To Arms: King’s Bounty Legions Open Beta

No sign of riots here yet.

King’s Bounty: Legions, the “the fighting bits” Facebook version of the King’s Bounty series, is now in open beta. Which means if you weren’t one of our lucky subscribers who got access to the closed beta, even you can play. Yes, we instinctively sneer because of the word “Facebook”, but the day is coming when a perfectly decent selection of games will be on it, and some of them might not be begging for your change every few seconds. Legions is still begging for change, of course, but it actually seems a pretty decent effort. It does seem a shame to have KB with all the in-betweeny stuff removed, but after my quick go the battles seem just as good.

Despite having deleted my FB account, and generally loathing the ubiquitous existence of the site (for instance, it just stole the cursor away from this window halfway through the word “ubiquitous”, which hasn’t suddenly made me like it more), I have reluctantly created a friendless account just for playing games as they appear. Because I like games, and I like playing games on my PC, and I’d be a stubborn idiot to rule out a source of such things.

If you want to have a got at the beta version, all you need do is head here, and wait for it to load. (It’s much faster at loading after the first time.)


  1. Lambchops says:

    Aww poor Johnny no mates. Some kindly RPS commentator should take pity on you and make friends with you. Because that woudn’t be vaguely stalkerish and creepy, no siree!

  2. Orija says:

    Hmm… so, I wasn’t the only one without a facebook account.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      I only caved a very short while ago. I hate that whole idea of befriending people you met out drunk on a night, or people you haven’t seen or talked to in years. What I do use it for is sending interesting/humorous links to about a dozen people on it who have shockingly similar tastes to mine. I still feel dirty though.

    • Wulf says:

      As Tycho would put it, I don’t book face either. I find it an entirely pointless and empty concept. There are other social networking sites which have actual worth, but Facebook, like MySpace, and all the others before it will eventually slide quietly into the ether when the ‘next cool thing’ comes along.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      The worth of Facebook to me is the people, not the platform. I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people I care about. Facebook lets me keep at least an easy, loose association. If everyone suddenly moved to Google+, I probably would switch over. But I don’t particularly care where I let go anchor chain.

    • westyfield says:

      I’m in the same boat as DeathHamsterDude and icupnimpn2 – I use it to contact my friends (actual friends, whom I have met more than once) when they’re not logged in to an instant messenger.

    • Thants says:

      If you don’t see any value in Facebook I can only assume you’ve never wanted to plan a get-together with your friends.

  3. dirtyword says:

    There’s a man in my neighborhood who waits on the sidewalk until just as you’re passing him, the moment at which you are closest, and shouts “SPARE CHANGE!” directly into your ear. He always does it late enough that you think ‘he didn’t do it this time’ a second before he shouts.

    This is what playing Facebook games reminds me of.

  4. wcaypahwat says:

    I haven’t played a session long enough to run out of the slowly recharging “action points” that facebook games seem so fond of, but what I’ve seen so far has been quite good. Looks and plays just lovely… I’m just dreading that each click brings me closer to it asking me to open my wallet, somehow.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Kings bounty was grindy in the first place, making it a Facebook game seems like fanning the flames.

    • Yorick says:

      It did.

      I was in the closed beta, and it’s basically the game with all of the interesting story bits cut out and replaced with ‘stamina’ timers and ridiculously repetitive encounters.

  6. zipdrive says:

    So, Why did John shut down his Facebook account? Does John have no friends who’re interested in talking to him, or is he just incapable of ignoring the constant barrage of chat requests from his multitude of online peeps, so he removed himself from FB so he could work…er, I mean play games?


    • Danny says:

      He’s afraid someone will spot him with a 50″ Plasma in his hands tonight.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      He realized the Book of Faces is simply too dangerous.

    • Wulf says:

      “He realized the Book of Faces is simply too vapid, self-absorbed, and laden with questionable navel-gazing.”

      Fixed that for you!

    • Thants says:

      Communicating with your friends is self-absorbed?

  7. Jeremy says:

    You can always just set up your account so that only you can add other people, that way you don’t get swarmed with endless invites from others. Plus, I think you would need to have at least a few friends on the list to play games with right? I’ve actually never played a game on Facebook, sooo… I don’t even know.

  8. Martel says:

    I’ve played a bit and it’s fun, but there’s no real reason to play it over the actual King’s Bounty. It just makes me want to play the real game, so I do, and never go back to it. If I could get to Facebook at work, I’m sure I’d be in love with this, but since I can’t I might as well play real games when I’m home.

    • oceanclub says:

      “It just makes me want to play the real game, so I do”

      Funnily enough, my reaction is the exact opposite; with an easily accessible FB version, I’m not sure why I’d go back to the original anymore.


  9. freyajack says:

    Anyone else have trouble getting this to load? When I try to play it it keeps refreshing the link to page with no content displayed and an expires_in field counting down in the URL…

  10. Cosmo Dium says:

    the cool thing about this is that you can play another human opponent in KB for the first time. Quite a thrill to match wits on the battlefield w a live human!
    so far, really enjoying the game. Not too obnoxious in terms of microtransactions, and definitely retains full KB flavor.

  11. oceanclub says:

    A combat question: does anyone know if you get bonus for rear/flanking attack in KB games? Have done a Google for this but turns up nothing. I wonder have I always been wasting my time trying to position my units to the rear of others before attacking.


  12. Dave Mongoose says:

    I’ve been playing this for a couple of days now and, while it’s quite enjoyable, I do have one major complaint: The AI is really poor.

    Three examples that really disappoint me:
    1) If one of my units is standing next to the AI’s ranged unit, they will attack point blank even though they take an attack power penalty and provoke a counter-attack by doing so. There is no reason not to move away before attacking unless they are cornered.
    2) The AI doesn’t prioritise targets – they will blunt their swords on a high defence, low attack-power unit that is stood next to them before they’ll even think about taking a step to hit a low defence, high attack-power unit.
    3) The AI will aim AoE powers at your units even if it will hit more of its own units – several times I’ve seen the AI use a bomb at point blank range, hitting one of my units and two of its own.

    It’s almost like the AI programmers didn’t know anything about the game’s mechanics.

    The AI in the actual games was excellent and you had to use some tactics if you wanted to minimise losses: limiting enemy movement with spells or by boxing them in, screening your clothies properly, and spacing out your units when AoEs were in play.

    The challenge is still there if you play PvP, but it’s a shame that the PvE falls so far behind.