn-based format, where your gathered troops can attack your enemies. When your troops lose individual units, they may be healed after the battle in exchange for money. If one pack of units is completely wiped out, it will be lost forever.

Both you and your units have skills that will aid you in the many battles the game throws you in. Your units will of course perform their skills while duking it out with the enemy, while you can also damage the enemy with extra powerful attacks. This all happens while you are commanding everything from the sidelines. Outside of battle, when walking around the open-world setting, you will see enemies awaiting you in the distance. The latter gives you to option to engage in battle or to try and avoid it if you just want to continue what you were doing. At other times, however, you’ll be surprised by an attack and will have to use your wits and skills to win the battle at hand.

Conclusion

Overviewing the little bit of time we had with King’s Bounty II so far, fond memories are already shaping. The game has something magical and immersive to it, which really draws you in, while also being reminiscent of other games. It feels like a real effort has been made to create something special, and we are excited to see what’s next. Nonetheless, we wonder if it will eventually be enough, as the current build lacks a bit of depth and also has very shallow characters. That small negative footnote aside, the game is well on its way to becoming a great fantasy escape.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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King's Bounty II - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

2 Comments

  1. […] we previewed King’s Bounty II, but today 1C Entertainment and Prime Matter reveal a third playable character for the game. In […]

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  2. 3rd-strike.com | King’s Bounty II – Review
    September 8, 2021, 00:01

    […] II. It’s come a long way since 1990, and we are excited to finally play the full game after our preview. Let’s see what the magical world of this revived series has to offer […]

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