A couple more websites have published reviews of King's Bounty: Crossworlds in the past few days, with a general fairly positive tone shared by each, though with a handful of critical notes. Hooked Gamers 7.3/10.
One problem that has stayed with the series throughout all its iterations, including this one, is how combat scenes scale really poorly. Granted, it is difficult to balance combat with a semi-open game world in such a way that the player is always offered a combat challenge that fits his level but at times, the King's Bounty games are just a little too hard. When you avoid a particular clash and save it for later, you may be way too strong when you return.
While the King's Bounty games are very engaging, a little more narrative could do wonders in terms of immersion. Then there are the little sounds your units make, depending on the unit types there's dripping, cracking, clanking or grunting to just name a few and those get really old. It actually made me swap units, not because they didn't perform well for me, but because I had grown tired of the noises they made after yet another victory.
The only real strikes against King's Bounty are its tired cookie-cutter fantasy plot, excessive and fairly forgettable writing, and mediocre (but rarely used) voice acting. The game also forces you to you sift through large blocks of poorly formatted text if you actually want to read what any of the NPC's are saying to you prior to you accepting a quest. Digital Chumps 7/10.
But in all likelihood you won't, and you'll probably fall back onto the old '˜skim-the-text-and-click-accept' skill well-learned and remembered from text-dense RPGs and MMORPGs. This would be a shame if any of the writing was actually worth reading, but much of it is just fluff and dense, poorly formatted fluff at that.
Still, having played through Armored Princess already, I found it a little dry to play through the extended addition of the campaign seeing as there aren't many key additions to the story and it's been just a year since my experience with AP. And, considering the full retail price of $19.99 just for this expansion, I can't see how many fans of the series who originally purchased Armored Princess would want to spend the large amount of extra dough for only small additions.
The only minor gameplay problem I had with the game was in the repetition of battles. Since you won't have the choice to skip battles if enemies are severely outnumbered (aside from recruitment), you'll be forced to fight even the most trivial battles to move through certain areas.
Finally, the addition of a game editor is also a great move by 1C. Though I didn't actually get a copy of this said editor in my review kit, I can say that I love the idea as a tool for diehard fans of the series. In Heroes of Might and Magic games, I found the editors extremely fun to play around with but I especially liked downloading others' maps and campaigns from the internet to extend my overall experience with the games. Hopefully there will be a decent amount of user created downloadable content available in the future so that I and other fans of the King's Bounty universe can have the same enjoyable extension to our gameplay.