Twice Removed: King’s Bounty Crossworlds

By Alec Meer on May 24th, 2010 at 1:30 pm.


Any day with more King’s Bounty in it is a good day. There’s no sign yet of a proper sequel to what was one of the best PC games of 2008, but we have had an expansion pack in sequel’s clothing, in the form of 2009′s sprawling but slightly underwhelming expandalone Armored Princess. Now that is getting its own expansion, Crossworlds. There’s only one possible name for it. It’s an expandapandalone.

And, peering at its content, there is a good chance Crossworlds could inflate AP into the game it should have been…

New spells’n'monsters’n'quest’n'you know how it works. Standing much taller than the inevitable (but welcome) campaign extension is a game editor. Not sure of its scale as yet, but an opportunity to create bespoke KB adventures is enormously welcome. Carefully-made weirdo deathtraps, combative puzzles of a sort, could well give KB the life and community it sorely deserves.

On top of that are two extra campaigns which seem to offer instant challenge, a much-needed alternative to replaying the sometimes long-winded roaming of the main game. The mode that’s a chain of boss battles sounds particularly appealing, given just how far to town KB traditionally goes with its boss design.

All sounding splendid, even if I did have my heart set on King’s Bounty 2. The expansion is due later this year, by the way. Finer details are in the press release below, and I’ll have more for you about Crossworlds very soon. In fact, I’m off to Prague at stupid o’clock tomorrow to gaze upon 1C’s line-up for the rest of year, so hopefully I’ll snag some hands-on time with Crossworlds there.

MOSCOW, Russia — May 24, 2010 — Leading Eastern and Central European publisher 1C Company and Katauri Interactive today announced the development of King’s Bounty: Crossworlds, a stand-alone expansion to the award-winning King’s Bounty: Armored Princess.

The expansion features two new campaigns and a massive expansion to King’s Bounty: Armored Princess, dozens of new quests, new items, spells and creatures. Fans of the King’s Bounty series will be thrilled to see their requests were answered as King’s Bounty: Crossworlds will also include a full-scale game editor. As in the multi-award winning 1st game, the player has many options to battle both new and old enemies. Various new skills and abilities, as well as a flying steed, will help to overcome the hordes attacking the kingdom. The Princess is also accompanied by her tamed dragon, at the very beginning it is small, but its abilities develop steadily until it becomes an incredible ally. The dragon will do its best to protect the Princess during the battles, starting with simple attacks and finishing with fire breathing and volcano summoning.

King’s Bounty: Crossworlds features:

· 2 brand new campaigns (Champion of the Arena with boss battles in a gladiatorial tournament and Defender of the Crown with battles in unique tactical arenas with a random selection of enemies and allies).

· Massive expansion of the original King’s Bounty: Armored Princess – Orcs on the March, featuring new units, spells and quests.

· New creatures to slay or use in combat.

· 70 new items, 8 new item sets, including one for the pet dragon and 3 component artifacts.

· 7 new quests allow players to continue their journey.

· 50 new abilities and skills.

· 13 new spells.

· Game Editor for King’s Bounty: Armored Princess.

The King’s Bounty series are adventure games with tactical turn-based battles and RPG elements unfolding in a rich fantasy world. The character and their army of companions travel across a huge continent, visiting dozens of different locations all connected to each other. Communicating with NPCs, collecting resources and recruiting an army the player will control their character in real-time mode, while all battles take place in classic turn-based mode with a strong emphasis on tactical elements. King’s Bounty: Crossworlds release is scheduled for
Q3 2010. More information about the game can be found at www.kings-bounty.com

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34 Comments »

  1. Rosti says:

    I can only think of lonely, inflatable pandas now. CURSE YOU MEER!

    • jeremypeel says:

      It just doesn’t make sense… inflatable pandas, lonely? Surely they’re the very definition of fun!

  2. ChaK_ says:

    I liked KB:AP, a lot

    then my HDD crashed, and I didn’t want to make it all over again, might be the occasion !

    package on steam please !

    • jeremypeel says:

      Hear hear – I’ve put off getting into King’s Bounty for too long, but if the Gold edition isn’t reduced from £35 on Steam soon I’ll end up losing interest.

    • Alex says:

      There was a deal awhile back. I picked up both off steam for like $15

  3. jalf says:

    ex-panda-panda….lone…
    So the panda is lonely because the other panda is now an ex-panda?

  4. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Brilliant news! Just started Kings Bounty: The Ledgend a week ago. Hours and hours of a huge amount of fun. I sit down to the game, and suddenly, 6 hours lost in a flash of brilliant battles, quests, fighting inside my crown of thorns and revisiting older areas.
    Good timing on my part.

  5. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I think I need to play this. It went largely unnoticed by me and didn’t realize it was so well received by gamers. I was never a fan of the original. So that’s maybe why I ignored this one.

    Will start with the demo.

    • Auspex says:

      Be aware that it’s a real grower. First time I played it I didn’t have a scoobie what was going on and quickly got annoyed and confused and stopped playing.

      Then I gave it another shot a couple of months later and….
      62 HOURS! I find it a very difficult game to recommend because I think people will either not really “get it” or find it boring or they’ll become /utterly/ absorbed it.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Thanks for the tip Auspex.

  6. Auspex says:

    I loved KB: Legend but I played it for 62 hours in a week and then never played it again. A WEEK! 62 HOURS!

    It is for this very reason that I did not buy AP, though I’m worried this release might tempt me back.

