War Theatre: Blood of Winter – Review
Follow Genre: RTS
Developer: Arcade Distillery
Publisher: Arcade Distillery
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5

War Theatre: Blood of Winter – Review

Site Score
Good: Concept, Character and troop designs
Bad: Very bland map view, A bit 'too basic' at times, Perk system not explained
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)

War Theatre is back with a vengeance and ready to be brought to life on the next generation of consoles, or at least Sony’s next-gen console. This game, dubbed as a Gothic Advance Wars by some, is adding new content to its already long campaign, for only a few dollars. We were quite eager to revisit this title to see what it had on display. While it was more of the same as when the original title was released, we did enjoy our tactical battles in this theatre of war.


Truth be told, even though there is a lot of ‘narrative’ in this title, you don’t really care that much, as it’s all just a frame to basically do lengthy battles anyway. You’ll be playing in the land of Kasalli, where different factions vie for total domination. Some are driven by personal reasons, while others seemingly just want to see the world on fire. We did enjoy the snippets of text that were present, but the story is somewhat negligible.


Graphically, War Theatre: Blood of Winter is both as impressive as it is extremely bland. The character designs, be it of the heroes or the troops, are amazingly handled. Sadly, these prove to be very static designs, ones that barely move, even during combat. Also the fact there are so few of them doesn’t help for the overall appeal of the game. Sadly, this is further diminished by the very lazy and simplistic designs of the actual maps on which you play battles for hours on end. The structures clearly indicate what they do, and that’s nice, but they miss a certain something to truly put you in the mood to crush your opponents. The tiny little sprites used here miss that vibe as well, making the game go from very impressive gothic designs, to chibi characters that don’t pack a punch.

One thing that is quite jarring is how the edges of the map are designed. The map you’re battling on just stops, with no rounded edges or anything, and is just pasted on a non-matching background. This contrast is quite horrible and that is quite possibly what makes the other small design flaws even more noticeable as well.


The sound design of the game is mainly functional. The soundtrack is nothing truly extraordinary, and the sound effects are just performing their part to bring the gameplay to life. While never growing truly bothersome, you won’t notice much of the backdrop when playing, especially as this game is ideal to play in the background while doing some work, or watching a movie on a different monitor. We do regret that this game comes with no voice acting, as it could have added a lot of personality to the otherworldly designs of the different heroes.


Just like the original campaign of War Theatre, Blood of Winter is a turn-based RTS title. You’ll basically be playing on different maps, capturing more and more buildings, gaining more funds for your troops. The offset is extremely simple, as you either need to conquer all of the opposing forces’ buildings, kill all troops or simply kill a specific target. The mechanics are explained in mere moments in a tutorial mission. The game is very easy to learn, but it does take a bit of time to master.

The game does have certain mechanics in play that force you to complete certain objectives, in order to gain perks. These perks can be equipped to utilize passive bonuses for your campaign, skirmishes or multiplayer matches. Sadly, the latter seems to be completely abandoned on the PS5, as we tried multiple times to start a battle against strangers online but were never successful to actually find a match. We also have to mention that the perk system is not really that clear, as you must first go in the bounties menu and accept missions, in order to actually earn money to buy perks. This is a bit annoying, as you could be well underway in the campaign mode, to suddenly halt your progress because you are too weak.

A stage in the game, be it in the campaign, the skirmishes or online, is actually quite simple to play. You’ll have a few starting units and some buildings you own. The more you are able to capture, the more units you can produce, the more funds you will raise each turn, and of course, the stronger your position will become. You move around in a grid-like format, and after you have moved, you can also attack enemies in range. The UI is not always that great though, as it doesn’t properly explain the skills you can use, and you cannot always judge the distance of how close you need to be to attack targets. You can undo moves if a hidden target does not detect you. If the latter happens, you forfeit your turn with that specific troop unit. Nonetheless, the controls are simple, but feel a bit clumsy on a console, as this is arguably a game better suited for PC.


War Theatre: Blood of Winter is in many ways a fairly okay experience, albeit with some disappointments in the graphical department. That being said, for the very low price you’re paying, you’re getting a solid RTS experience and many hours of content. The game does take a bit of time getting used to, but it’s actually a very recommendable title for beginners in the genre to try out. Even so, we still believe that this ‘franchise’ has a lot of untapped potential, as it can easily spruce up its map and sprite designs, add a more cinematic soundtrack, and perhaps some voice acting for its lengthy campaign.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
War Theatre: Blood of Winter - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.