King’s Bounty- Armored Princess, Confusing Demo

The expansion to Katauri Interactive’s glorious, beautiful, deep, clever, irreverent and very silly 4X game is on its way fast, but it’s not here yet – so I got all clappy-happy when I spotted a demo had hit the tubes yesterday. Except it’s in Russian. Hmm. Arrogantly, I presumed myself so familiar with the menus and mechanics of the first game that I’d have no problem mastering this one.

I was wrong. Yes, I remembered how to bring up the character sheet and which button took me to the options, but I plum forgot about spell descriptions and the like. I’ve been crazily casting all manner of weird stuff on my army, accidentally buffing the enemy and, I think, really upsetting friendly NPCs. Still, I blundered my way through several fights without shaming myself too much. It’s also a chance to see a few of the new enemies and units in action – big, lizardy types (presumably the new Pangolin race) for the former, and some cute clockwork robots for the latter. Clearly, this will be as merrily unconcerned about sticking closely to fantasy tropes as its parent was. We also get to play with the new pet dragon, replacing the outgoing Spirits of Rage. He looks like a Pokemon, but his special abilities seem agreeably devastating – summoning electro-orbs, duffing up multiple opponents at once, and some sort of somersault kick. Seems to involve a bit less micromanagement and waiting around than the spirits did too, but he’s less visual spectacular. Hopefully he’ll grow up during the course of the game, eventually becoming ten tonnes of fiery lizard-based death.

If you’re a Russian speaker or fancy a prettily-coloured 600Mb gamble, grab the demo from here .


  1. James G says:

    There were actually pangolins in the original game, as sleem identifies himself as a pangolin. Sadly he is not as cool as a real life pangolin, and perhaps he is just mistaken or lying.

  2. The Fool says:

    is the Armored Princess more sensibly dressed in the demo, at least? or at least given the option to be?

  3. Mr Fishe says:

    Finally picked up King’s Bounty in the hope it would work on my netbook – sadly, it didn’t – but I’m enjoying it immensely on the desktop. Play and Amazon both have it for twelve quid at the minute.

  4. jalf says:

    Isn’t the term 4x reserved for space strategy games like GalCiv and MOO?

    I certainly never thought of Kings Bounty as a 4x.

    But the way, I picked up KB recently, and have been playing for a couple of hours. HOW DO SPIRITS OF RAGE WORK? The game gladly tells me I can use accumulated rage to summon them, but gives no clue *how*.

  5. Senethro says:

    Let me guess, the armour shows underboob? *shudders*

  6. 2late says:

    yeah I thought the same thing – I know the game, I know the units and the spells how hard can it be?

    5 minutes later I was struck down with a severe case of “what the fuck was I thinking?”. Quests, artefacts, unit’s special abilities – they were all pretty much useless. Sure it was nice seeing the game and getting a feel for it but still … it was more about sightseeing than actual play. However … it looks, feels and plays like king’s bounty which is good.

    My only slight problem was that the red tone of the environements.

    Also, sorry to burst your bubble but the dragon won’t grow. Someone asked the same thing on the official forum. Besides they said that it takes hundreds of years for a dragon to grow :)

  7. Markoff Chaney says:

    @ jalf – After getting to a certain point in the main quest, you come upon a tome which contains 4 lovely spirits who may help you in your quest. After you get them (I carried them around for a bit before I figured this out) be sure to talk with them. You will have to work for some of them, but at least one should be your ally right off after a chat. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m being deliberately obtuse. Feel free to PM me on the message board for further elucidation if needed. :) As a further aside, I never knew 4Xs were anything but space RTS based games.

    I said that to say this – SQUEEEEEEEEEE! Do Want! I hope they make sure it’s good and well translated though. I heard something about KB’s demo being better translated than the actual game, but I don’t know because I never played it until 1.7.

  8. yns88 says:

    @The Fool and Senethro: OH NO, FEMALE BODIES!

    I think zombie wives are just a bit more unrealistic than under-clothed princesses.

  9. jalf says:

    Ooo, thanks! Just wasn’t sure if this was something I could do from the beginning, or if I had to wait for some event in the game. So I went around with the vague feeling that I was missing out on some hugely important combat advantage.

  10. The Fool says:

    yns88: it’s less the implausibility and more the lack of respect for the player. A game shouldn’t attempt to throw in cheesecake as a sop for admirers of the female form (and in rarer cases admirers of the male form) because apart from immaturity it reeks of insecurity about the appeal of the game (a game designed around cheesecake/beefcake is outside the scope of this criticism).

  11. Senethro says:

    Yah. Anyone remember a particular rant at GDC?

    I just brought it up because there as a strong example in an earlier newspost. I doubt anyone cares in a game that doesn’t take itself seriously.

