Review | King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame: The Saxons
Format: PC | Genre: Strategy | Publisher: Ascaron | Developer: Neocore | Release date: 08/07/10 | Price: £12.99
J.D. Richardson returns to the land of King Arthur with KING ARTHUR: THE ROLE-PLAYING WARGAME: THE SAXONS.
THE SAXONS is like a second helping of a great Sunday roast dinner but the bottom line is if I have any more than this it’s going to start getting a bit old or make me sick. Either way it’s time for something completely different for dessert.
Having enjoyed King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame an awful lot a few months ago I was quite looking forward to seeing what the inevitable DLC or expansion would be. There were a couple of small downloads with new artefacts and units but that stuff never interests me on its own. As a larger package however though, it’s rather appealing. That’s kind of what The Saxons is and at the same time isn’t. Yes you get new artefacts, spells, ladies, heroes, quests and a few new units but at the same time there’s nothing meaty like a new map to explore. Instead it’s just a big chunk of ‘more of the same’. That’s not strictly a bad thing but I hope that any future DLC will be a bit more inspired.
One totally new thing is the victory conditions that you can set when you start a new Saxons campaign. You can select any number of these depending on how long and hard you want your game to be. These consist of conditions such as amassing a certain amount of gold, conquering a certain amount of counties or recruiting a certain amount of heroes. The downside to all that is that there isn’t really much of a story behind it. Sure you have new mini quests and adventures which enrich the original package and were enjoyed immensely by myself. Yet there’s no overall saga except for one you make yourself in your head. It’s not unusual for games in the genre to lack a strong story but it’s still noticeable.
New yet the same
To be quite honest I’m finding it quite hard to write anything new here which says it all really. I mean you could just go and look at my original review of the game and find all the info on Saxons in there. I could just list all the new artefacts and stuff like the diplomacy system but who wants to read that? When a game is good then more of the same is never a bad thing and that applies here. I enjoyed playing King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame again from a different perspective but it’s only going to hold my attention for so long. I crave totally new experiences in DLC for my favourite games, an expansion into Europe would have been quite nice, maybe adding some other mythologies from different countries.
The Saxons just reminded me of the pitfalls of offering extra content via digital downloads rather than in retail. Now in a world of micro-transactions, expansions seem to be getting smaller and smaller and less interesting. I don’t want to be constantly forking out a few quid here and there for new bits of game that should have really been in there to begins with. It’s like walking down the street with a ton of coins and a hole in your pocket. Or you could just choose to ignore it all until something with a bit more depth comes along. The Saxons just makes it into the category of having ‘a bit more depth’ but only just. Fans of the game will probably get a lot of enjoyment from it but for people who didn’t like King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame I can only say this; why the hell are reading this in the first place?