Kingdom Wars is a free-to-play 3D MMORTS that combines strategic battles, real-time siege combat, city-building, and RPG elements in a persistent medieval fantasy world.
|Publisher: Reverie World Studios
Release Date: September 6, 2011
PvP: Instanced RTS and Siege Battles
Pros: +Great graphics and sounds. +Interesting storyline. +Strategic battles and siege-oriented gameplay. +Single player campaign.
Cons: -Lack of keyboard shortcuts for unit commands. -Slow gameplay progression. -Faulty unit pathfinding system.
Kingdom Wars Overview
Build your city from scratch, fight epic medieval battles, and engage in real-time siege combat in Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars, a 3D MMORTS that combines elements of RTS, city-building, and RPG’s. Take your pick from three iconic classes: Humans, Elves, and Orcs, each with their own distinct playing style. Take control of your small estate and build it up into a formidable city. Recruit a mighty army to help you defend your territories from threats such as goblins, rioting peasants, and other armies while completing a variety of quests in service of king and kingdom. Fight it out with NPC’s and other players on the battlefield or lay siege to their cities using a variety of siege equipment. Explore a rich medieval world with regular day/night cycles, as well as changing weather and seasons that affect your city’s economy and how units perform in battle.
Kingdom Wars Key Features:
- Strategic Battles and Siege Combat – engage in epic ground battles with NPC’s or other players or lay siege to their cities in a dynamic and persistent medieval fantasy world.
- Three Distinct Races – choose from three iconic races, each with their own lore, language, region, and terrain, as well as distinct economies and play styles.
- Realistic Weather and Seasons – manage your city and fight your battles in ever-changing seasons, along with weather, and day/night cycles which affect the economy and how units perform in battle.
- Fully-3D World Map – explore and travel through the game world using a beautifully-designed 3D map that changes with the time, weather, and seasons.
Kingdom Wars Screenshots
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Kingdom Wars Featured Video
Kingdom Wars Races
Elves – adept in the use of magic and possess powerful ranged units. Resources are produced within their buildings.
Orcs – a brutal and warlike race that overwhelms enemies through strength and sheer numbers. They can construct palisade fortresses as they move across the land.
Humans – a versatile and balanced class that requires more micromanagement than the other two classes. Humans gather and mine resources from their surroundings.
Kingdom Wars Review
By, Marc Marasigan
Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars, or simply Kingdom Wars, is a 3D MMORTS set in the medieval high fantasy world of Mythador, a world plagued by a long-standing power struggle between three races: the resilient Humans, magic-wielding Elves, and the warlike Orcs. And if that wasn’t enough, these races are also fighting among themselves, practically on the edge of civil war. Players are given the option of choosing from one of the previously mentioned races and take control of a small estate which they then slowly grow into a powerful and formidable city while completing various quests from their subjects or from the king. The game features a persistent world with regular day and night cycles as well as changing seasons and weather. The graphics may seem a bit dated but still look great for an RTS game. Although, the blood animations do seem a bit over-the-top when every battlefield looks like a scene from Dexter (see screenshot below). I get that video games aren’t really known for realism but a typical human being, even a virtual medieval swordsman, shouldn’t be bleeding that much. The dynamic and fully-3D world map that changes with the time, weather, and seasons is also a nice touch. The audio is also good and gives a medieval Total War-y vibe to the game, complete with well-made voice-overs, in a stereotypical medieval English/British accent.
Learning The Ropes
Kingdom Wars is one of those games where skipping the tutorial is the last thing you want to do. The tutorial is in-depth and divided into four somewhat lengthy parts. It takes a while to complete but is worth going through even for veteran RTS players, especially the city-building part which is set up a bit differently from typical RTS games. The tutorial can be accessed at any time from the game’s main menu. The tutorial is also the first time that players will encounter the in-game dialog which is written in old English-style. I get that the devs want to be authentic but dialog like, “We shouldst train a battalion of Swordsmen to defend thy Archers,” cracks me up. I read the dialoge with an old-English accent in my head and I bet you just did too.
