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XIII Century: Death or Glory review

XIX Century: Tea or Coffee, already under way

On the website feature list there’s mention of ‘mangonels and trebuchets’. Don’t be taken in. Siege engines and sieges look to have been cut at the eleventh hour. The few fortresses that did make it in are either decorative or scandalously permeable. Penetrating Lincoln’s lovely battlements involves sauntering in through one of four open and unguarded gates. Shabby. Some wheeled/weird weapons would certainly have spiced up the unit selection. At present pikes, spears, swords, bows, axes and lances do all the killing. There’s none of the agricultural implements, skull smashers, or gunpowder gadgetry you’ll find in... in...

The fact that you can’t talk about XIII without mentioning CA’s genre-bestriding colossus every third sentence is maddening. If the developers had just picked a different setting they could have avoided a lot of negativity. Thirteenth century Chinese warfare with its fledgling firearms, landmines, and grenades could have been utterly fascinating. How about a game about the rise of the Khmer Empire in Southeast Asia? Elephant-mounted ballistae, ferocious female warriors... part of us is incensed by the lack of courage and imagination Unicorn have shown. Another part of us has to admit they’ve done a passable job of mimicking a masterpiece.

May 27, 2008

More Info

DescriptionHistory buffs should steel themselves for recreations of the thirteenth century's most famous battles.
US censor ratingRating Pending
Release date12 March 2008 (US), (UK)