Medieval Real-Time Strategy games have always occupied a niche in the much broader Strategy genre. It is the sort of thing that I, being a fan of historical strategy games, notice. The company Reverie World Studios is anticipating that there are enough similar gamers to make their latest ambitious undertaking, Medieval Kingdom Wars, worth the investment.
According to them:
“Medieval Kingdom Wars brings a fresh perspective to the grand strategy genre, combining it with a full-on real time approach, and daring to go where few strategy games have ventured before…Redefining Medieval Grand Strategy, by combining historical accuracy, a huge living and changing world, and historical quests, all in a real-time environment. Build your cities, wage your wars, serve your king, and experience siege combat with a degree of brutality never seen before”
The company is perhaps best known for their earlier RTS games, Kingdom Wars and Kingdom Wars II: Battles. While both of these tread familiar ground, what sets MKW apart is the attention to medieval history. There is an emphasis on strategy and tactics with research trees that take into account things like ancient warfare techniques and even applying alum to fireproof wooden equipment which was actually used during the late middle ages for that very purpose. The voice acting enhances the immersion, with dialogue including ample usage of “thee” and “thou” within sentences that hearken back to that age although it’s not as complex as reading Chaucer or Piers the Plowman, naturally.
Right now there is a campaign mode featuring countries like England, France, and Scotland with more on the way. The skirmish mode is also available for both single player and multiplayer battles as well with several game modes. Since it is in very Early Access most of the complex political and diplomatic systems are not in place yet. The focus is on the combat which thus far showcases a wide array of units and building options. The AI plans as you do, text appearing which informs you of cities and armies being attacked, besieged, and defeated.
Due to the map sizes battles are fought between dozens of units rather than the more accurate hundreds or even thousands.There is always the potential for increases in unit sizes and armies, however.
Medieval Kingdom Wars is still only in alpha. However, the premise is exciting enough that I look forward to seeing more from the developers.