Creating Your City
Creating a city in Kingdom Wars is more in-depth than most city-building or strategy games. After choosing their race, players pick their region or where they want to build their city. The choices and environments are different for each race, between highlands, flatlands, and forests. Each region has different attributes which affects the rate at which resources are gathered, market prices, the cost of training units, as well as unit damage. Cities in the highlands, for example, get a bonus to stone gathering and train better melee units than cities in other regions. Cites built in forests gather wood faster and have better archers. Aside from choosing their race and their region players also choose two masteries. Masteries, like regions, are also different for each race but determine the player’s specialization, whether it be in combat, gathering, or building. All these choices are designed to tailor-fit the city to certain playing styles. Players who prefer being on the defense, for example, would probably benefit from an Elven city in the forest with Forest Protectors and Siege Mastery as their primary and secondary masteries. Keep in mind though that you only get one city slot unless you’re willing to spend real-world cash to unlock more.
Building and Managing Your City
Kingdom Wars is an RTS game similar to the Total War series. Like the previously mentioned games, army strength and size is usually proportional to city size, which makes city-building a very important part of the game. Players start the game with a Stronghold, which functions the same way as a Town Hall or Headquarters in other games, and slowly build up their estates into a sprawling and heavily-fortified city. This happens in a persistent world where resources are gathered and buildings are constructed even when the player is offline. The good news is that once structures are built they practically run themselves with little micromanagement required from the player, apart from building additional houses to support the growing population, upgrading existing structures, and ensuring that no peasants are lounging around. In the words of the all-knowing Game Tutor, “It is in thy best interest to remember that without peasants thou art naught.”
Quests and Combat
Players start the game with a basic hero and a unit of swordsmen. Heroes in Kingdom Wars function the same way as heroes in the RTS game Warcraft. Aside from supporting nearby units with abilities like mass heal or buffs, they are also used to interact with NPC’s to acquire quests. Quests reward players with resources as well as Crowns, also called Wealth or Influence, which are required for important city and unit upgrades. The early quests also reward players with free units. Quests are usually kill quests that require the player to use his army to kill bandits, goblins, ogres, and anything else that threatens the safety of your city and the kingdom, including quelling peasant revolts and capturing treasonous nobles. The quests also serve as a guide that tells the player what he should do next while also unfolding a mildly interesting storyline. While I have nothing against quests, since it’s a lot more entertaining than the grinding and waiting common to city-building games, it does makes game progression extremely slow.
Combat is similar to Total War, where units are trained as a battalion rather than single units . Units have varying strengths and weaknesses which lends an element of strategy to the game. Each race also has different unit types but function more or less the same way. Archers or Rangers—their Elven counterpart— are great against light infantry like Halberdiers but are especially vulnerable to cavalry and heavily-armored units like Swordsmen. Cavalry and their counterparts in other races, on the other hand, are weak against Halberdiers but are highly effective against Archers. Units level up as they gain experience from battles and are rewarded with stat points that players can distribute among various stats. Units also have special abilities such as the archer’s Enfilade which increases unit defense but removes mobility, or the Elven sentry’s Tackle that knocks down its target and deals extra damage. They can also assume different formations to give them an edge against specific enemy units.
These elements allow the player to change strategies on the fly to gain an edge over the enemy, which is all well and good if it wasn’t for the lack of keyboard shortcuts. An essential feature for these types of games. Manually clicking buttons during a battle can be frustrating and even a bit confusing especially when you’re dealing with different unit types. Another thing that I absolutely have to gripe about is the fact that the units seem to have a mind of their own and will break formation to chase after wolves in the forest when I specifically ordered them to attack an enemy unit. They do this even when ordered to stop or hold their ground and even when actually fighting another enemy unit. Even a ragtag unit of peasants should know better than to go hunting for local wildlife while a heavily armored unit of swordsmen are cutting them down to overly-bloody bits. Speaking of blood, Kingdom Wars gives players the ability to loot the corpses from a battlefield. However, only peasants can loot corpses so always have a unit of peasants ready to do the dirty work. It’s a nasty way of gaining additional resources, but hey, you need it more than they do. A nice bit of trivia is that Elves can only loot gold from corpses and Humans can only loot gold and wood while Orcs can loot gold, wood, and food. Chew on that for a while. Pun intended.
