Game Site: http://ck.koramgame.com/
Game Developer: Koram Games
Rating:Worth Checking Out
Clash of Kingdoms is an OSG set in the “war-torn plains of Ancient China” currently in beta from the company that brought you Three Kingdoms Online. The homepage reminds me of the box art from a Dynasty Warriors game, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel about that particular series.
It looks like Clash of Kingdoms is going to use the same OSG formula we all know and love, but with a few improvements, new features, and some unfortunate shortcomings.
At the start of the game you get to choose a starting location, which impacts things like your resource output and recruit speed in a minor way. The game uses a hero system which is becoming more common, and it works well enough. You can equip them with armor and weapons that give the squads they command boosts in power, speed and defense. You need one hero per army, but it only takes a minute to recruit one. There are several different resource buildings and a few different unit buildings, but it only takes a couple of minutes to have them all built. The layout and menus are familiar enough as well.
Alright, now on to the new, exciting features. First of all there is an “Upgrade All” button. Sounds simple, right? It is, but I never knew something like that would be so completely useful. All games need this feature, now. You also get a four slot queue, which isn’t unheard of, but the kicker is that all of your buildings build at once. Four at a time. Another little thing, but it’s nice.
The best innovation of this game, however, is the Election system. At the beginning of a new server, everyone in your kingdom (the region you chose to start in at the beginning) gets to vote on a few individuals to lead your nation. The player known as Chona is my “Incumbent Premier,” which is essentially our leader. They can leave messages for anyone and declare kingdom-wide objectives, anything like building 500 troops for the capital or focusing on expanding in to a certain direction. Anytime I look at the world map I can easily see what my general instructions are as well as what I and the rest of the kingdom should be focusing on.
This is a really cool feature because it makes me feel like I am part of something way bigger- which is important because in order to progress in the game, everyone needs to contribute to the kingdom. You can do this by sending your hero to upgrade the city walls, patrol to keep the civilians in check, by donating food, or even just money. But the point is everyone has to work towards the same goal; even if you’re not in an alliance you are still part of the kingdom.
This works really well with their map system. Unlike Travian, you can’t just send your army anywhere. You have to travel along designated roads, and will have to fight through anything that gets in your way. This makes Clash of Kingdoms a lot more like a traditional strategy board game where location and movement is actually important, and also adds to the feeling of being part of a Kingdom.
There is also a PvP system which is nice. You can jump into battles with anyone that is a similar rank as you, and you can use either your army or one that is provided for you. This would be amazing if the battle system were’nt so lackluster.
Press releases for the game also claimed it has a ground-breaking new battle system. I have to disagree. It really looks like it has potential. There is a huge movement grid and different unit types, squads, special abilities, cool magic effects and the like. By looking at it you would think the possibility for actual strategy is huge.
Unfortunately, you can’t control the squads, your heroes, or anything else. You can’t decide where to place your units, how to move them, or which squads should attack. It’s all automatic. There are animations, yes, but I have no control over what is happening. If I am missing something, please let me know.
Then again, the game is still in beta, so maybe that’s a feature that will be implemented later? A forum post by a higher up proclaimed “hero skills and abilities aren’t yet implemented.” So I don’t know. But all in all, it’s a solid OSG, and it has potential.