Forget everything else, a new King's Bounty game has been announced for PC - King's Bounty: Warriors of the North. And it's coming out this year, in Q4!
King's Bounty's the brilliant RPG strategy series from Russia that, frankly, surprised the life out of us in 2008. Our Dan Whitehead awarded King's Bounty: The Legend a whopping 9/10, and then our Alec Meer gave King's Bounty: Armored Princess an 8/10 a year later. They're great games, and well worth your attention.
In a nutshell, King's Bounty puts you in control of a hero who rides around a fantasy map gathering an army, relics, potions, etc. and bumping into baddies. Suitably bumped, a turn-based battle unfolds on a hexagonal tiled grid. The units in your army all have their pros and cons, and you as their mighty leader (who levels up) have an arsenal of abilities and spells to bolster what they do - or outright damage or affect the enemy.
Acclaimed turn-based strategy King's Bounty will grow again with new standalone expansion Crossworlds.
I'm both the best and the worst guy to be reviewing this. The best because last year's strategy/role-playing curio King's Bounty: The Legend was comfortably my game of the year, and one I bent the ear of anyone unlucky enough to be in the same room as me about. The worst because, well, that. I know the thing inside out. Armored Princess is a standalone expansion for it, and as such it's pretty much the same game. If I'd come to it without already knowing how good King's Bounty is, I'd have been grabbing people in the street, staring at them with wild eyes, shaking them by the shoulders and shouting, "Princess! Armored Princess! Omi god it's amazing it's a proper PC game you have to play it you have to play it whoops I just had a trouser malfunction."
It is a proper PC game. You do have to play it. I have just had a trouser malfunction. It's just... it's the same game again. When you can pick up the first game (well, not the first - The Legend was a semi-remake of the old 1990s King's Bounty) for less than a tenner, it's very hard to tell you to spend £30 on this one instead. And that's the nub of it - if you haven't played the first King's Bounty, get that. There isn't anything in Armored Princess that's worth spending an extra £20 on, unless you particularly get off on inventory screens showing a girl in chainmail that cuts away to reveal an impossibly flat stomach. She might be an Armored Princess, but she's certainly not a Well-Armored Princess. As for whether you should pick this up if you do know King's Bounty intimately, I'll get into that shortly.
First, though, let's talk about what King's Bounty is. Heroes of Might & Magic is the easiest touchstone - a fantasy world which you roam around from a fairly birds-eye perspective, being sucked into turn-based strategic battles whenever you encounter an enemy. Whilst the battles are ostensibly Final Fantasy-esque, with two opposing sides taking turns to biff each other with wild abilities, the difference is that you're pitching armies against each other. You've got 68 archers, 108 snakes, 34 guard droids and three Cyclops and a bunch of werewolves; he's got a gaggle of ghosts, skeletons, dragons, pirates and bears. Fight!
1C Company has told Eurogamer that King's Bounty: The Legend will arrive in UK shops on 13th February 2009.
Russian developer Katauri is hard at work on an expansion to well-received PC tactical RPG King's Bounty: The Legend.