Aside from meeting other enemies on the battlefield, players can also lay siege to their cities and employ a variety of siege equipment such as battering rams, trebuchets, and belfrys to gain access to the enemy city. This is the game’s main selling point and is one of, if not, the first game to feature real-time siege combat. Sieges play out almost exactly like they do in Total War games. Gain control of the walls and you’ve pretty much got it in the bag. Personally, I like besieging cities. There’s nothing more satisfying than rushing your entire army through a captured gate or through a massive hole in a seemingly impregnable wall.
Kingdom Wars offers two PVP game modes: Normal and Siege battles. These can be accessed by creating an army on the world map (don’t forget the peasants and preferably a few horse carts to haul in the loot), marching a few steps away from the city, then clicking on the PVP button that appears. The game features a matchmaking system that matches players with other players within 10% of their army rating by default. If you’re looking for a challenge there’s a handy checkbox, aptly named “Be Brave” that allows the matchmaking system to search for players with an army rating of up to 50% more. Army rating is determined by both army strength and the strength of your town walls. Remember when I said city-building was an important part? Players are awarded crowns for participating in PVP. The loser gets half of the battle value while the winner gets the whole deal including the right to spend a few minutes looting the dead.
The Cash Shop
Kingdom Wars prides itself on not being a pay to win game. You’ll rarely find developers that would overhaul an entire game just to incorporate feedback from their gamers. Kudos to Reverie for that. With that being said, players can still spend real-world cash to buy elite units and dragons which might tip the scales a bit but in no way breaks the game balance. Players can also purchase Premium status that gives players additional rewards for quests, battles, and tributes.
The Final Verdict – Great
Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars is no Total War and may be a little rough around the edges but it’s a game with a lot of depth and a lot of potential. Typically, I’m not a huge fan of RTS games aside from Total War but this game is one of the better ones I’ve played in a while. If you can get past the faulty pathfinding system, the lack of keyboard shortcuts for unit commands, and the agonizingly slow progression, you’ll find the game to be a surprisingly fun and exciting experience, especially the siege battles. The game is also regularly updated with fixes, tweaks, and balances, which is always a good sign. Overall, a great game I highly recommended to RTS fans.
Kingdom Wars Videos
Kingdom Wars Links
Kingdom Wars System Requirements
Operating System: Windows Vista
CPU: Dual Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 3 GB RAM
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 530 / ATI Radeon HD 6570
Direct X: DirectX 9.0
Hard Disk Space: 7.5 GB available space
Operating System: Windows 7
CPU: Quad Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 6 GB RAM or more
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti / Radeon HD 6790
Direct X: DirectX 9.0
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB or more available space
Kingdom Wars Music & Soundtrack
Kingdom Wars Additional Information
Developer: Reverie World Studios (formerly Reverie Entertainment)
Publisher: 505 Games
Designer: Christopher Theriault
Producer: Konstantin Fomenko
Technical Director: John Lockwood
Composer: Joel Steudler
Game Engine: Mithrill
Closed Beta: June 21, 2010
Open Beta: August 11, 2011
Official Launch Date: September 6, 2011
Development History / Background:
Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdom Wars is a free-to-play 3D MMORTS developed by Reverie World Studios (formerly Reverie Entertainment) and published by 505 Games. The game is exclusively available through the Steam gaming platform and was one of the first games to be voted into Steam by the public via the Steam Greenlight feature. The game runs on the Mithrill game engine developed by Reverie's John Lockwood, the game's Technical Director. The game also features an original musical score composed by Joel Steudler.