The shallow kingdom building is another problem. Cities you control open up opportunities to advance your units, but that’s about it. Each city has a miniature tech tree (only 2-3 choices) that lets you level up a single type of unit (heavy armor, light armor, cavalry etc.) in a specific way such as choosing between “+5% damage for light armor units” vs “+5% HP to light armor units.” At best, these cities stack up to make a difference once you’ve conquered several of them, and impact the direction you choose when building your army. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this is a grand strategy game. Conquering cities is mostly just a hurdle toward buffing your army.
While shallow individually, the cities play into the customization of your army. This is one of the game’s strongest aspects. There are many opportunities to affect the direction of your fighting force. As your heroes level up you can increase their stats and they’ll gain access to new spells and abilities. You’ll also be able to outfit them with magic items you’ve acquired during your travels. Individual units of soldiers will gain experience and level up as well if you keep them alive long enough (letting them rest for a turn refreshes their numbers to full capacity.)
The easy comparison is to say that King Arthur 2 is like Game of Thrones stapled to Total War. However, the truth is that Neocore Games has created something unique. The gameplay is a great mix of genres, and the world is fresh, exciting, and full of intrigue. The problem is execution. Both King Arthur games have shared the same unique concept, but Neocore Games may not have the manpower or the budget to fully extract the potential of both sides of this complex dual-genre game.
There's still a lot to love though, and we had a blast playing it. It's just impossible to escape the nagging frustration that this game was so close to greatness but stumbled, and had to settle for “good.”
Note: We experienced quite a few bugs and glitches in the game, from full-on crashes, to error messages, and textures not loading properly. That said, the game was still playable. It’s impossible to say right now whether these bugs will be swiftly (or ever) fixed. So we encourage you to check for patches, fixes, and compatibility with your rig before committing to the full price.