The Lighthouse Customer: King’s Bounty: Dark Side

By Christopher Livingston on May 26th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

SO MANY MONSTER THINGS HAPPENING AT ONCE YOU GUYS.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, monster-based monster strategy (again!) with (even more!) monsters King’s Bounty: The Dark Side.

Last week I moaned about not being able to get monsters to work together to destroy humankind. I should have just waited for this week, when King’s Bounty: The Dark Side (or just Dark Side, depending on what you’re reading) gave me the monster team-up of my dreams. Zombies, demons, vampires, orcs, goblins, imps, three-headed dogs, skeletal archers, necromancers, and even dragons, all in the mix, and more importantly all working together for monsterkind.

The monster factions in the world of King’s Bounty are reeling. Elves (goddamn elves!) have invaded the orcs’ homeland, the vampires have been overrun with Van Helsing wannabes, and human knights have laid waste to the kingdom of demons. I’ve chosen to play as the demoness, Neoline, hoping she’ll be a more interesting tactical choice than the orc, who I assume just hits things with a cleaver. And I don’t want to play as a vampire because, I dunno, aren’t we kind of tired of vampires by now?

Well, with a name like Dying Father, this was bound to happen.

As Neoline, I’m tasked with defending what’s left of the demon empire and searching for some way to fight back against the encroachment of humankind. I quickly gather some monster units: a crowd of fire elementals, several imps, and whatever the plural of a cerberus is. They all eagerly follow my battle orders despite the fact that I’m wearing a g-string, not exactly the sort of garb that would inspire confidence during times of war. I’m not the only one, either: both types of demonesses I recruit are also wearing thongs. I hope one of my quests will be to find us all some pants.

I think we can expect a lot of buttock-related injuries in the ranks.

The Dark Side is like, what, the 23rd “expandalone” for King’s Bounty? But, it’s actually my first exposure to the series, and I’m super-digging the mix-and-match combat with my collection of monsters. Currently, my favorite move is to send my stout three-headed dogs charging across the board for a bite attack, then wait for my enemies to surround him on all sides, which they invariably do. At that point I have my demoness use her teleportation spell to swap my cerberi with my fire elemental. Oh, you thought you had a dog surrounded? No, you have a fire thing surrounded, and it can explode into an even bigger fire thing, burning anyone surrounding it. Suckers!

Whatever, He-Man. Prepare to be goblined, furiously.

Of course, I can’t stick with one set of monsters for too long, as I’m constantly coming across new beasties to add to my posse, and there are only so many slots. It’s hard to resist trading in my demonesses for some creaking skeletal archers, because there’s just something cool about skeletal archers. Some zombie units become available, and there’s no way I can pass on sending a crew of maggoty undeads lurching into combat. Goblins, I could probably pass on, but these aren’t simply goblins, they’re Furious Goblins! I must have them. I’m in monster heaven! Which I guess is hell, technically. I’m in hell!

It's like chess, only with laser-eyed floating tentacle monsters.

As with Endless Legend, I’m a little dismayed when I have to pit my collection of monsters against other collections of monsters — my dream is for all monsters to be united — but I have to admit that twice as many monsters on the battlefield make combat twice as much fun, even if they’re not all on my side. I see vampires who can transform into bats, necromancers who can raise the fallen, laser-shooting floating beholders, flying griffins, giant snakes and spiders, even ancient bears (which are I guess are just bears, but older and thus more knowledgeable about bear combat).

I talked some ancient bears out of fighting. That's a silver tongue.

I even unlock The Book of Evil, which I sort of expect to just be a simple spell, but it turns out it’s a giant book that actually scuttles around on the battlefield. A giant evil book! It bites enemies, and can summon a giant floating skull to vomit on people. It’s a giant evil monster book. It’s the best.

This is what it sounds like when imps cry.

Things take a bit of a turn when I run into a real monster, a proper monster, perhaps the king of all monsters: a dragon. At first we just chat, and I think maybe we’ll be friends, but then he suddenly decides, nope, he’s gonna eat me. He fries my beloved cerebri. He toasts my imps, who have been with me from the beginning. He trashes the orc unit I’ve picked up and makes mere bones out of my skeletons. Eventually, I manage to beat him, at which point he agrees to allow me to add dragon units to my army, under the condition that I first bring him a princess to marry. As luck would have it, I recently met one.

