Our friends over at Strategy Informer let us know that they managed to score a preview build of 1C and Katauri's King's Bounty: Warriors of the North, and that's resulted in a summary of their firsthand impressions. I've had a fairly long break from the King's Bounty formula, so I think I'll be ready to dive into this when it releases later this year:
For those unfamiliar with the King’s Bounty games, they feature an open world where your mounted hero is able to explore at will, collecting treasure, soaking up magical blessings and conversing with the local NPCs in classic RPG fashion. Plenty of strange and twisted creatures lie in wait in its forests and dungeons, and if they touch your character the game switches into a turn-based combat system played out on a hexagonal map.
The twist is that your hero does not enter the fray, instead deploying up to five different troop types per battle, the numbers of each being determined by your Leadership characteristic. As you rise in level, you can choose to allocate your resources on thousands of cheap, disposable villager units or concentrate on a select bunch of powerful creatures. From common types such as archers and axe-bearing Berzerkers to Dragons and even the undead, the range of unit options is enormous, as are your available tactical choices as Olaf can support from the sidelines with a variety of special movement and attack commands and magic spells and abilities.
It’s an incredibly detailed and satisfying combat system, which makes your choice of class all the more important. The warrior Viking brings melee bonuses and a measure of rage-filled leadership, the Paladin-like Skald’s charisma can draw more units to his banner and resurrect casualties, while the Soothsayer makes up for his relative lack of forces with devastating magic options. The problem, as fans of the previous games will be all too familiar with, is that the entire combat portion of the game remains woefully unbalanced.