King's Bounty II Preview

A few weeks ago, 1C Entertainment announced a new entry in the venerable King's Bounty series. And while the game is currently set to launch sometime in 2020, a Gamepressure editor has managed to get his hands on a playable demo at this year's Gamescom. His impressions, unfortunately, were far from positive. Here's a couple of sample paragraphs and you take it from there:

It's just a poorly designed game. Things that worked well in earlier parts of the series were reworked here as part of a strange mission to create a new face for the franchise. For example, recruiting troops — previously they could be recruited in different locations; in the second part, we deal with everything through interaction with a single merchant who gives you access to five different units: from barely trained swordsmen to killer knights. Where's the challenge in that? Where's the feeling of overcoming difficulties, when the enemies are nice enough to face us in open field, when they have a fortified castle (and a visibly weaker army) at their disposal? Where are enemy units using any tactics other than attacking a random unit from our army?

And there are things here that could work well. The complex equipment and weapons system of our hero, a variety of possible development paths, an extensive and well-designed universe, and finally, the widely-advertised choices that will affect the story — King's Bounty 2, beneath that short-coming facade, hides a few solutions that might have been really interesting. In each of the tasks I managed to complete, I had to choose between helping one or the other character (or even an entire faction), between negotiations and combat. On the other hand, however, we have an extreme lack of transparency, ugly visuals, a pointless decision to go towards realism... There's just too many flaws here. And all that image change of King's Bounty seems like a revolution for the sake revolution.