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Having recently been invited to pre-order 1C Entertainment's turn-based RPG King's Bounty II, we can now check out a couple of hands-off previews for this upcoming revival of the long-running RPG series. For the most part, they seem to be fairly positive. Have a look:
Part of what will truly set King's Bounty II apart from previous entrants in the series is the location of combat. I'm not sure how much scope you will have, within the third-person RPG part, to lure enemies into different locations, maybe even ambush them at selected points, but for the first time in the series, the area of the map you meet an enemy is where you will fight them. It seems strange to have to promote, but it's a big change for the series, and it should help increase immersion.
When you meet somebody in a castle, begin a fight, you expect to be in an area with high ground and other obstacles to consider. This will increase the tactical aspects of King's Bounty II a great deal. At least it should. You'll judge the area you're fighting in and choose the units needed for that fight. A large variety in altitude and only narrow passes? Get your ranged units out. A lot of open space? Melee and others, giving you a chance to flank and pin down your enemies. It expands the level of tactics the game has featured in a limited way in the past.
Between combat, the game plays much like other third-person open-world RPGs, complete with plenty of sidequests, areas to explore, and loot and resources to collect. The game map looks fairly large, and players have access to a horse for quicker travel between areas as well as a number of fast-travel points. Choice will play a large part in many of the game’s quests, with players often given multiple ways to proceed, which will result in different outcomes and different opportunities in future. Though the main quest and its conclusion is largely the same, the game encourages multiple playthroughs not only through the choices in sidequests but how the different protagonists play. Some quests even have different potential solutions based on which protagonist is being played.
King’s Bounty II can be split into wildly different loops, and during this second presentation we got a decent look at both; world exploration and tactical turn-based battles.
During the open-world sections, the team at 1C Entertainment cited such examples as Fable, The Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect as examples they are trying to emulate. We were introduced to one of the three main playable characters in King’s Bounty II, Aivor. Each of these main characters plays vastly differently, and the word replayability was batted around in order to get the most out of King’s Bounty II.