  12. Heliocentric says:

    The space rangers 2 expansion took a fecking decade to get translated. I hope ap doesn’t suffer the same fate. Not finished ap but an expansion where they can focus on being crazy and offer interesting combat now the tech is in place interests me.

  13. Dolphan says:

    Jalf – 4X isn’t just space (Civ is a 4X game, and I would certainly include the Total War games, though I haven’t seen others do that) but I wouldn’t apply it to King’s Bounty. It doesn’t have ‘eXpand’.

  14. Tim James says:

    I doubt it would take a decade to get AP. The East Europeans understand the big market over here for their stuff now, and they have the resources to distribute it.

  15. Funky Badger says:

    The Fool: so you’re saying Underboob is a bad thing, right?

  16. Mil says:

    The Fool: so you’re saying Underboob is a bad thing, right?

    No, he’s saying that it’s pandering to immature adolescent fantasies and thus disrespectful of the player. Unlike riding around a fantasy kingdom on a powerful steed, doing good deeds and killing monsters.

  17. sfury says:

    A demo? I’m still probably 15-20 hours from ending Kings Bounty, but will try that definitely.

    The russian will be no trouble for me (…or so I thought before installing STALKER’s russian/ukranian version, I enjoy hearing people speak in their mother-tongue but couldn’t understand some parts of the quests, even though I’ve studied russian 5 years as a kid and my language is somewhat closely related)

    If I finish KB this weekend, I might give you some thoughts on this demo.

  18. alco75 says:

    It doesn’t have ‘eXploit’, either, as that normally refers to building bases and mining/harvesting stuff. Which makes it a 2x game at most.

  19. Ian says:

    If this doesn’t prove to be another hilarious-’em-up that allows for more comedy RPS articles I will be disappointed.

  20. Andrew says:

    Well, it would be interesting to know whom they get as translators. I’m from Russia myself and can say some things are translated very strangely. Sure, to translate puns is always difficult, but as to names of objects and things, they could do better. For example, the box of Rage imho is better translated as “the Ark of Rage”. The word that was turned into a “pandolin” in Russian has meaning between a “lizard” and a “dinosaur”. By the way the russian release is out already and here link to
    races and monsters are listed (in russain). Two of the lizard race are caled “brontor” and “tyrex”. And sure some sort of a dinosaur can be seen on the trailers.

  21. danielcardigan says:

    How many of you that bought KB, managed to finish it? I got a good way in (to the land of the dead) but the repetitive nature of the battles sapped my enthusiasm. I’ve left it for a couple of months but I’ve no urge to go back.

  22. Heliocentric says:

    I’ve not finished it, but i hardly take that as an insult to my enphusiasm to it as a product. I dont tend to ever finish civ 4 games, or rome total war. And yes, while this is a far more linear experience to me its still quite sandboxy.

    I spent months playing the second and third level of hitman blood money, only finished it this year after years of owning it. In KB I keep restarting my character and not getting very far. But look…. Now i can cast a spell on my undead archers which turns them into the fantasy equivilent of an MG42.

  23. Andrew says:

    I’ve finished it as a mage on normal and now is planning to try as a knihgt on hard. In some time. Sure, one has to relax. Trying not to make gameplay too easy developers made it too hard to pass at once without thinking every battle about the best strategy, troop choosing etc. I like it this way though. For whose who want it quick there is an easy difficulty option. Besides it is possible not to fight all monsters. Sometimes it requires timing to get past enemy toops making rounds. Personally I evaded many and not completed some quests.

  24. Half Broken Glass says:

    The Fool & Senethro: A crusade against armour bikinis is very noble indeed, but use your brain when picking games to assault. Complaining about skimpy clothes on Amelie in AP is like complaining about how unrealistic your plane is in Jets’n’Guns.

    Also, the dragon does not grow, it always looks like a Pokemon.

  25. Serondal says:

    Complaining about armored bikinis (female or male) is waste of time any how. You may not like them, but the vast majority of people playing the game do. As long as Number of people who like armored bikinis is greater than or equal to number of people who complain about armored bikinis they will remain in games 4ever. (is 5ever longer than 4ever?)

    Not I say people who complain not people who don’t like them but don’t say anything about it, those peoples voice will never be heard unless they speak up.

  26. daniel says:

    so does this version work on x64 systems? the demo for the first game crashed a lot.

  27. Klaus says:

    I’ve never actually spoken to anyone who enjoys armored bikini’s or prefers it to legit armor. It’s more like- it’s always been there, might as well get used to it, it’s not going anywhere.

  28. Midnight Phantom says:

    But still, KB is one of the best role-playing strategic games ever made!

    (are the manufacturers Russian?)