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PC Review: King Arthur: Fallen Champions

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King Arthur: Fallen Champions is an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that is frustrating but yet rewarding with sweet victory. The story takes place between the last King Arthur game and the upcoming sequel that is set to release in the first quarter of 2012.

In the game there are three different campaigns in which players take command of three different heroes — a knight, a shaman and a sidhe. There is the ability to freely switch between each campaign at any point in the game. In order to get to the final battle each of the campaigns must be beaten. These campaigns are each different, but yet intertwined.

 

King Arthur: Fallen Champions is set up into two different sections — an adventure sequence and a battle sequence. Each adventure sequence tells the story of the game and ultimately the mission before the battle starts. There are different choices that can be made that will impact how the battle sequence will play out including the type of allies that will come be available in the battle sequences.

Before each battle starts, players will be able to level up their hero, which gives them new abilities and traits to use on the battlefield. These traits can and will turn the tide of battle. Players will have to be very careful when using the abilities, several of them can only be used once during the battle sequence. The only way to replenish the used abilities is to have the unit that used the ability walk over “replenish pools;” where green pools replace abilities and purple pools replace mana. These pools can be anywhere in the battlefield.

Completing battles can also sometimes earn different artifacts. These artifacts can only be equipped during the beginning of the battle. A pop-up window will appear if there are any unspent points and unequipped artifacts asking if you want to start the battle without using any artifacts and upgrading abilities.


King Arthur: Fallen Champions controls like a normal RTS, moving and attacking each unit with the point and click of a mouse. Units have the ability to walk or run and the player can increase the speed of battle if it is taking too long.

The ability to save during battle is the one thing that would have made the game a lot better. There are a couple of battle sequences that last several hours that I would have loved to saved in the middle.  At the very least, a check point system could have been implemented. It can only take only one decision to cause an entire army to be destroyed and the battle to start over from the beginning. This can be very frustrating especially towards the end of battles which have taken several hours.

One way to overcome this is to change the difficulty. Naturally, the game starts off by having players choosing their difficulty, but there is the ability to switch to any setting from beginner to difficult at the in-game menu.

King Arthur: Fallen Champions is a well very done game. It is quite rewarding to see battle strategies come together for the completion of a mission, especially when it has taken upwards of two hours to complete. However, the fact that there is no in-battle save or checkpoint is a major deterrent to playing. Going in very prepared and ready for anything is a good key for success. Being able to play multiple times with different choices seeing how each battle will change based on those choices adds play time and depth. This game is a must for the lover of the King Arthur series and the RTS genre happy until King Arthur II comes out in Q1 2012.


King Arthur:  Fallen Champions is Rating Pending (RP) by the ESRB. However, it does contain Alcohol References, Blood and Gore, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes and Violence.

 

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