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Battle Worlds: Kronos – Field exercises in classic style

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Turn-based strategy, especially purebred wargame, its occurrence is rare delight lovers of modern entertainment. It would seem that, in the age of the dynamics and shaders are slow and thoughtful military strategy finally turned to niche products. However Bremen studio King Art, known before only very decent adventure game, like the recent Detective The Raven , undertook to prove otherwise.

The game was in operation for six years, but all potential publishers that have been accessed developers were convinced of the futility of the new genre. But having appeared in March of this year on Kickstarter, Battle Worlds: Kronos successfully raised $ 260,000 instead of the requested $ 120 million, at the same time received and approved on Steam Greenlight in record quick time, and thus clearly demonstrated the interest of the players, proving that the turn-based wargame too early to drop discounted. But what exactly is different – so is the output of the final version is not just in time, and for a month ahead of schedule in December. On the background of traditions kraudfandinga where the promised sometimes have to wait for years, it looks pretty good.

The game’s plot originality and depth is the same – however, the classic strategy of themselves, and do not expect it. The action takes place in the entourage of science fiction, on a planet called Kronos. It was once almost destroyed during the civil war, and the majority of residents were evacuated to a nearby celestial body. But now, after the death of another emperor, the three formed the hostile faction returned to his native ashes in order to continue their opposition with a bang: the tradition, the candidate must possess the rulers of the ruins of dozens of local churches. For a plot twist you can watch the commercials between missions and slightly more numerous in-game messages to standard, even fairly trivial characters in the game on military issues: available here and the old general giving orders, and pretty telekorrespondentka, and rival – featuring a very nasty character commander of the neighboring armies and zealous captain-slave, regularly report to us about the situation in the trenches. 

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Although, truth be told, the plot and can not attend. Unlike, say, Massive Assault and other early works of the celebrated today Wargaming.net , this component of the gameplay of the Germans was obviously not a priority. The main thing is different: the classic tactics of warfare – with planning several moves ahead, with a carefully thought-out movement of units, with respect for each combat unit entrusted to us – and without any extravagance in the form of diplomacy, construction, or taxation. KING Art is dedicated to bring the best ideas of the war-game two decades ago, such as the Battle Isle or Panzer General, the new technological and visual level, but with full respect for the classics in terms of preserving the spirit of the game, which requires relentless attention to every move and force a person to take difficult decisions.

Perhaps the developers to make it still failed. In visual terms Battle Worlds: Kronos performed quite well, the image units and structures are cute and detailed, even at maximum zoom cameras – the latest, to the delight of the veterans strategies of the 1980s, and you can zoom out to a level at which the three-dimensional units are converted into two-dimensional icons on a flat field of hexagons. The game does not try to scare off beginners prohibitive complexity in the development – the first training mission in campaign mode provides an insight into the gameplay in fifteen minutes. Another thing that is the second of the missions makes plenty of scratch my head, following an order for maintenance does not know how to attack and defend the transports from point A to point B at a constant pursuit of the enemy and the real threat of the environment …

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Since the setting in the spirit of sci-fi, among managed by us combat units dominated tanks and self-propelled artillery. Later in the campaign, they will be added to the ships, aircraft and infantry snipers. In addition to the usual indicators of the “health”, the damage, armor, and levels of experience, each unit has two points from three types of actions: move, attack and “wild card” (ie, first or second action to choose from) – an interesting point, which allows good balance the performance of our troops. For example, “Rogue” – easy and fast combat vehicle with a remote attack – can boast with two jokers, which means that each turn is capable of twice moved, or double shot, or do both, and more at one time – but it is extremely vulnerable to the “unarmed” combat and requires a thorough covering of the slower tanks. Skillful maneuvering, coordination of all the troops – not an easy task and quite fascinating: for example, every unit gets a bonus to the attack, if next to it is another friendly unit.

Total plot card missions in Battle Worlds: Kronos has thirteen pieces – in two campaigns that come one after the other, and calculated by the authors about thirty hours to pass. However, the game has a more leisurely style of warfare – and even replay the stages already passed in order to fulfill all the side quests less blood. Recently, the more relevant as the transfer to the next mission may only forces at least twice to win improving – and, of course, managing to survive to win.

But what is puzzling, since it is identical units in almost all the warring parties. Three dozen military units and buildings that are common to the three main warring factions, there are only on one single unique units: a strange design choice, unless explained by a lack of time and resources. However, in the second story campaign will be able to play for a fourth faction – “Residents”, the indigenous inhabitants of the war-ravaged Kronos. The natives, in contrast to the more advanced “invaders”, do not have the technical power: they are dominated by infantry troops, and tactics – guerrilla warfare, with emphasis on various stealth-skills. Infantry, by the way, do not underestimate the game for the other parties to the conflict: the snipers and infantry robots are the only ones with all of our troops are able to capture warehouses, radars, the marina and plants opponent. In the first of these, if you’re lucky, you can find a couple of orphan tanks or helicopters, and the latter are used for the production of light and heavy combat units for the resources that are, again, mostly mined in the course of systematic capture of enemy territory. 

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In addition to the story campaign, there is also single player against the AI ​​- alas, he has only three cards. However, there is hope for a speedy completion of their number with the help of the players – Map Editor can be downloaded from the official forum . For multiplayer maps comes a little more, a dozen – of which only one of the three or four participants. Multiplayer here, in addition to the simple and familiar hot-seat, platform-independent and asynchronous. Play on the network (by creating closed the game on a pair with a friend, or open with the ability to connect any player online) by following the logic of a thoughtful strategic gameplay, just as slowly, setting a time limit on the course of 8 to 72 hours. Of course, nothing prevents together with play in real time.

The game was released at once in seven languages, including Russian, – and, with voice in any language videos that lately does not occur very often. Unfortunately, the accelerated release dates inevitably affected by a variety of errors and omissions in the release version, especially in locales: testing if there was, it was only for the German and English versions. It should be noted that recently entered the fashion issue of games in the “early access” does not allow a certain way to distinguish between the advantages and disadvantages, and identify where it ends the collection of money for the buggy beta – and where does the promotion of the concept of “games as a service “reminiscent of the constant updates in the spirit of MMORPG. Release Battle Worlds: Kronos is not listed in the category Early access, but many are significant elements and features will be added by the authors in the coming months. So, besides the obvious bug fixes as early as next week, we promise the emergence of rating systems and leagues for multiplayer, by the end of November – browser-based version (designed to simplify much involved in asynchronous multiplayer game), and a host of new official maps until the end of the year. At the beginning of 2014 we expect a version for iOS, Android and Ouya, as well as a full complement Trains from third campaign for ten hours of passage and a new combat units. 

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Of course, this does not mean that the game is not worth to pay attention now. In the end, all of the above owners Battle Worlds: Kronos will receive free of charge – and they have a lot to do before the appearance of patches and updates. Veterans of the classic military strategy can rejoice available opportunities in terms of combat maneuvers, and newcomers – to try to join the rather complex gameplay without feeling disgust at the sight of the graphics and interface. For all their relative disadvantages, Battle Worlds: Kronos – a very worthy choice for today in a rare genre wargame.

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