I refuse to believe it until I’m actually playing, but Blueside’s possibly cursed action-MMO/RTS hybrid Kingdom Under Fire 2 is coming to Europe and America later this year via Gameforge. This is especially stunning for me, as I’ve been following the Total War/Dynasty Warriors mix since it was originally intended to be an Xbox 360 game, and I had just about given up hope. You know who covered this game last for RPS? Some guy named Jim, nine years ago. Below, a new teaser trailer, plus some notable events on the long, pothole-laden road KUF2 has travelled.
If you have no idea what Kingdom Under Fire 2 is, you’re forgiven. The series started out as a janky fantasy RTS on PC, before migrating to the original Xbox as a Warhammer-esque mix of hack n’ slash action and army-scale tactical command. It’s this formula that Kingdom Under Fire 2 was building on, and they announced it for 360 in 2008. On top of the regular action-RPG fun of running around and blatting hundreds of enemies, Musou style, players in KUF2 were meant to lead a small army via an RTS-style command view, and cooperate in huge multi-army battles.
Over the years, the game shifted platforms and its budget ballooned (thanks, Engadget), and finally launched into beta in Korea in 2014. It remained there until they shut the servers down in 2017. The game then re-surfaced in other regions, with a Russian version opening later in 2017 shutting down as recently as this March. So, maybe not the best of omens. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this one for years, but given that it has crashed and burnt in multiple regions already, I’m a little worried that it might not be very good. I’m hoping I’m wrong, though.
There’s been no business model announced (given the publisher’s stable, I’m guessing free-to-play), or release date, but Gameforge say they’re aiming for a US and EU launch some time in 2019. But until I’m playing it, I’m half-convinced this is an elaborate prank aimed squarely at me, one of the five people who were fans of the OG Xbox games.