This ain't exactly Frozen, here.

Princess Sally is her name, and she recently sent me on a quest to turn two women, her perceived competition, into toads. I didn’t opt to do this, I just tricked her into thinking I had. Don’t get me wrong: I’m an evil monster, and turning people into toads is something an evil monster would do, and I’m totally on board with the evilness of that. It’s just that as much as I’ve been enjoying the monster-mashing this game provides, I’ve also been experiencing a growing concern while playing.

See, a recent quest offered to me by a man was to fight some pirates that were giving him trouble. The princess, meanwhile, having accepted the toads, offered to pay me in kisses. Okay, sure, she’s the stereotypical princess: spoiled, clueless, I get it. But another quest involving a woman led to her eagerly seducing a knight.

Okie dokie, then.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve encountered a quest centered around a woman — or even a conversation centered around a woman — that didn’t involve jealousy, seduction, love potions, or beauty. And just look at my own badass demoness, Neoline. She has a little monster advisor who can offer three attacks in battle. For the orc-themed attack, called ORC STRIKE, he transforms into a two-story orc and summons a spectral weapon to plummet onto the enemy. For the vampire attack, called NECROPACK, a dark cloud of hellish skulls sweeps along the hexes. The demoness attack? It’s called JEALOUSY. It summons a gold statue of a naked woman that other creatures fight to protect. Uh. Barf?

Yeah, barf.

Now, like I said, this is my first King’s Bounty game, so I’m not entirely sure how to take all this. The game seems to have an off-kilter sense of humor, so perhaps it’s trying to poke fun at these fantasy stereotypes? It’s also an unfinished game, and I haven’t even finished the unfinished part, so I’m really not trying to point a stern finger of absolute judgement. I’m just asking, really. What do you all think?

Would the orc look terrified at a to-do list?

I mean, I’m supposed to be a badass demon, right? Then why are my responses often that of a timid child?

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66 Comments »

  1. Chalky says:

    A fantasy game containing fantasy stereotypes isn’t that shocking, is it?

    King’s Bounty has never had the worlds most amazing storyline. I’m not sure of any game of this genre does. It’s decent fun though.

    Slightly more relevant – given that many people have criticized this franchise for releasing essentially the same game over and over, perhaps having someone review it who’s never played any of the previous ones wasn’t the best plan.

    Anyone know of new gameplay concepts or other reasons to buy this instead of simply replaying the previous games?

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  2. FriendlyPsicopath says:

    Is gonna be a copy and paste game, same as all the previous….
    quick cash grab, unless someone points the new juicy stuff……someone that played the series….

    • frightlever says:

      I’m guessing no-one who’d played the previous games could stomach another one. Which is not to say any one of them was actually bad in small doses, but the grind…

      • Martin Carpenter says:

        Think some of us very happy with the core gameplay :) Armoured princess and Crossworlds were definite, non trivial, refinements over the original reboot. Warriors of the North did seem to lose a chunk of polish/balance somewhere.

        This one? Well if they focus it on letting/making you use evil units all the way through, with different skills/spells to AP on top then it could be a different enough experience to be genuinely worthwhile. If they do what they did with warriors of the north where you get rebooted into using the stock human armies earlyish on, then rather less so.

    • Funso Banjo says:

      Copy and Paste Game.

      It’s also copy and pasted faux sexist outrage here at RPS.

      • falcon2001 says:

        This is the weakest outrage ever. “Man, it’s a little weird that all the ladies in here are stereotypes” doesn’t really equal outrage, more than him saying ‘Man, it’s a little weird that all the goblins in here are stereotypically evil.’ It’s a casual observation.

        You need to use the word outrage appropriately.

        • slerbal says:

          Agreed. There was no outrage in the article, more a mild jab at weak writing…

        • MartinWisse says:

          Even if there was outrage, it would be bloody well be appropiate for such weak sauce sexism.

  3. Premium User Badge Xantonze says:

    Mr Livingston on RPS! Hurrah!!!

  4. frightlever says:

    Here’s a thought, don’t make me trudge back over the map to re-build my army after every single battle.

    • bill says:

      Oh god this!!
      Did they ever fix it in the sequels? I made it about 3/4 of the way through the first one before the fun/charm turned to drudgery.

