Kind of like Swords & Soldiers (or other 2D lane pushers) but actually good. Pump out troops, cast spells, load the ballista with weird ammo and assume direct control of heroes to wipe the battlefield. The best bit is the artillery, lob stones to smash enemy spires to loose parts which then will hopefully crush the enemy army as they are leaving their castle. There are four factions (with DLC) with different troops/spells/artillery. You can either try to storm the enemy castle with troops, stealing their flag and bringing it home in a tug of war, or you can just simply smash the enemy castle with boulders until there's nothing left. It's just fun and the physics are meaty enough, who wouldn't enjoy breaking things? Lots of opportunity for amazing skillshots or stupid accidents when your ballista hits your own troops. You can also design your own castle, the room choices affect your troop loadout and bonuses.
The four singleplayer campaigns were good enough, but when you enter multiplayer the game commits suicide. Local splitscreen can only be done in tiny windows, leaving lots of the screen unused and black. It was probably to preserve the FOV ratio but the end result is completely unappealing. Online multiplayer then is tied to playing ranked matchmaking, if you want to customize and upgrade your loadout playing with just friends doesn't earn you anything. I don't know why they went this way, did they expect to turn this into e-sports? Multiplayer seems quite dead even during sales...
All in all a very enjoyable time, for some reason I'd compare it with Orcs Must Die even though it's a different type of defense game. The art, humour and design is somehow similar and very polished. There's a nice pile of content and game modes in the complete pack for singleplayer, however if you're interested only in multiplayer I'd say skip it and get something like King Arthur's Gold instead.
Posted: December 30th, 2013