King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame Review
King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Neocore Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Neocore Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 24, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Pending 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

This large-scale combat is exciting and tense. Using all the tactical resources at your disposal gives you a lot of leeway to find winning strategies to take down enemy forces. The problem is it doesn't take long for King Arthur's steep difficulty curve to bite you in the backside. Even on the easiest difficulty setting, you'll soon wind up railroaded into hard-to-avoid battle situations where you're likely to get ground to a pulp no matter what your approach to combat or army management is. Losing Arthur or having too many of your forces whittled down spells an instant game over, forcing you to restart from a recent auto save. Depending on how you play, it's easy to accidentally back yourself into a corner and have to backtrack in this manner. Otherwise, the game is really quite enjoyable.

King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame screenshot

When you're not trying to kill people, there are other activities to engage in. Quests bring up a choose-your-own adventure style interface that presents snippets of narrative and multiple options for what course of actions you want to take. You'll have to run through a lengthy tree of these encounters before wrapping up a given quest. Some will have you spending money or food. Others will lead to battle. Ultimately, your decisions in these side excursions not only affect the outcome of a given quest, they can also have an impact on your troops, your religious leanings, the wheel of morality that tracks your deeds, and the vitality of your forces.

King Arthur has a polished, impressive overall presentation that features some marvelous artwork and a well-designed interface. Help menus that explain the various elements of gameplay pop up early on, though they're not overly intrusive, and they actually have some style to them. On the map and in combat, the graphics look great on higher settings. The quick-zoom camera lets you get some truly cinematic views of the action, from a ground level perspective on the fighting to the standard eagle-eye view. Voice work and the soundtrack are also well done.

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Though the extreme difficulty curve gives us some pause, King Arthur is an easy title to recommend. All of the various elements come together nicely with a gorgeous and stylish presentation. Neocore has already released a major patch to tweak some of the early issues, and their attentiveness to player feedback bodes well for the future of this engaging fantasy title.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
An all-around great looking game, from the cool artwork and interface to the body-strewn battlefield.
3.9
Control
The zoom function is a bit testy, but the keyboard and mouse setup is pretty solid.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Nice voice work and appropriately thematic music.
4.0
Play Value
Lots of branching options and quests to explore. The grueling difficulty can be a drag.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Real-time fantasy battles: Spectacular fight scenarios on grandiose battlefields, featuring thousands of soldiers and powerful heroes. Battles rely on the strengths and weaknesses of the different arms with several tactical possibilities, the abilities of the units and the heroes, monsters and most of all, spells.
  • Turn-based Campaign Map: Britannia is represented as a fully three dimensional topographic map where heroes move freely, conquer provinces or find adventures. In the turn-based campaign the changing seasons have effect on the gameplay and the graphics of the Campaign Map.
  • Create your own legend! The saga of King Arthur is an epic tale about the conquest of Britannia through a story-based campaign. The Campaign is divided into chapters, like a chronicle, each with a unique tone and theme. The chapters all have objectives, long- and short-term goals that also fit together to draw a grandiose picture of an unfolding storyline. There are many possible events and outcomes that all influence the legend itself and determine the ending of the storyline.
  • Morality Chart: Every decision in the game will influence the position of King Arthur on the Morality Chart. King Arthur might become a Christian ruler or the Follower of the Old Faith; a rightful or a ruthless monarch. These choices unlock special contents, allies, heroes, units and developments.
  • RPG elements: Heroes lead the armies and learn skills, spells and abilities from an ability tree for experience points. Heroes can also use magic items or become liege lords, entrusted with the leadership of a province, which is the best way to have them indebted.
  • Adventures: Adventuring is the essence of King Arthur's world. Quests pop up on the Campaign Map regularly.


  • Screenshots / Images
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