War of the Roses is one of the most unique combat simulators I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s a high caliber release to say the very least. The combat in unlike anything ever experienced before.
War of the Roses is mainly an online multiplayer game, but it does offer some offline content which is primarily used for training and understanding the different battle maps. You can play as either the Lancaster’s or the York’s; both sides have four different character classes — Footman, Crossbowman, Long bowman and Foot Knight. The beauty of these classes are their diversity in both melee and range combat. This adds a lot of variety to the gameplay. However, the game makes you work to unlock some of the different classes.
As you play online against other players, you earn experience points based on your performance during combat. The more experience you earn, the closer you get to unlocking the different classes as you level up. This system is very rewarding.
Every class has a handful of different weapons at their disposal. For example – the Range Bowman uses a short sword for close combat. This makes it easier for a melee player to experiment with the range class. Changing classes can be done anytime during combat; it doesn’t affect your current stats while playing. Some online games penalize the player for swapping character classes mid-match, but this is not the case with War of the Roses.
The combat system is by far the best ever implemented in a combat simulator. Everything is done by pressing and holding the left mouse button and moving the mouse in different directions to simulate swinging a sword. By holding or clicking the right mouse button, you can block or parry depending on whether you’re using a shield or a two-handed melee weapon.
The range class takes more skill to play. Your crossbow must be reloaded after every shot and it’s difficult to get a head shot. Plus, it takes about twenty seconds to reload the crossbow. The in-game mechanics are realistic; they also prevent certain players from executing perfect head shots on their opponents. The game even has mounts to help tip the scales of battle. There’s nothing more exciting than riding on horseback through a crowd of fighters and cutting them down with your blade.
At the moment, there are only two different online game modes available — Deathmatch and Conquest mode. Deathmatch, as the name implies, is where both sides battle to the death. Conquest mode plays more like capture the flag where your team must capture areas on the battle map. While Deathmatch is entertaining, Conquest is by far the more enjoyable of the two modes because it takes strategy to win.
Online battles can be as small as thirty-two players and as large as sixty-four players during a single battle. Some battles feel like they can go on for hours as both sides bludgeon, maim and hack each other to death. When playing online, battles can get complicated real fast. Once you have died, your character will respawn in about five to ten seconds.
The way gamers can execute their fallen foes is a mind-blowing experience for both the player committing the murderous act and the one experiencing it. Once you have critically wounded a player, you can execute them on the battlefield. The fallen player watches their execution from a first-person perspective as their adversary impales them with a weapon; the screen quickly fades to black. It’s possible to heal a fallen player before they are executed, but you run the risk of being an easy target yourself.
The graphics in War of the Roses are remarkably realistic; each of the battlefields contain a tremendous amount of detail. Even the characters and their weapons contain hi-res textures. The in-game music is a real pleasure to listen to and the sound effects are very realistic and fit the time period. Everything is sensational; I have fallen in love with what Paradox has done with War of the Roses.
Gamers with low-end rigs can still enjoy War of the Roses. The game has so many performance settings, you can still configure the game to play at a moderate frame rate on your older computer. All it takes is just a few minutes to adjust the settings in the options menu to find one suitable for your machine. By default, the game will configure to your system’s specs, but there are countless combinations available to boost system performance.
War of the Roses is an unbelievable game; you will be hooked the moment you start playing. I have been addicted since day one of this review. Expect to find yourself burning the midnight oil as you battle your foes in one bloody battle to the next. And thanks to the Steam community, you will never have a difficult time finding gamers to play with.
There are hundreds of gaming servers available just waiting for you to join. You can join games already in-progress and there’s no waiting, so what are you waiting for? Grab a sword and shield and join the battle today.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Available on Steam)
OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
Processor: Dual Core 2.4GHz processor
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Shader 4.0 compatible card (minimum: Nvidia GeForce 9800, AMD Radeon 4830)
Hard Drive: 5 GB HD space
Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection
Additional: Onboard Video Card: Not Supported
|Simply Amazing; they’re the most realistic-looking graphics ever seen in a combat simulator.|
|They are perfect; everything seems to fit the time period.|
|The best combat system ever implemented in a combat simulator.|
|A top-notch game; there’s always someone to fight and plenty of servers to join.|