Medieval Kingdom Wars Review: An Ambitious but Flawed Game


Introduction

Medieval Kingdom Wars is a grand strategy game developed by Reverie World Studios. The game offers a unique mix of real-time strategy battles, base-building, and resource management, all set in a medieval setting. While the developers acknowledge the game’s limitations and apologize for its dated graphics and animations, they also express their dedication to providing an alternative experience in the grand strategy genre. In this review, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of Medieval Kingdom Wars, discussing its aesthetics, gameplay mechanics, and overall performance.

Aesthetics: Aged Graphics and Limited Variety

The developers openly admit that Medieval Kingdom Wars has aged graphics, and it shows. The models and textures in the game appear dated and lack the level of detail expected in modern games. However, it’s worth noting that the graphics are not outright ugly and still maintain a certain charm. The game’s major setback in terms of aesthetics lies in its lack of variety. When fighting in major settlements, players will come across numerous copy-pasted buildings that give a bland impression. Despite these shortcomings, the game manages to impress in certain areas, particularly with its combat effects. Watching fire spread and engulf the enemy units is visually satisfying. The major combat elements, such as siege weapons and unit special abilities, are also well-executed.

On the other hand, the user interface (UI) of Medieval Kingdom Wars is a major letdown. The buttons are too close together, making it difficult to navigate and select options. Hovering over selections can be imprecise and slow, hampering the overall user experience. The cluttered world map further exacerbates the issue, with shadows, trees, and units overlapping and making it challenging to discern important elements. Although the UI design aligns with the game’s medieval theme, it fails to deliver a user-friendly interface that enhances gameplay.

Gameplay: A Mix of Grand Strategy and Real-Time Strategy

One of the game’s standout features is its inclusion of both grand strategy and real-time strategy gameplay elements. Similar to older Total War titles, Medieval Kingdom Wars allows players to engage in grand strategy actions on a world map, including battles and the option to auto-resolve conflicts. Participating in battles is surprisingly engaging, especially as players research advancements in formations and units, which opens up more tactical options. The game also incorporates a base-building mechanic during sieges, adding a real-time strategy element to the gameplay.

However, the gameplay is not without its flaws. The game’s responsiveness can be unresponsive and erratic at times, often misinterpreting player commands. Units may not follow commands accurately, leading to frustrating situations. Additionally, the city-building element, while present, feels bare-bones and lacks depth. Players can build up their cities using resources, but the happiness of the cities inexplicably decreases while players are inside them. This mechanic seems arbitrary and hinders the city-building aspect of the game. Furthermore, unit positioning in cities can be problematic, as units tend to move slightly upon re-entry, sometimes cutting through walls or other structures.

Overlapping Mechanics and Slow Pace

Medieval Kingdom Wars introduces several overlapping mechanics, which can be both a strength and a weakness. The game features various resources, each primarily obtained through specific cities or as spoils of war. These resources are then used to research new technologies, unlock buildings, units, and upgrades. Researching is instantaneous, as with everything else in the game, provided the player has the necessary resources. While the inclusion of these mechanics adds depth to the gameplay, it also results in a slow pace. Units move sluggishly on the map, and battles can feel drawn-out and tedious. Although the game aims for an immersive experience, the slow pace often leads to boredom rather than engagement.

Reverie World Studios could benefit from adopting a “less is more” approach to the game. By streamlining the gameplay elements and focusing on core mechanics, Medieval Kingdom Wars could reach its full potential. While the combat and campaign aspects of the game offer moments of enjoyment, they are overshadowed by unnecessary elements such as the simplistic city-building and the overall sluggishness of the gameplay.

Performance and Technical Issues

Medieval Kingdom Wars suffers from performance issues, particularly when there is a lot happening on screen. Large cities or battles with significant troop numbers can cause significant stuttering, affecting the overall gameplay experience. This issue can be frustrating, especially for players with high-performance gaming setups. It’s important for Reverie World Studios to address these technical issues promptly to provide an optimal gaming experience for players.

Conclusion: Potential for Improvement

In conclusion, Medieval Kingdom Wars is an ambitious game that shows promise but falls short in several areas. The dated graphics and lack of variety in building models detract from the overall visual experience. The unresponsive UI and cluttered world map hinder navigation and immersion. However, the game’s mix of grand strategy and real-time strategy elements, coupled with engaging combat and a captivating campaign, offer glimpses of its potential. Reverie World Studios has committed to providing updates and fixes, which could address the game’s shortcomings and elevate it to a higher level. With continued support and improvements, Medieval Kingdom Wars has the potential to become a more polished and enjoyable gaming experience.

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