      I actually think it’d be a reasonable idea to try to get players to use the resources at hand, rather than just stick with one army setup. If it happened from time to time. But instead you were forced to head back to stock up on units after EVERY battle, or change your army and be using new (inferior) units every battle. And the game wasn’t really balanced to support that.

      If they simply allowed you to resupply up to 50% of a unit’s members in the field, but required you to head to a town for more serious injuries, that would fix 80% of my issues with the game.

      • Premium User Badge bglamb says:

        I think they maybe did fix this, or at least somewhat. I haven’t played much yet, but there is a ‘prisoners system’. After each battle you collect a certain number of ‘prisoners’, which stack in your inventory. You can then use your companion to turn them into troops, like skeletons, zombies, etc, on the fly.

    • ZephyrSB says:

      I never did finish that questline to close the demon portal into dwarf lands because I loved the demon armies so much that I had to keep trudging back there every time to refresh my troops…until they ran out :(

    • Bob_Bobson says:

      Possibly because I always play as a mage I’ve never found this to be a big issue. For me a typical midgame fight was with smallish numbers of high level defensive or ranged troops where I used rage and spells to devastate my enemies early on, and the rest was cleaning up. My attrition was something like 5% troop loss per fight, and as my army was smaller than a warrior or paladins I didn’t exhaust the supplies in a region easily.

      • frightlever says:

        I usually played a knight or whatever the melee choice was per game, and had a reasonably tough time of it in places. I’m not sure I like the sound of your succession of trivial battles any better than me needing to restock 30-50% of my troops after every battle.

        • Bob_Bobson says:

          They didn’t feel trivial at the time. A lot of the time it felt like I was one move away from the enemy meleeing my big stack of ranged troops down or similar. You have made me realise something that was broken though – if you had to go and restock after every fight you never entered fights on full rage, which makes them massively harder and means you lose an extra 20% in the next fight, and so have to restock again, etc. I reckon I’d have quit with that working against me too.

          • supermini says:

            The tactical game revolved around finishing battles with no losses, and there were various ways to do this. Paladins for aoe resurrection, finding a t5 unit through one of the ancient scrolls that you can get from chests/duplicate maps, no retaliation creatures like royal snakes, using creatures that can summon and then using summons to draw aggro (druids, royal thorns, royal griffins come to mind), black knights + eviln, guard driods + split stack of the other droid type (I can’t remember what they are called now), etc. Later in the game there were tricks of say, using peacefulness + sacrifice on a high hp stack to replenish creatures of any type that you already have in your army. Until you quite figured out that was the meta of the game it could get quite annoying.

            It was a part of the difficulty on one hand but could also get very tedious in the long run. I don’t think they ever quite got it right in that respect.

  5. jasta85 says:

    The issue that I had with the previous king’s bounty games is that once you kill all the stuff around your level they never seem to respawn, and after suffering one significant defeat it’s almost impossible to rebuild all your forces, and you’re stuck with unwinnable battles against enemies that outlevel you. this encourages save scumming just to get through the game as one defeat is game over for the most part.

  6. Phier says:

    There is a sort of irony that the demon army was being played by an internet White Knight.

    • Premium User Badge Smashbox says:

      You’re lame, and talking about sexist portrayals isn’t.

      • Phier says:

        Trying to care, not caring. Maybe its because I get invited to fun parties.

        • RIDEBIRD says:

          Then why in the world are you even remotely interested in video games? I mean, I bet with fun parties you mean parties with naked ladies in them. Oh man, if I could ever get my hands on those! If I ever achieved that level of social success and superficial confirmation as a penis I would never bother with stupid video games.

          Who cares about orcs and elves when you can see a vageena. I’ve heard that they’re the bees knees! Just the best. But that will never be me, sadly, so I sit here all alone and defend the poor sexualised women in video games instead. Boo me. If I only could go to fun parties.

          :(

          • Phier says:

            Then why in the world are you even remotely interested in video games?
            Because those types of parties tend to be Friday or Saturday nights (usually Saturday), which leaves plenty of time for video games and such.

            But what I’m not concerned about, though it seems to be something big on RPS is internet social activism. I don’t care if my fantasy women have big boobs and skimpy armor. Of course its unrealistic but so are women in physical combat to start with. Added most women I know who are very attractive like to show it off, it seems to be an issue for those less “gifted”.

