The Middle Ages, a period of fear for inhumanity, fear for God, fear for the rich and the Church. In many aspects comparable with the Fragland editorial office with übergod Speed and his devilish right hand DoubleD who take good care of us, but nevertheless… Time to delve ourselves in the “real” Middle Ages to see whether those were less violent. Violence in games, it can never be as much as in our editorial office (DoubleD starts hunting with his whip)
Why do I say “real” Middle Ages ? Well, first of all it’s physically impossible to go back in time (thank you A. Einstein) and secondly, where in that time soil equalled power, Knightshift has as main resource…milk. Indeed, good oldfashioned cow milk and what do we need for that ? Indeed, cows. Needless to say: “He who controls the cows, controls the kingdom.”
Knightshift is built from an RTS and an RPG part. Let’s first take a look at the strategy part. What makes it special ? Well, first of all there’s the choice of the unusual resource. The Milk. To get this you need cows (I never heard that milk could be gotten from mining operations and such ;p) so you have to build stables. The more stables, the more cows you can breed. This can go on for ever and this is good, otherwise it would just become a mess and it’s bad already as it is as you can’t let the cows go where you want them to go and this is where a major downpoint surfaces. You can’t control your units decently as you would want. Sometimes you can’t see them and selecting them is a real task. Even after five hours non-stop trying, I wasn’t able to select a unit directly and something like that really brings down the gameplay A LOT. Man can get frustrated from lesser things.
For the rest you can do what you would do in other RTS games. You build a town, make some walls around, add a couple of gates and make an army to crush your enemy. Something not common to rts games is that your army can contain magical units which make your units regenerate health faster (yep, units can regenerate health when sleeping) and bring extra damage to your enemies. Another nice unit is the mother in law which make sure your lumberjacks, who are responsible for all the building, work faster.
In the RPG part you play one of seven possible characters varying between an archer, amazon mage, barbarian, sorcerer, priestess, knight and spearman. Each unit has his/her own special abilities and you’ll have to make a decision. It is your task here to free the wise Gallus but there are several ways to do this. You choose one of the maps or missions and you’re off to go.
I can be brief about the sound, it’s good. It doesn’t excell with magnificent effects nor extraordinary music but everything fits nicely in the overall game and that’s all we need. The same goes for the graphics. They add to the atmosphere and are good although they can’t be compared with for instance Warcraft 3.
Knightshift is a decent RTS and a fairly decent RPG but the combination of both makes the overall experience go down a bit. Also the fact that the game doesn’t play nicely on minimum specs is an extra downpoint. Add to this the fact that you can’t select your units in a normal way and we don’t even get to the average RTS level. Really die-hard RTS fans who want to try something different may want to check this out but for the rest of you out there: get for instance Warcraft 3 but don’t try Knightshift.