Picture in your mind, the sprawling landscape of Skyrim. Tundra gives way to pastures of green grass which then slowly transforms into a field of ice and mountainous paths. Now imagine hacking at a tree with a wooden axe in Minecraft, collecting blocks and building whatever your fevered brain can imagine. Now smash them both together, take out the terrible enemies, and add in combat from Mount and Blade with all its decapitations and amputations.
This is Reign of Kings. And it is superb.
You spawn on a beach as a newbie. Sporting a thong (male and female alike) and after going through a pretty impressive character creator you are warned that your face will always look like this… unless you create a potion of facial change (lol what?) The only indicators you have on your HUD are 3 coloured bars, representing your current hunger, thirst and stamina. A quick rummage through your loincloth reveals a couple of bandages and a wooden stick made of driftwood. This stick becomes your main form of attack and defence, it can also be used to harvest resources. It’s then up to you to not die. Sounds easy? It’s not. You may be lucky enough to encounter similarly attired players, but as this is a live MMO, a la Day Z, those who are well equipped will make short work of dispatching you. Sleeping out in the open is also not advised, you can be easily bludgeoned to death during your slumber and when you log back on, you’ll find yourself back in your loincloth wondering why you are 50 miles away, bereft of all your hard earned equipment.
Trees and bushes offer little for those in search of a good meal, berries may keep you hydrated, but offer poor nutrition. Animals flee at the slightest touch of your clumsy beat stick. Wolves will eat you in the face. Other players will stab you in the face. Starving will make you want to eat someone else’s face. Happily, unlike Day Z, you cannot take a munch of Long Pig. But starving takes a long time. So it helps to get established quickly.
In its current build, the game is not without its faults, there are numerous graphical issues, the combat is very hit and miss (literally!) and the developers are still getting used to the server economy and respawns. But stick with it.
- Glorious map design
- Intuitive game mechanics – borrows heavily from other survival games
- Big fricking catapults
- You can become a King!
- Other player characters can be dicks – there is not a massive amount to do
- Top tier equipment and weapons can be achieved quickly
- No real reward for becoming King
- Graphical issues need fixing
Overall verdict: Successful patching will make this a fan favourite, the anti-cheat system is well on its way to stopping hackers. It will need a WHOLE load more objectives and missions to make it truly wonderful