Classic tactical turn-based fantasy RPG King’s Bounty is back next year in the form of King’s Bounty 2, but it’s returning with all mod-cons, including third-person, open-world questing.
The original King’s Bounty was designed by Jon Van Caneghem (who would later go on to create the Heroes of Might and Magic series) and released back in 1990 on Amiga, C64, and PC. And while it’s not a game I’m intimately familiar with, Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese has assured me that it’s a “banger”, and so here we are.
Publisher 1C Entertainment picked up the rights to King’s Bounty in 2007, and has been intermittently releasing new instalments in the years since. King’s Bounty 2, however, is the first numbered sequel in the series, with 1C promising that it will deliver a “fresh take” on the series’ turn-based tactical action, blending “beloved genre tropes with a gritty realism”
Players can select one of three heroes, each with their own story, before embarking on a “non-linear, open-world adventure” across the blight-riddled land of Antara. What that means in real terms is that the series’ familiar isometric exploration has been replaced by rather more conventional third-person RPGing, with players ambling about, picking up quests, and having a right old natter with NPCs.
According to 1C, heroes’ stories will change as the game progresses, with players’ actions causing them to align with different ideals – Art, Order, and Anarchy – which, in turn, will affect how they’re treated on their travels.
As for the combat, that sticks more closely to the series’ roots, once again deploying strategic hex-based traversal. However, diverse environments and obstacles will apparently now make for more interesting tactical options, while squads will consist of unique units rather than faceless recruits, with players able to fight alongside the likes of humans, elves, and trolls.
1C also notes that new features like Line of Sight and surprise mid-battle tactical events should make for a “deeper, richer combat experience”. You’ll find approximately three seconds of King’s Bounty 2’s turn-based battling in the announcement trailer above.
King’s Bounty 2 is currently scheduled to launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC next year.