King's Bounty is a suprisingly lavish production: an entire, non-linear world to explore, filled to the brim with vast armies to fight. Its turn-based gameplay is surprisingly deep and varied, and in between battles you have the freedom to explore the map and hunt for treasure. It has addictive RPG mechanics and dozens of hours of playtime. Its story is grand, although it is told primarily through text. It's beautifully designed and fun to play. There are also drawbacks though. The game doesn't do a good job explaining its systems. Figuring out morale, leadership and stacking can be a challenge. My biggest problem was with the blatant misogyny in the story though. In the world of King's Bounty, women are defined by what men want from them. Quests involve saving women, changing their appearance to make them suitable lovers, giving them gifts and proving their suitor's worth, more than once even convincing women to give their misogynistic stalkers another chance (or optionally, kidnapping them). The relationships in the game are possessive, superficial, and even abusive. The player can not intervene, only support them or choose to remain neutral (which costs you). Even the protagonist, Princess Amelie, has to convince her father to let her save the world by either pouting or throwing a tantrum. After she saves the world from demons, she is effectively told that her primary duty is to marry and have kids. The game does not critique this nor allow the player to critique it. It's even part of the gameplay: female warriors can have the 'beautiful' stat which causes men to miss them, Amelie can wear dresses into battle, and in one of the standalone expansions, you can pick a wife and her babies will give you bonuses. Women in KBAP are shown as shallow, greedy, treacherous and dependent wretches. Those who are supposed to be sympathetic are obedient martyrs. But I guess the cover gives it away: Amelie's 'armor' is obviously designed with something other than battle in mind. So, good game, but so ♥♥♥♥ed up that I'm not going to recommend it. Yes, I think sexism is a bigger concern than whether games are good.
Postat: 30 Noiembrie 2013