In an ancient time, warriors will do battle, blood will be spilt on the battlefield, souls will be cast off to Valhalla as you command your troops against demons and Majin all in your quest for some tasty shawarma!?!?…. Wait, shawarma, all this death and destruction for a kebab???… Pffft, clearly you have never had a good kebab before.
Sword and Soldiers 2 is a strategy game with a humorous twist. Set in a time of, strangely Scottish, Vikings who seem to be more concerned with what goes in their stomach than the riches that are offered by possessing Aladdin’s lamp. You journey across the map chasing the ultimate meal fix, and the lamp I guess but meat is all you really care about.
The game takes place over the course of 30 levels, with each of the levels having 3 objectives for you to aim for if you want to completely clear the map. The campaign will take you upwards of 6 hours depending on your skill level, but you will have to be on your toes if you plan to fly through the game that quickly (if you have played the first game you will have a bit of a head start as you will understand the game’s quirks a little better and it won’t be as much of a learning curve for you).
This is a game that’s all about resource management. You have 2 resources that are key to your progression, gold (which you use to build troops, defence buildings), and mana (which is used for your spells). The game is played on a 2D field of battle and your aim is essentially to get from one side of the screen to the other, and usually destroy the base at the other side. Sometimes this is easier said than done as poor management of your troop deployment and spell casting can see you one minute standing in front of your goal trying to wipe it out and the next crying in horror as you have been pushed all the way back to your starting point trying to go again.
The game appears simple on the surface but quickly. You understand it’s not all about throwing troops forward an hoping for the best, it’s about using the right troops at the right time and strategy really comes into play. As you would expect of a game with a humorous storyline, the troops at your disposal are both diverse in design and execution. From singing Vikings that boost your attack to giant balls of sheep that propel you forward, attacks are both effective and funny. As I mentioned before the game is 2D, and the art style is really good with a sort of hand-drawn look that suits the storyline, along with this it has funny voice-overs and a good soundtrack.
As well as offering a good sized campaign the game also offers both local and online multiplayer. This plays out a little differently than the story. In the story, you generally have a set pool of troops that you can use in each battle as well as a specific set of spells. Multiplayer is a little different as it allows you to essentially make a loadout at the start of the battle from everything you have unlocked in the game, you can’t use every troop and spell you have unlocked you can only select 12 overall and these are the troops and attacks you will then be able to use in your battle. When you start a battle you can’t instantly start sending out your stronger troops as part of the resource management comes into play and you have to unlock them for use while you are in your battle, if you spend too much at the start unlocking troops to send into battle then you might find yourself on the back foot before you have actually had the chance to send any of them out into the field.
Overall it’s a really fun game to play that strips back some of the more complex elements of strategy games, without losing any of the elements that make them fun, and if you are someone that enjoys a challenge this could be right up your street.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*