Too Many Kings: Lionheart

In September, Neocore Games released Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come. This week, they released King Arthur (as recently opinionified by our Jim here). Next year, they’ll release Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade. Got that? Goodness, these people really do like their crusading kings. Or perhaps it’s an insidious attempt to hypnotise PC gamers via repeated code words crusade. Unfortunate naming policy aside, what manner of beast is Lionheart exactly king? Well, it’s an RTS crusade. Of course it’s an RTS king. Specifically, it’s a Total Warry kinda thing set during the Crusades crusade. This has of course been documented to some extent already by Medieval TW 1 & 2, but this is a rare opportunity for the Richard the Lionheart/Saladin argy-bargy to stand front and center king crusade king king king. Footage below…

Not too much to go on from that, bar the unavoidable sense of familiarity for anyone who’s played a Total War game lately, but while Jim had serious doubts about King Arthur, he found enough to like about it that relative newbie studio Neocore are certainly worth keeping an eye on. Less so their website, which lacks even the scantest mention of Lionheart – but you can at least follow the game’s progress via Twitter. Did you know Richard the Lionheart was the fourth-ever person to sign up for a Twitter account? True story.

Oh, and have some comforting bullet points too:

Paradox Interactive today unveiled the newest addition to its collection of real-time strategy titles with the announcement of Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade. Developed by Neocore Games, Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade places players between the years of 1189-1192, calling upon warriors to enter the heart of the battle in one of the most vicious wars of all time.

Players will have the opportunity to take on this challenge as either Richard the Lionheart, set to invade and take back the treasured Holy Land once and for all, or as the great Saladin, who patiently waits and prepares his people for the oncoming invasion.

Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade invites players to rewrite history through controlling and upgrading leaders and their armies, guiding various historical factions through political events, collecting relics, and unlocking new content in a feature-rich campaign set to take on the strategy genre by force.

Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade Features:

• Play through two single-player campaigns – Crusader and Saracen

• Oversee hundreds of soldiers in real-time epic battles

• Command your forces, conquer territory, and expand your realm on a fully 3D map

• Strategically manage your army between missions

• Rewrite the past by playing as famous historical characters serving as the main heroes


  1. Railick says:

    I’d like a game with realistic relics for a change. “You have the found the Spear of Destiny, it does nothing” : P I could see maybe a relic giving a morale boost to your side just because you have it but it always confused me historical games give relics super powers , as I believe they do in M:TW 2

    I could see maybe a still useful weapon giving an attack bonus to that ONE model but not giving the owner of the relic a bonus to commanding his troops or a discount for recruiting units or something like that it just doesn’t make any sense.

    • frymaster says:

      commanding troops or recruiting them could also be considered as being affected by morale, I supose….

    • Bhazor says:

      Hmm, I’d say the entourage system was fairly well done. The different bonuses were generally small and twattish and fitted the context of the general. Leave the guy in command of a pagan settlement and chances were good of gaining a pagan healer for example would give the general better health but make him less pious. Or getting blooded in a battle would give him the “Scarred” bonus making him look scarier to the enemy. Rome on the other hand did have quasi magical wonders like the Great Lighthouse which revealed a big section of the map if I recall.

      The problem with linking troop recruitment to morale is that it would be real hard to make a comeback if treated anything like reality. Certainly there’d be fewer professional soldiers willing to serve a known incompetent whilst the successful side would have the guys flock to them. There are ways around it like the option of Shanghaiing peasants into the militia. But then I’d argue it would start to over complicate the more or less Anno Arcade Mode which is the Total War campaign map.

  2. Railick says:

    I supose if morale wasn’t directly in the game as a feature that could be a way of showing it, at least recruiting I don’t think it should improve the ability to actaully command. Though you could make the argument that the soliders are more willing to listen to someone who holds the Axe of the Endless Bear ;P

  3. Psychopomp says:

    I thought Crusader came out in 2008…

  4. Bret says:


    Could have sworn Odin did that. Funny old world. Learn something every day.

  5. Railick says:

    Odin was Fjordst O.o Okay I’m leaving.

  6. Vinraith says:

    Can a small studio like this really churn out a game a year AND support its existing titles properly? That’s not meant to be rhetorical, by the way, I’m genuinely curious.

    • Pidesco says:

      While I’m not sure, I’d venture the guess that Lionheart uses the exact same engine as King Arthur. That alone should make supporting both games less of a problem. Also, by the description, it sounds to me like Lionheart is a slightly simpler version of King Arthur (no spells, no quests, no morality compass, no fantastical units). With all this in mind, if they manage to make King Arthur as stable as feasibly possible before Lionheart comes out, getting the second game out the door in good condition shouldn’t be too hard.

    • Vinraith says:

      I very much hope you’re right. Both this and King Arthur both look excellent, I hope they get the support they need to be properly great.

  7. Scott Kevill says:

    Don’t forget Crusader Kings developed by Paradox!

    Plus, there was an XBox game (PC version was cancelled), Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders.

    • Bhazor says:

      Finally someone mentions it on here.
      The PC version of the new Kingdom Under Fire sounds frickin’ marvelous. Essentially its an MMO with every player in control of an army battling across a continent.

      Also just look at the bally thing.
      link to

    • Dominic White says:

      Actually, KuF2 is going to be much the same as the Xbox versions, only on top of the usual singleplayer and multiplayer modes, there’s going to be a whole persistent-world MMO layer where you try to conquer the world for your faction.

      Which sounds goddamn fantastic to me, because the xbox KuF games were bloody great. Like a hybrid of Dynasty Warriors and Total War battles, and you had to be really on the ball to play it well, as you were both micromanaging your army AND fighting in melee at the same time.

  8. Spacegirl says:

    it’s definitely a Clash of Kings! a Storm of Swords!!!!

  9. lumberjack_wannabe says:

    I personally think it’s more of a Feast for Crows…

    • Spacegirl says:


      none of these games will be ascending the Iron Throne.

  10. dadioflex says:

    Not like anything could go wrong with a game called Lionheart…

    • Rinox says:

      Hehe, I had the same initial reaction. That was one shoddily designed game…

  11. bill says:

    So are they essentially all the same game? Just with different maps?

    I hope they still have time to fix King Arthur, as i’d like to play that one, if it’s ever patched to fix the flaws.

  12. sfury says:

    I’ve been waiting FOREVER for a good Crusades game or film (still haven’t checked out AssCreed and based on what other people have told me it won’t be the thing I wanted it to be, and “Kingdom of Heaven” was a big boring disappointment too). This might finally be the real thing guys!

    btw if you know some good Crusades-based game, film, literature I’ve missed – do suggest

  13. fuggles says:

    Although ‘good’ is stretching the point, old RPG Lionheart was set in the time just after the crusades.

  14. Crusader says:

    It’s worth mentioning maybe that Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come came out a lot earlier in Europe (I found it in a bargain bin in June). So there is more time between their releases than it sounds like.

  15. zoe01 says:

    No, these games are totally different, just using the same engine. And they are supporting King Arthur. The 1.2 patch is out now. There will be DLC-s (and more patches) too.

  16. zoe01 says:

    This message went to bill. (Damn, edit function needed)