- Developer: Blueside
- Publisher Gameforge
- Genre: MMO, RTS
- Release Date: November 14, 2019
- MSRP: $29.99
When I first saw Kingdom Under Fire II, one thought came into my head: This looks a lot like Dynasty Warriors. The five hero classes slice and dice enemies with ease, cutting huge swaths in dozens of enemies. There's that kind of invincible empowerment from Koei Tecmo's games that inspire a kind of sadistic glee as baddies go flying off the screen.
This is something Blueside hears a lot. But Kingdom Under Fire II's core mechanics borrow from a different type of game, one that's centered around the Iron Fist Tournament, ultra-cheap combos that keep your opponent bouncing off the floor, and perfect timing.
Blueside's ambitious MMORPG-RTS mashup took direct inspiration from my favorite fighting game series of all time--Tekken.
It was hard to believe at first, but after actually playing the game, I could see the similarities as clear as day. Kingdom Under Fire II has devastating combat attacks that require precise sequencing and timing, just like Tekken does. There's a string of attacks that must be carefully placed in a certain order to pull off the huge attack. If you mess up, you risk failure, so the combat feels alive and rather tense.
That's a weird thing to type when describing an online-driven MMORTS hybrid, but there it is.
This interview was conducted in a rare locale: An actual authentic German castle.
Burg Reichenstein looms over the Rhine like a giant from another age, all rough-hewn grey stones that contrast the blazing yellow, orange, and green vineyards of Bingen across the Rhine. It has a kind of majestic beauty to it, one that's ageless and fascinating. It has hundreds of years of history in its walls--sword fighting, sieges, fires, executions, and massive feast-time celebrations all come to mind.
This past week, publisher Gameforge flew us and a bunch of other press out to Germany to check out Kingdom Under Fire II and interview developers from Blueside.
While housed in the intimidating yet absolutely incredible berth of Burg Reichenstein, I learned a lot about game development, about German culture, and about mythical fantasy video games. But most importantly, I learned that sometimes games aren't what they seem--sometimes they're a mix of many influences regardless of their set genres.
Kingdom Under Fire II has been in development for more than a decade. It represents the culmination of lots of iteration, scrapped prototypes, and tireless hard work from the Korean developers at Blueside. The question the team heard the most was simply, why? Why did the game take so long to make?
The answer wasn't so straightforward. But it was the answer to our second question that really blew me away.