            Now I don’t play games based on that, I find it a waste of time, but I’m not going to complain about it repeatedly either. The big breasted scantly clad female and steroid level muscle bared chested male is a archetype of fantasy since at least the original “Heavy Metal” and why the hell not?

          • Philomelle says:

            “Of course its unrealistic but so are women in physical combat to start with.”

            Actually there have been records of female warriors and generals since as far back as 2000BC. Modern history keeps a lot of it hush-hush because it’s been heavily directed by Christianity (which is notorious for twisting that kind of information, given that it took centuries for Vatican to admit that Joan of Arc, currently one of their most paraded saints, was burned on a cross simply because England bribed them with more money), but there is a very good reason why about three fourths of ancient deities of war and combat are female.

            Add your comment about how only “less gifted” women have problems with these portrayals, plus your earlier jab, and it’s suddenly made clear that you argument boils down to you being ignorant and a bit of a buffoon.

        • The Random One says:

          I don’t care and get invited to fun parties, says person who makes passive-aggressive comment on videogame website and then actually responds to first reply.

        • equatorian says:

          ……..really? I don’t think I’ve seen that comeback since I was in highschool.

          People need to realize that this sort of comeback doesn’t have the effect they think it does. It doesn’t paint the other person as a loser, because in the internet context nobody knows if either of you really get to go to fun parties or what your definition of fun even is or what your values about parties are.

          It does, however, paint the speaker as insecure in their argument, needing to back their worth up with an assurance/exclamation that their lives are better than the other speaker’s regardless of actual fact, aka. ‘b-but even though I don’t know who you are I’m sure that your life has to suck! It’s better to be me! Right, everyone? I’m having a better time than them, right? I’m cooler, right?”

          Which is actually fairly sad, to be honest.

          Please note that I did NOT say that this is what you meant, or that it’s the sort of person you are. I’m just saying that it’s the image your sentence generates. If this bothers you, please consider being more rational in your arguments. If it doesn’t, then by all means carry on.

          Also, white-knighting does not mean ‘a guy who cares about female rights’. It has a very specific meaning, and one that is impossible to assume from a piece of writing like an article. And if people seriously think everyone trying to be a decent person and pointing out bits where we as a species can honestly do better and make the world a slightly better place are just doing it for some sort of ulterior motive/sex/popularity contest, it’s not really a surprise why our world is still so shitty in so many ways.

          • supermini says:

            If people seriously think that pointing out sexist bits in video games is making the world a better place, that’s the real problem. It’s the joining of self-righteousness and narcissism with technology that ultimately has no real world value. But you know, as long as you feel like you’re making a difference and can thus claim moral superiority, who cares?

          • Afred says:

            It kinda does though.
            But I guess it’s cute that you think it doesn’t :)
            And talking about “people thinking talking about sexism might change stuffs” as the real problem is kinda cute too

          • supermini says:

            @Afred: I’m sure it makes a difference within the confines of your personal echo chamber. You only need to look at the number of strong female characters we had in big gaming releases or listen to a few horror stories of experiences women had at gaming conventions to see how little difference they made in the real world. Most of these discussions turn into battlegrounds for proving personal moral superiority that antagonize rather than educate, and yet the participants seem to think they are changing the world for the better. Your condescending comment is the perfect example.

          • Premium User Badge AngelTear says:

            That’s one nice creative use of facts if ever I’ve seen one.

            “Women horror stories still exist” (despite GDC and similar conventions reporting that the situation got better overall, and that “offenders” are more easily isolated by the public at large) + “There’s been a handful of games with good representation of women” (Despite being a very, very small minority) = “Having women properly represented in games is pointless”.

            The fact that the way things are represented in culture affects everyday “real life” has been accepted since the 19th century, with Marx, Freud, and Max Weber, at the very least (I’m sure there are earlier examples too)

          • supermini says:

            Congrats on the straw man. I never said fair representation of women in games is pointless, I said most of the SJWs seem to be interested in personal attacks and proving moral superiority which in the end antagonizes rather than educates people, and does more harm then good. It’s also convincing the participants that they are changing the world for the better.

