Battle Brothers – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based tactical RPG
Developer: Overhype Studios
Publisher: Overhype Studios, Ukiyo Publishing Limited
Platforms: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Battle Brothers – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Very challenging, Unique and interesting story based on your own actions
Bad: Very high difficulty, Lack of tutorials, Outdated graphics
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Battle Brothers initially released in 2017 on PC and has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch. In Battle Brothers, you lead a company of mercenaries in a medieval fantasy world. It was well-received at the time with one of its biggest assets being its high difficulty and immersion. Battle Brothers features turn-based battles as well as trading mechanics to acquire the gear you need to keep your company alive and well. Now, we got the chance to take a look at the Switch variant of this game.

Story

Battle Brothers is set in a medieval fantasy world where you lead a company of mercenaries to make a living completing tasks and gain renown all over the world. In this game, it is really up to you how you want to explore the world and with this, create your own story. You can choose the origin of your mercenary company when you start a new campaign. This will determine how your company starts out and what type of men, equipment, resources and rules you’ll start out with. Recommended is choosing the first option “Rebuilding a Company” which starts with a company that suffered a big loss in battle and you are in charge to restore the company to its former glory. Your story will advance as you enter cities, complete contracts and build your renown.

Graphics

Battle Brothers sure isn’t the prettiest game around at this time. If you look at the game, it’s clear that during development of this game, the graphics weren’t really that important. The game still looks okay in its own way, but won’t win any prizes in terms of graphics. The map of Battle Brothers is really big and is filled with mountains, forests and cities. When you enter a battle, you’ll see your group of mercenaries and your enemies on the battlefield as small icons that hold a weapon and a shield (if equipped). Each character does have its own unique appearance, but they all look rather dull. The game does have some performance issues when zooming out on the map as it will drastically lower the FPS.

Sound

The sound in Battle Brothers is done quite well. You’ll hear a lot of environmental sounds when on the map, in cities or out on the battlefield. These are accompanied by some gentle medieval-sounding music. When you enter combat, the music changes to a more suiting tune. This also happens when entering towns or cities, where you will constantly hear riding carriages, smithing sounds and more. Overall, the music used in Battle Brothers fits the medieval theme perfectly.

Gameplay

Battle Brothers is a turn-based tactical RPG that puts you in command of a company of mercenaries, the Battle Brothers. It’s your task to lead them to success in this rough and unforgiving medieval fantasy world. In this world, you’ll encounter many dangers and hazards that you need to overcome to keep your mercenary group alive and gain renown all over the world.

The controls of Battle Brothers are fairly easy to master. On the map and in combat, you move and control your units with simple point and click commands. Each unit has its own skills based on its equipped weapons. These can be used by clicking the icons and then clicking on the enemy you want to attack. You definitely notice that this game is a PC port as it has some points that could’ve been improved to work better on a console.

While the controls are easy in this game, the rest surely isn’t! The developers even warn you in the main menu for the difficulty of this game and advise you to start at the lowest difficulty with the first company origin that is supposed to be a tutorial mode, but the game really lacks a good tutorial. After playing for a while, we can absolutely confirm that this game has a very high difficulty and maybe the best way to learn to play this game is to watch a YouTube video that explains the game’s ins and outs. Making even one single mistake can mean the end for several of your units or even lose a fight where you thought you had an advantage.

Hitting or missing attacks in Battle Brothers is determined by a certain roll mechanism that needs you to roll a certain number that will decide if your attack fails or succeeds. Fortunately, you can manually save this game as often as you want to make sure you won’t lose a lot of progress if you suddenly lose a battle. Having some luck will definitely help you out in many situations, which also means you’ll end up dying quite a lot before you succeed in many battles. Terrains also have a pretty big effect on combat as higher ground will give you multiple advantages over your enemy. All in all, tactics are very important in this game and a lot of trial and error is needed to fully master this game.

In the world of Battle Brothers, you’ll find many towns and cities you can enter to trade with them, take on contracts, train your mercenaries, buy better equipment and more. Each city belongs to a certain faction with which you can increase your relationship to gain benefits like cheaper prices for food and gear, better-paying contracts, new and stronger recruits for your company, and more. Improving your relationship with a faction can also have negative effects as opposing factions will hate you for helping their enemies and maybe even start sending hunters to track you down and end you.

To keep your group from falling apart, you need to pay your mercenaries their daily wages and they need to be fed daily. By taking on contracts and selling loot found on corpses of your freshly slain enemies, you earn money to pay your mercenaries’ wages, buy food, armor and weapons. Each of your mercenaries has their own unique stats that will determine their strength, health, speed and more. The higher the price you pay for hiring a mercenary, the better they are. Each mercenary also has an extensive range of stats that influence the flow of battle.

Conclusion

Battle Brothers is a turn-based tactical RPG with a super high difficulty that requires tactical thinking and a lot of trial and error to be played in a good fashion. It may not be the best port to the Nintendo Switch but it definitely adds a great tactical game to the line-up of the games you can play on the hybrid console. Building up a successful mercenary company can be quite a lot of fun after learning the ins and outs of this game. Battle Brothers on Nintendo Switch remains quite the same in this port, meaning it is as good as the PC version. Battle Brothers is definitely not for the weak-willed gamers, but for those eager to play a challenging tactical RPG, this is a must-buy.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Battle Brothers - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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