Review – Lionheart: Kings’ Crusade

As Neocore’s follow-up to the rather excellent King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame, I was expecting some good things from Lionheart: King’s Crusade, and on many counts it does not disappoint.

However, there are a few areas where the game fails to reach the heights set by their predecessor.
Like King Arthur, Lionheart is a complex game that manages to be both accessible and deep, thanks to a well laid out interface and tutorials that explain everything clearly.

The first thing you’ll notice about Lionheart is there is a lot more personality than other titles based on real historical events. Also, it does not do much to hide it’s more linear nature, feeling confident with its primary options of choosing which area to conquer next, and taking resources from that area once the battle is won.
The missions and tactical options in battle are much less linear though, and while the game as a whole will be inevitably compared to Total War when it comes to the battles, Lionheart offers a largely different experience.

For instance, with Lionheart you don’t start with the entirety of your army on one end of the map and your enemy approaching from the other. Instead you begin with a pre-battle screen that gives you a bunch of key information, such as the details of the weather, terrain and the enemy, and each battle even has different objectives that can affect how the factions in your chosen side react to you (but we shall come to that later).

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this design is that you can change the terrain before the start of battle. If you so wish, you can cut down trees to remove the enemy’s cover and provide easy access for your archers to pick them off. One of the Saladin missions is even a stealthy night attack, and it’s this kind of variety that helps Lionheart stand out from the crowd.

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Mr editor man, so technically the supreme ruler of everything and anything. I promise I won't have a power trip though *trips on laptop cable* (Also known for utterly, utterly terrible jokes)