            I’m glad that the changes made in the real world that improved the position of women in society are finally leaking into the gaming subculture and causing these changes in the gaming industry. The major problem is that the target group for the guys that make the marketing campaigns and thus drive development of big releases are still teenage boys, which means catering to male power fantasies. When that changes, we’ll have better representation of women in games.

            I don’t think the pointless arguments on reddit and in comment sections, internet petitions and retweets are having any positive effect. But you can keep patting yourself on the back if you want.

            If you can point me to some peer-reviewed research on the subject that says otherwise, I’d be happy to concede that I was wrong.

          • Premium User Badge AngelTear says:

            You only need to look at the number of strong female characters we had in big gaming releases or listen to a few horror stories of experiences women had at gaming conventions to see how little difference they made in the real world.

            I didn’t build a straw man, I may or may not have misinterpreted a fairly ambiguous “They”.

            Still, if people don’t voice their opinions where they’re allowed to (For “normal” people on forums and comment sections, for journos in their articles etc) hardly anything is going to change, is it? I do agree that sometimes the tone is more detrimental to the discussion than having the discussion itself, but I don’t think it’s pointless to have the discussion in the first place, to point out where the issues are when appropriate, like Christopher did here.

            If you can point me to some peer-reviewed research on the subject that says otherwise, I’d be happy to concede that I was wrong. (See? I can be passive-aggressive too)

        • pipman3000 says:

          the only kind of parties you get invited too are british national parties :p

    • pipman3000 says:

      we have reached the point where even the mildest discomfort towards stereotypes makes you some sort of frothing-at-the-mouth sjw caricature of a leftist.

    • Quarex says:

      I hope you realize you are a terrible person.

  7. slerbal says:

    This is Early Access? I am confused – there have been a trillion cut-n-paste “sequels” so far. Why do they need to go the Early Access route unless there is something actually original about the game? This game being an Early Access game sounds mighty suspicious…

    I say this as someone who loved Kings Bounty: The Legend but like everyone else just got fed up of being fed exactly the same game many times over – though thankfully I stopped buying them at Armoured Princess (though I think I got Crossworlds in a bundle… never looked).

  8. supermini says:

    This review was just…bad. The King’s Bounty series of games are focused on tactical combat and rpg elements with a badly written storyline just for the sake of having one and yet most of the review is spent talking about the setting and quests. Nobody cares about it, really.

    It’s not like RPS hasn’t covered the King’s Bounty series before. This site was the reason I even found out about it, back in the grim and distant past of 2008., when game mechanics were more important than social justice slacktivism.

    • bill says:

      Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside.

    • Baines says:

      It’s not like you don’t know what to expect in a King’s Bounty game.

      It’s not really that bad to see a new player’s eye on the series.

      And it isn’t like this is a big social justice article. Never mind instances like “Torsogate” (where the RPS writer in question tried to manufacture a big story about how Deep Silver hadn’t stuck to promises that Deep Silver never made in the first place, which were instead entirely in the writer’s imagination), this article doesn’t even get particularly upset. There are no cries or condemnations of sexism. Just a reviewer noticing that everything involving women in the game seems a bit locked to some very limited stereotypes, including the responses of the playable female lead. And asking if it is normal for a King’s Bounty game, asking if it is trying to do it for humor, and asking what others think.

      Hardly a white knight crusade.

      • supermini says:

        ‘You know what to expect in a King’s Bounty game’. After the third game, no I don’t. It was a major disappointment in the series. The main question is whether this is better or more of the same crap.

        I never used the term ‘White Knight Crusade’. I never said he invented the existence of sexism in the game. The author gave more space to discussion on sexism in the game than actual game mechanics, strategy map, game flow. That’s great for Reddit slacktivism, bad for an actual review.

        It’s like hiring a fashion designer to talk about a basketball game and he spends most of the time talking about the shirts the players are wearing.

        • Philomelle says:

          It’s good for an actual review because he never calls the game sexist or acts outraged about it. He simply provides a number of examples that made him feel like the game’s writing is very juvenile and sub-standard even for the genre and medium it’s used in.

          Which, you know, is true and is a fair warning to make about the game. While it’s possible to not care about story in video games, it is possible to make a story so schlocky that it interferes with your ability to ignore it. Judging by the review, that seems to have happened in Christopher’s case.

