REVIEW: Kingdom Under Fire II is the Perfect Way to Get into RTS Games (PC)

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Kingdom Under Fire II

Kingdom Under Fire II is a PC MMORTS from BlueSide and published by Gameforge. Now I’ve been awaiting the arrival of KUFII for over 5 years, maybe a bit longer. I’ve played the previous iteration back in the day on the Xbox 360. Though that iteration in the franchise was more ARPG than anything, Kingdom Under Fire II, came out to do something “different”. Kingdom Under Fire II when introduced planned to “change the game” as we know it. There weren’t many games out there that have meshed together an MMORPG and a RTS game into one, but now in the year 2019, ten years after KUFII was supposed to be released, there are many to choose from, on both mobile platform and the PC.

Taking place in the world known as Bersia, there’s a great war going on in Kingdom Under Fire II as your character climbs the ranks and witnesses heinous acts imparted on several key figures in the kingdom. Tasked with attempting to put the pieces together, your story begins.

Kingdom Under Fire II has several unique mechanics within the game due to it’s hybrid nature. You have to play the proper balance between leveling your main hero, which you can choose from 5, Gunslinger, Spellsword, Berserker, Ranger, or Elementalist. Keeping them ahead of the enemies levels is a challenge as progress for your character is largely impacted by completing monotonous tasks of fetching, talking, or killing various enemies on the ARPG side. Then, leveling up your troops on the RTS side require Gold and Barracks experience, which are gained via the main hero quests that you’ll be completing.

The MMORPG aspect of the game is pretty cut and dry. You have your skills on hotkeys that are unlocked as you level and they’re on a cooldown, rather than having to manage an energy or mana bar, well at least that’s the case on the Gunslinger, who I play. As you slog through the tutorial, which you can skip, up to level 10 and actually begin to play the game, you will learn the ins and outs of the game from troop management, such as leveling them up and raising their ranks, to how specific troops work on the battlefield. You also have to join a faction, which is needed for PvP and Guild abilities.

The RTS aspect of the game is a little more complex as you will have to balance keeping yourself and your troops alive in the heart of battle. During the tutorial you’re handheld by the game, but once you get out of that, all bets are off. You will need to be methodical in your approach to missions else you can find yourself wiped out.

Though these aspects individually have their pros and cons, them together does feel like a bit of oil and vinegar. They at times feel coherent and mesh, and at times it feels like a pain to have to try and balance them both to be successful in your mission. This need to be super micromanager can be a turn off to some people who just want to play a more elaborate game of Dynasty Warriors.

Speaking of which, battles in Kingdom Under Fire II at times can be very taxing on certain computers. I remember in one missions there was at least 300+ NPCs dueling on my screen, along with me trying to kill a boss. It was soo much going on that it literally caused frame rate issues that put me almost to a standstill making it quite difficult to play. Though this game does have somewhat dated graphics, it’s still taxing when you have literal armies at war on your screen.

Kingdom Under Fire II

Though Kingdom Under Fire II does have it’s fair share of issues, I can say it’s been delivering on giving me hours of entertainment. Yes, the constant forced fetch quests can be annoying dull and uninspired, it’s done to progress the storytelling, which is quite in-depth. Though the AI at times can be really finicky when trying to direct troops to go to certain locations or to respond to certain enemies that they have the advantage on, it’s still fun when it works.

Kingdom Under Fire II is a game that I’m glad finally came out, because it’s a good segway into getting into RTS games without having to learn straight up which class is the best, because they’re all viable, or having to re-roll because you “made a dire mistake” with how you decided to build or chose the wrong hero. You can choose any of the 5 heroes and still kick ass, and you choose any of the 120 troop classes and still come out successful, it’s all a matter of skill, patience, and at times luck.

Overall, Kingdom Under Fire II embraced the long path of “development hell” and delivered a fun experience that should last for many years to come. I can see this game being updated with new troops and new heroes allowing players someone new to learn and master.

Kingdom Under Fire II is out on PC now through the website here, with the Hero package starting at just $29.99. You can also pick it up on Steam as well, here.

 

Kingdom Under Fire II
  • 7.5/10
    Ranking - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, Kingdom Under Fire II embraced the long path of “development hell” and delivered a fun experience that should last for many years to come.