Somehow, the original release of Tiger Knight flew completely under my radar. I’d have expected the blend of historical Chinese warfare, familiar siege and mounted combat mechanics and massive-scale PvP warfare (7v7 matches, each player leading a regiment of up to 30 AI soldiers) would have caught my eye, but apparently not. I even missed the game shutting down last year.
Thankfully, 2018 is set to be a year of new beginnings, and Chinese publisher NetDragon Websoft have dusted the game off for a second, international-geared release via Steam. It’s a bit patchy, but might be worth a look, given its free-to-play nature.
While undeniably a little on the rough side (feeling almost like a throwback to the early days of Korean-led free-to-play gaming), the couple rounds I’ve played cooperatively against bots have been enjoyable enough, in an awkwardly familiar kinda way. Tiger Knight is a freakish frankengame, assembled from components of other, more popular titles and while it may not be more than the sum of its parts, it has a lot of parts to add together.
The setting is Three Kingdoms-era history (with ancient Roman soldiers playable as well, just to add to the hodge-podge feel of the game), the combat mechanics are shamelessly lifted from Mount & Blade, and the progression systems and game structure are copy-pasted from World of Tanks, right down to requiring you to fill out an individual troop type’s research tree before you can progress to the next unit type.
The translation is more than a little rough, admittedly, but it’s at least accessible enough for English-speakers. Players who got in on the older version of the game are apparently being rewarded for their loyalty with a stack of currency and items in-game. Right now there’s no difference in content between the original (failed) beta and the current playable build on Steam, but the developers do have plans to work on new content over the coming year, assuming players decide to stick around.
Personally, I’m just glad to see a multiplayer game get a second chance, after seeing so many games fizzle out and shut down over the past few years, and in this case, I feel the odd melange of ingredients might just result in something worth keeping around long-term, assuming they can polish it up a little further.