Arthurian Legend Revamp
Neowiz Games revived the legend of King Arthur with its turn-based RPG Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War. The game’s story is a refreshing twist on the classic RPG trope of heroes saving the world from demons.
King Uther ruled the kingdom of Avalon and maintained peace in the world. Within the kingdom was a summoning crystal that brought forth legendary heroes who would defend the continent from pillaging demons. Then the crystal began to summon demons inside of the kingdom, which led to the destruction of Avalon and most of the world. Young Prince Arthur and the sword Excalibur were smuggled out of the ruined kingdom. It is when he is given Excalibur to wield that the game, and his quest, begins.
Rather than an untrained hero thrust into an eternal war between good and evil, Prince Arthur was raised to combat the demons that are pillaging the world of Lorasia and have destroyed his home kingdom of Avalon. This is a refreshing spin on the usual hero character who wavers on taking up the mantle of the chosen one. There is none of that here. Prince Arthur is determined to vanquish the evil that has devastated his world and bring order back to the continent. As the hero, the knights he encounters in the beginning doubt him because of his absolute determination. One of the knights, Percival of Kent, compares him to the monsters they are fighting because of his iron will.
Knights of the Round Table
While playing as Prince Arthur, you travel the continent collecting various heroes and knights via gacha pulling to fight against the monsters threatening the world. Many of them are easily recognizable as characters from Arthurian legends. The classic Knights of the Round Table make an appearance early on in the game. Percival of Kent, based on the knight who sought out the Holy Grail, mistakes Prince Arthur as first a bandit and then later a monster. Heroes based on legendary figures from other mythos make appearances as well, such as Shakespeare’s fairy queen Titania and the Norse goddess Freyja.
Each of these legendary figures is affiliated with one of five elemental classes. These elemental classes are fire, water, tree, dark and light. They’re broken down even further by their fighting class: Priest, Wizard, Archer, Guardian and Fighter. The starter hero, Prince Arthur, has fire as his element and is a Fighter. Different heroes are gained through gacha pulling using crystals that are either earned through grinding or bought, and it’s up to the player to arrange them in the party according to their own preferred fighting style.
Gacha and Pay To Win
Gacha games generally release story chapters in one of two ways. They either release periodically to maintain interest in the game, as is being done by Neowiz, or all story chapters are released at once. The first seven chapters of the story are currently available to play. Much of gacha pulling amounts to luck or how much you’re willing to spend on a mobile game. While Kingdom of Heroes is an RPG, at its core it’s a gacha game. Free chances are earned daily and by grinding through levels or, essentially, waiting the clock out. This is where the paying player will usually have the advantage, no matter what type of gacha game is being played.
While Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War is a free-to-play game, there is the option of supporting the game studio by paying for bundles of in-game currency, hero items, and gacha pulling. This includes buying costumes for some of your high-ranking heroes. While most costumes are just an aesthetic change, some actually provide buffs that greatly power up your heroes.
Although this is a great way to support the studio, this leads to a power disparity and mismatched battles in the PvP arena. While the PvP arena can be difficult to navigate when it comes to facing maxed out lineups, there is the option to play your heroes manually since the battles aren’t in real-time. This allows you to rearrange your heroes on the battlefield to adapt to the enemy party’s heroes. For each PvP battle won, you gain victory points that can be used in the game store for item exchange. The weekly ranking system also gives out rewards that can be exchanged in the game store.
The campaign battles operate using turn-based mechanics. There’s a small amount of strategy necessary as you progress through the campaign and fight against even stronger enemies. This is covered during the in-game tutorial at the beginning of Kingdom of Heroes. Instead of your team fighting the enemies all at once, party members and foes fight individually based on their speed. The hero or enemy on the field with the fastest speed is able to land the first hit. This continues until the turn of the slowest attacker. After that, it cycles through again until you clear the level or your team has been wiped out.
The battles are fought on a grid map with each party on opposite sides. The player needs to plan out the movements of their heroes to get close enough to attack the enemy party without being caught by a debuff. Enemies can quickly corner and target weaker party members.
Aside from the minor unfairness of the PvP matches, Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War is a great way to pass the time. Using the story of King Arthur as the basis for establishing a chosen one was a clever move. This is a refreshing RPG that ticks all the boxes.
Is It Hardcore?
Neowiz’s Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War is a great game with minor flaws that don’t take away from enjoying the game. Whether you purchase game packs or not, the storyline and mechanics are enough to stand by themselves.