Hype Meter is a FreeMMOStation show where we give you an overview of the most anticipated free MMO games. This time we take a look at Kingdom Under Fire 2, the frantic mix of action RPG and RTS, with hundreds of characters on screen.
Some games went through development hell and outright sucked – right, Duke Nukem? – while a few others were able to overcome this terrible situation. Against all odds, Kingdom Under Fire 2 is shaping up to be a winner and one of the most significant free-to-play MMOs of 2014. The first beta for SEA countries lasted only a few days but was surprisingly stable and a good example of the qualities of this game, including the humble system requirements for such a busy game. Korean studio Blueside really did a great job so far, especially considering that it’s its first MMORPG. So, what can we expect?
The Kingdom Under Fire franchise became popular for two specific things: the mix of realtime strategy and action RPG as well as the amount of enemies that we get to hack and slash in our way. Only one other series is more famous for throwing hundreds of soldiers at you at the same time and that’s Dynasty Warriors, as you certainly know already. However, Dynasty Warriors games are deeply flawed and Kingdom Under Fire 2 is looking great.
First off, let’s talk about the classes. The game offers only 3 characters so far and they are gender locked: a Male Gunslinger, a Male Berserker, and a Female Spellsword. Nothing out of the ordinary here, same as character customization, which is a bit limited but good enough to avoid countless clones of your character. There’s a nice range of presets for faces, hair and tattoos as well as a few palette choices, but you can completely mess with the facial features of your character thanks to a bunch of sliders. There’s no way to change body features though, so don’t expect boob sliders – not that the Spellsword needs them, she’s already very gifted!
Now, the gameplay. Kingdom Under Fire 2 is all about taking on hundreds of enemies and gigantic beasts in third-person perspective. This is a pure non-targeting, action combat game with some cool attacks and two defensive moves: block and dash. Combat feels great, fast-paced and exciting, with lots of slicing going on – but sometimes it’s a bit too much, too confusing, and you can’t see where you are. Enemies don’t seem to possess any proper AI, but they’re no more than cannon fodder in such a game, so that’s not something to worry about.
That was the action part; now let’s talk about the real time strategy bit. You have troops under your command, such as archers and infantry that you can use seamlessly during battle. You can switch to the strategic bird’s eye view and order your troops to assault a certain squad so that you get a break from all the attacks. This, combined with all the frantic and exciting action that throws thousands of units at you at the same time is what makes Kingdom Under Fire 2 one of a kind, a game that until a few months ago was met with some disbelief and is now winning everyone’s attention.
In case you’re wondering, the MMO part of Kingdom Under Fire 2 is pretty familiar yet competent stuff. You have this beautiful 3D world map where you travel with your airship to towns, picking up quests, trading and meeting other players.
Finally, the graphics are really good, not the best you’ll see nowadays, but good anyway. Definitely nice to look at and with great detail and animation to the playable characters and huge bosses. The remaining units are pretty average and cloned to exhaustion, but at the rate that they’re dispatched and replaced, we can’t really complain.
Kingdom Under Fire 2 isn’t perfect though. The main selling point can also be one of its downfalls and that is the amount of units onscreen at the same time. While this is amazing to watch, sometimes it gets too much and just looks like a mess of overlapping limbs and weapons. Other times you get stuck between several attacks without a chance to run away.
Unit voices can also get annoying, with all the frequent yapping distracting us from our goal. Hopefully the final version will feature better voice actors and tone down on this repetition.
We went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, but ultimately decided that we’re really hyped for this game. The experience beta test was a huge surprise and Kingdom Under Fire 2 is now one of our most wanted games of 2014. While the SEA version is expected to launch soon, Europe and North America should get this game sometime this year. Besides PC, a PS4 version is also in development. We definitely recommend you keep an eye out for this game.