          • supermini says:

            The story of the King’s Bounty remake and the sequels has always been poorly written, filled with every possible fantasy cliche in the book, and even if you could get into it for more than 5 minutes, the localization was done poorly, so it would constantly break immersion. 99% of the game is spent in tactical battles and hero levelup screen, 1% is the text bubbles that you just skip through. “Dialogues” are handled by going through the list of conversation options until you exhaust all of them. The story is linear, the good guys are on the left, the bad guys on the right, nothing you can do in the game can change the outcome in any way.

            Is it the problem that the author is pointing out sexism? No. The problem is that it’s the main point of the article and there’s little else of worth, in a game where the story is of poor quality and of no consequence, which doesn’t make it a useful review. I feel like I’m repeating the same point for the third time and yet I’m getting “not white knight crusade” and “not sexism outrage” straw men popping out of nowhere.

            Yes, the skimpy armours are juvenile and stupid, and all the characters are weakly written stereotypes.
            But what about the game?

          • Philomelle says:

            I believe I just answered that? You can tell it from the review too, but since you’re so busy complaining about its complaining, I’ll spell it out for you.

            Christopher had a lot of fun with the gameply. He enjoyed the turn-based combat, the tactics, the flow of empire-building and other such things. However, the story kept barging in and because the writing was so incredibly horrible, it kept interfering with his ability to enjoy the gameplay and thus made him have less and less fun.

          • supermini says:

            You must not be reading the same review I did, because the rest of the article doesn’t mention any of these things. He got some demon troops, he got the evil book spell, and he had a fight against a dragon, that’s as far as it goes. It doesn’t explain anything important about the game to newcomers to the series, nor does it answer any of the questions that a veteran of the series would be interested in.

            The fact that you’re mentioning ‘empire building’ suggests to me that you don’t really know what the game is about, which makes this whole discussion completely pointless.

          • Philomelle says:

            Given that you’re complaining that a review from a featured based around the player telling stories of his experiences with the game is telling a story rather than providing a point-for-point analysis of its exact features, you’ve about as much ground to accuse anyone of not knowing what they’re talking about as a fish in a discussion about space flight.

          • supermini says:

            A story that relates the experience you had with the game doesn’t necessarily relate to the story of the game itself, if the game is not story-driven. For all your clever comebacks, you don’t seem to understand the problem with your argument. To draw a parallel for you, it’s like reviewing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and talking about the tower defense mini-game.

          • Philomelle says:

            There isn’t really an argument at this point. You came into this article expecting a careful analysis of the game’s features. That isn’t what the Lighthouse Customer is about; it’s about the reviewer telling a story of their experience with the game and the mood it put them into, and that is why fans of the feature read it.

            I transcribed the article to you into a dryer form and you started whining about how that’s not clear enough from the article and started accusing me of not knowing what I’m talking about. At this point, the only logical conclusion is for me to abort the conversation because now you’re just whining for the sake of whining instead of realizing that this particular feature is written (and has always been written) in a style you don’t enjoy.

          • supermini says:

            You can keep being insulting all you want, it doesn’t make you right. :)

            I’m not “accusing” you of not knowing what you’re talking about, you clearly demonstrated it by mentioning empire-building in a game that’s completely unrelated. Your transcription of the article doesn’t correspond to what the article says. I give up at this point.

        • The Random One says:

          “It’s like hiring a fashion designer to talk about a basketball game and he spends most of the time talking about the shirts the players are wearing.”

          If the shirts the players were wearing were so tight that they were hardly able to turn around to pass the ball, it’d be justifiable to spend the whole game complaining about them.

          • Phier says:

            But in this case it was only the look of the uniforms, not the ball handling….. er yea.

  9. Discopanda says:

    Armored Princess was a step up from the first King’s Bounty reboot… you got to to collect and divorce wives in that one.

    • bill says:

      I guess you could say the way they handled wives in the first game was a bit iffy. (Basically as buffs to be swapped out and upgraded as needed). But I liked my zombie wife and I just stuck with her all game, even though her buffs weren’t actually very useful.

      • Discopanda says:

        I did too! Or at least… as long as I kept playing. Every iteration I’ve played sort of ends up plateauing where the monsters are too much of a pain in the ass too kill :(

  10. bill says:

    King’s Bounty has never been especially deep or serious. Based on their Armoured Princess advertising, I don’t think we could say that they’re particularly progressive in terms of their portrayal of women, but on the other hand I don’t remember anything particularly offensive in the first game.

