Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview: Game of Swords

Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview

Conqueror’s Blade is Booming Games’ upcoming medieval warfare action MMO where you can live the dream of being a Warlord or a General – and die plenty of times in the process. Skyforge and Revelation Online’s publisher secured the publishing rights for North America and Europe and not long ago confirmed that Conqueror’s Blade was indeed going to be free-to-play.

Before a proper open beta where Conqueror’s Blade will hopefully get the huge player numbers that it needs – and deserves – for its epic large-scale battles, a couple of Siege Tests are being held for those who have purchased a Founder’s Pack or managed to grab a key through any means possible – we had a giveaway, in case you missed it. These tests are meant to stress test elements such as server and client stability, as well as to get players used to the tactical gameplay that the game offers. The first map, Siege of Augolia, is set to become iconic according to its developers.

Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview - Siege Tower

To siege or not to siege

The Siege Test included two PvP maps: Fort Siege and Field Battle. The first is your classic siege where several players with their respective armies lay siege to a fortress and try to break through, striving for domination over a couple of strategic points before the timer runs out. As for the second game mode, it’s a capture the flag kind of map, with three spots to conquer and keep hold for as long as you can. The frantic running around to and from a harshly unguarded flag and constant shift of power makes for an exciting game mode where victory and defeat are only a few seconds apart.

The test was great for us to get a grip on the combat mechanics and tactical features that Conqueror’s Blade has on offer. While they may feel like a far cry from those seen in tactical beasts such as the Total War series, there is enough to provide interesting strategies and a delicate balance that only the greatest tacticians will be able to break.

It all started with the character selection. You can pick from male and female commanders – here’s hoping that no one starts a Battlefield 5-sized outrage on how women had no place in ancient wars, something that would clearly be stupid – and wrong. Historical accuracy, guys. There’s a nice little detail with the choice of your country’s flag, and next we jump to the character creation system, which is simple (overly so?) and straightforward. You have a few face and hair presets, and then you can change a few options including skin and hair color, as well as picking a tattoo for your face. Some of them look like scars, in fact, and are way cooler than having a skull tattoo plastered all over your face. There is no body customization whatsoever, so you can forget about height, weight, and breast sliders. Come on guys, admit it, you were thinking about these, right?

As for classes, there is a nice variety on offer for both male and female. Men get to choose from Longsword and Shield, Poleaxe, Spear, Shortsword and Shield, Nodachi (a two-handed sword), Glaive, Bow and Musket. As you can clearly see, only the last couple of them are ranged weapons, with all the other classes prioritizing some form of melee combat. Female classes slightly differ from the male’s option, being seven in total and comprised of Short Bow, Dual Blades, Glaive, Shortsword and Shield, Nodachi, Longsword and Shield and Musket. Ultimately it all comes down to personal preference and ability with each weapon, as a musket is only mightier than a sword when you don’t have dozens of enemy spearmen perforating your body.

Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview - Capture the Flag Field Battle

War… War never stops changing

Conqueror’s Blade isn’t just about stepping into the battlefield with hundreds of units and commanders, although that makes for the largest part of the game. You choose your land from five territories and upgrade your city, with the ultimate plan of conquering adjacent regions in what we may call a Massively Multiplayer Online War Game. The mere thought of having dozens, maybe hundreds of players constantly fighting over territories is too good to pass on – forging alliances, claiming territories and upgrading your cities to become the prevailing force in the continent. We are yet to see this part of Conqueror’s Blade in action, but it sounds really appealing.

Your city is a living and breathing place filled with helpful citizens that will provide you with everything a commander needs to go to war. You can recruit different kinds of troops, from archers to swordsmen, spearmen or cavalry, among others, all of them gaining experience through combat and subsequently unlocking new, stronger troops. Your commander is also able to level up and unlock more powerful skills, while some equipment is only usable when you reach a certain experience level. Your mount is of utmost importance, as it will help you move faster through enemy lines and gives you a significant advantage in some occasions, as mounted combat is part of the game.

Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview - tutorial

When you enter the battlefield, you engage in some exciting third-person medieval warfare. With complete control over your commander, you can easily give instructions to your army. Your basic orders are follow, defend and attack, and you can order them to change formation and rush into an enemy battalion, crushing their previously impenetrable shield defense. Conqueror’s Blade supports fifteen commanders per side, which makes for an impressive thirty in total, each one with their armies comprised of a few dozen men. This translates into over a thousand units in the battlefield, making for quite an impressive sight when fire arrows are raining down from the skies and hulking siege towers are slowly but surely moving towards its destination. It is even more impressive when the battle is taking place under a stormy rain.

Getting a few commanders to work in tandem against their enemies is what makes Conqueror’s Blade’s gameplay a resounding success. I tried to go mostly solo, helping out fellow commanders when needed or trotting to a flag that was apparently disregarded, but I occasionally spotted some degree of organization that is the kind of thing that wins wars. In one instance I saw a group of archers standing guard next to a flag, raining arrows as soon as anyone tried to climb that hill. When trying to go around I was greeted with another commander that was stopping everyone with the help of their swordsmen. This is only a small glimpse of the tactical possibilities that Conqueror’s Blade offers.

Conqueror’s Blade Siege Test Hands-On Preview - Castle Siege

Conqueror’s Blade is shaping up to be a great title for fans of medieval warfare. There isn’t much to play in the field besides Mount & Blade and Tiger Knight, so this could eventually find a way into many players’ collections, despite its somewhat niche thematic. I was thoroughly impressed with the order among the chaos that I saw in each battle and can’t wait to see more of this. Hopefully the focus will be on new maps and balancing instead of the cash shop, as a few bad decisions are more than enough to ruin a game and push away its player base. So far, Conqueror’s Blade seems to be winning the war. You can sign up for the upcoming tests at the official website.

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