  7. jsutcliffe says:

    Hmm, just how scaleable is KB? Is it laptop-friendly?

    • Auspex says:

      I think it needs a surprisingly meaty processor so I’m not sure if it’ll be very laptop friendly at all.

    • Vinraith says:

      @jsutcliffe

      What Auspex said, be careful. I can get it to run smoothly at medium settings on my laptop, but my laptop was bought with gaming in mind (dual core 2.5 GHz, 4 MB DDR3, 256 MB NVidia FX 570) so YMMV.

    • Sam says:

      It runs on my laptop, and although my laptop is also meant to play games, That said, it’s also 3 years old: c2d 2.4GHz, GeForce Go 7700m, 2GB RAM. You could get away with a bit less, I think. I generally play it windowed at 1024×768 while doing other things and it runs quite smoothly. AP is a bit more demanding graphically than the original.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Dammit Vinraith, just by saying that you got the song stuck in my head too.

      I also loved the original. I ignored the “Heroes of Might and Magic” games, but around the time the third one came out, someone pointed out to me that HOMM was essentially the sequel derived from King Bounty, and I rushed out to snap up HOMM 3.

      Man that was a great game. Lovely art and Turn-Based-Strategy building an army of fantasy creatures, and morale! That’s probably the twist I remember most – an angry mob of peasants fighting side by side with a slavering horde of zombies does not make for a happy fighting force…

  8. Vinraith says:

    Hmm, there’s probably no sense pretending I’m not going to buy that. I still haven’t gotten around to AP, despite having owned is since release, but I love the hell out of these games and can’t help but actively support them. The original King’s Bounty was one of my most beloved childhood games, and these really do capture it quite well (aside from lacking the catchy late-80′s blips and bloops soundtrack).

    • jeremypeel says:

      There was an original late-80s King’s Bounty?

      Vinraith, if I sit at your feet and look suitably awed, will you tell us tales of it please?

    • Vinraith says:

      @jeremypeel

      I’m a little short on time this morning, but I’ll do you one better and link you to where you can have a look at it yourself:

      http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/151/Kings+Bounty.html

      It was a brilliant little game, probably one of the most-played titles of my youth. The soundtrack still gets stuck in my head to this day.

    • archonsod says:

      I remember playing it on the Megadrive. Then I got it free for my PC in a Heroes of Might & Magic pack (Kings Bounty + HoMM I and IIRC HoMM II). Best fifteen quid I ever spent that.

      Which reminds me, I really should get around to finishing AP. Or the first one for that matter.

  9. rocketman71 says:

    Defender of the Crown?. Really?.

    I’m gonna teach those Normans :P

  10. Baboonanza says:

    Armoured Princess suffered from essentially being more-of-the-same but without the novelty ideas of the first game. I’ve never finsihed it for this reason.

    I’d like to play a KB2 if they could make it imaginative enough to keep it interesting. Unfortunately I don’t think this expandapandalone is going to be that :(

  11. westyfield says:

    Saying expandapandalone aloud just brought a massive grin to my face. Thankyou, Mr. Meer.

  12. Hyoscine says:

    Expanda-panda-lone sounds like an anime thing my little sister would be into.

  13. MWoody says:

    Bah, no thank you. The campaign for AP, which I finished, took a ridiculously long time (I’m a completist). A few new items and spells isn’t going to entice me into plugging another 60-80 hours into something I’ve already finished. Nor am I at all interested in the two new campaigns – and how slimy is it to call those “campaigns?” It’s a boss rush mode and a random skirmish mode, i.e. the random extra stuff most games include already.

    The only way I’d play this would be if I hadn’t played the main game already. Who targets an expansion expansion at the subset of their customers who aren’t big enough fans to have already played their games?

    • Alex says:

      I have to agree. I’m no completist but did finish AP. Playing AP again with more features and bells and whistles does not appeal. Also, I hate boss battles.

  14. Pidesco says:

    RPS really should stop badmouthing Armoured Princess. It improved the original in everything that mattered: The combat was better balanced, more challenging and less grindy. It was very open ended instead of overly linear, and the dragon was worth using, unlike the awful magic box summons.

  15. Damian says:

    I read the title of the article – and every instance therein – as ‘crosswords’ and initially got unnecessarily excited about a truly genre-bending hybrid.

  16. oceanclub says:

    I really really wish they would patch in the ability to change the difficulty level mid-game. When I started off, I was intimated by the genre and so the level to easy. After a good few hours, I found that battles were too easy, but didn’t want to start over again.

    P.

  17. Zyzzi says:

    Does this mean that it’s basically Armored Princess but with more stuff? This means that it wouldn’t be worth buying AP, since it’s pretty much the same thing? It’s still $30 on Steam (just for AP) and I can’t find it retail anywhere around me.

  18. Al3xand3r says:

    I absolutely adored The Legend, I bought Armored Princess but have yet to play it, I’ll make sure to get to it once this stuff is out though! This time it’s added on Armored Princess, not stand alone, right?

  19. ZephyrSB says:

    I think I’ll have to join the ever-growing ‘bought-AP-on-release-but-haven’t-really-played-it’ camp. This could be just the reminder I need to finally get around to it.

    • blargh says:

      Same here. Well, not on release, but a short while after when it was on sale over on Impulse. Also got the Armored Princess on Steam during the holiday sales. Now, if only I had the time to finally get around to playing them.

  20. Landis says:

    I just bought KB and AP bundled in the gold edition for $10