    Due to the nature of the game, most characters fall into heavy stereotypes. Though they do throw in a fair number of off the wall characters as well. (zombie wives).

    I doubt that they’re giving things enough thought to be doing anything satirical.

    Anyway, since it’s in Early Access, how about suggesting a few non-shrewish female characters to the developers. And I feel like a quest to find pants might actually appeal to their sense of humor.

    • The Random One says:

      It seemed to have worked well for Dragon Commander. Which I should get around to playing some day…

    • Archonsod says:

      Given how often I managed to die inside belts and other articles of clothing within King’s Bounty I think it’s one of the few games which can justify scantily clad people.

      In fact you could probably include a pair of pants as the end of game boss …..

  11. happycakes says:

    OP made the slightest and most hesitant of insinuations regarding sexism, and it’s almost like it’s the only thing that was mentioned.

    With that said, I’ve never played a kings bounty game. It looks kinda interesting, looks turn based? I like shitty stories and turn based combat. Should I play an older one or just keep an eye on this one in hopes that it’ll be the best of them?

    PS fuck the patriarchy and the matriarchy. They’re why I play video games.

    • Phier says:

      He did end the article asking what we thought about it, so it kinda makes sense thats a topic here.

    • pepperfez says:

      PPS: There isn’t a matriarchy.

  12. Pneuma_antilogias says:

    The re-imagining of King’s Bounty (aka King’s Bounty: The Legend) was quite fun and it had, in my view, the best assistants in the game, which you had to unlock by doing some quest or another. Armored Princess was ok, but the introduction of the Pegasus (or some other flying horse) completely upset the balance of the game: you could simply fly over any pesky enemy army, loot everything behind it, proceed with the storyline (such as it was, and the story was never the strong point in these games) and then come back later to kill the aforementioned pesky army, once you were stronger (or a completionist).

    Then they milked the living daylights out of Armored Princess with the various “expansions”.

    Warriors of the North was lukewarm, at best (plus dragons and other level 5 creatures became available way too early in the game, thereby negating any need to manage armies made up of weaker units) and now this.

    Actually, the Demons were never the outright “bad” guys in this series. Granted, they are evil, but in a charming sort of way: they fall in love, scheme, lie, manipulate and -more often than not- mess up, like good ole’ humankind.

    The problem is that they don’t play differently enough, compared to the other races, to warrant a revisit (or, more bluntly, rehash) of the same old settings. At least, not as an early access game, and not at this price.

    And the localization. Oh, dear [insert deity of choice here], the localization. There comes a point where iffy sentences, inane dialogues and spelling mistakes quite simply stop being funny.

    As for the thongs and the skimpy armors and the huge breasts… I wouldn’t mind playing a fully dressed female warrior, for a change. Or a demon who doesn’t drool like an idiot every single time he is confronted by an attractive woman.

  13. Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

    What do you all think?

    I don’t really know the King’s Bounty games, but at least what you’ve shown here looks a bit bad, I agree. It could certainly be worse, but it’s not good either.

  14. Drake Sigar says:

    This is par to the course for King’s Bounty. The first game had collectable wives to use as buffs, the second a princess wearing a chainmail bikini on the front cover. The third has a cover with the same woman straddling a huge sword between her legs, and her boobs grew two sizes.

    I’d like to hear from someone whose played the previous games though, as the actual gameplay is quite good. It’s just they’ve released a number of expansions on par with The Sims and barely made a single change.

  15. satan says:

    Man I really don’t want to be that guy but… I’m a big KB fan and came here looking for information about new units/abilities/talents and if they’re fun/warrant a purchase, and if this installment tends more towards warriors of the north (Terrible) or crossworlds (awesome). Will there be a followup with more info?

  16. namad says:

    plot in all the recent king’s bounties games is meant to be hilariously bad, totally insanely silly, hitting all the tropes, AND on top of that it’s poorly translated from russian!

    I don’t think it’s fair to call it sexist, it’s just cheesy as all heck.

  17. Chillz says:

    Does Mr.Livingston have a twitter account? I must complete my collection of RPS writers.
    -
    nvm, stalked him down :S