It’s been a little over a week since Kingdom Under Fire 2 officially launched, and it’s time to check on how everything has been going. For anyone who has missed previous coverage, KUF2 is an MMORPG/RTS where players play a hero character out in the world and in instanced missions will be able to switch between controlling their hero and their troops. It’s a dynamic game with a lot to offer.
When it comes to MMO launches, it is commonplace to experience tons of issues with full servers, lag, and not being able to find enough mobs to finish quests efficiently. Thankfully, thus far KUF2 has been free of these issues. I’ve honestly had no problems with the running of the game thus far; everything has flowed seamlessly. I have seen plenty of people out and about in the world as well, and world chat stays active, but I’ve run into no issues resulting from the other players either. Of course, thus far I haven’t done any group content yet, so my experience in this aspect might change once I’ve ventured into grouping with people.
As I mentioned in my preview, the core gameplay is relatively similar to what we see in most MMORPGs. I chose the Ranger as my main character and will be what I spend most of my time playing. I chose Ranger for two main reasons: I enjoy the quick dagger combat with bow option, and I wanted to play one of the female options. In games like Witcher and Final Fantasy I don’t care much about what gender the main character is, as that isn’t a bar to my enjoyment of the game. However, in MMOs I have a strong preference towards female characters because I tend to view my characters in MMOs to be more representative of me than anything else. I wish I had the option to make a female Berserker though.
Now that I’ve had the time to level beyond where I could get to in the demo, I’m enjoying the hero combat even more. One aspect I was terrible at during the demo is remembering to use my finishing move when I’d incapacitate an enemy. There’s even a reminder that pops-up on the screen. Though I do have to say hopefully eventually that will stop popping up, or maybe there’s a setting to turn it off. Now that I’ve spent more time in the game, I am much better about remembering to use the finishing move. It’s still easy to get focused on just killing everything and neglecting all the unique combos I have at my disposal. My assumption here is as I move further into the game, the difficulty will pick-up, and I’ll have to be more deliberate in my fighting style.
One thing which still surprises and amuses me, though, is every time I get a piece of gear, which is a significant HP increase, my health shows as being low for a second. Here’s an example. Say my health is currently full at 343 HP. I receive a new chest piece, which increases my total health to 1343 HP. Instead of automatically getting the full new health total I will still have 343 HP, which now sets off the low health warnings. The reason this amuses me is there seems to be no reason for the system to work this way because I’m always standing around in town, and I wait for my health to regen. This system would make sense if it’s possible to change equipment in the middle of combat, though that would be weird.
Since KUF2 is trying to meld MMORPG/RTS together, I would be remiss to not talk about the RTS aspects present. I am a bit disappointed the only areas where I can make use of my troops is in the instanced missions. I imagine running around the open world with my forces taking on the random things I find, and it seems like that would be awesome. Of course, then I think about everyone else also doing the same thing and what an incredible lag fest that would probably be. Suddenly the choice to make troops only usable in instances makes a lot of sense. It would be neat to be able to use them more often though.
With this in-progress review, I am also including a video of the tutorial mission, which teaches the basics of commanding the troops. It’s not overly complicated, and switching between hero mode and command mode is easy, as long as I remember which button does what. However, in the few missions I have done so far, commanding my troops has been easy. Most of the time I stay in hero mode and use the quick commands to tell them to follow me or attack. Hopefully as I get further into the game there will be more strategy involved. I’m especially curious if coordination between players in some of the group missions becomes essential as well. It’ll be disappointing if I can ham fist my way through everything.
The bottom line so far is, I’m having a lot of fun with Kingdom Under Fire 2, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as I progress through the game. So far most everything has been easy, but I’m hopeful the real challenges lie ahead.