Saturday, September 24, 2011

King Arthur's Gold Impressions

King Arthur's Gold is a free indie multiplayer PC game; a game with an emphasis on base building, large maps and teamwork. It is presented with a side scrolling 2d style of graphics, but like many other indie games that use minimal graphic systems, they've managed to make it look great. Everything in this game is destructible, so if you build a entire tower and its base is only connected to two pieces of stone, then you can expect the enemy to break those two pieces of stone and collapse your entire tower.You may have seen articles previously about this game on Kotaku or Rock Paper Shotgun, I did and I don't know why I never tried it until recently. This is a game with a great deal of customization, whether it's map size and type or modifying the terrain. King Arthur's Gold was made by Michal Marcinkowski (he developed the 2d shooter Soldat), Max Cahill and David Pencil.

Everything is the game is controlled with simple controls (W,A,S,D as it's main movement controls), made especially user friendly by the ingame help chart that is automatically enabled. Every game, except for creative mode, has two teams, red and blue. The teams are identical other than color, but it's all up to the players to warp the map to their will. The modes are capture the flag and creative mode, plus three tutorial modes. In the future they plan to make creative mode better, add a team deathmatch mode and add some single player challenges/tutorials. Capture the flag is the main mode you see on the multiplayer servers. It is pretty simple, except it's very hard and once a team captures the enemy flag once then the map will end.

You have three classes to choose from in the game: the builder, the knight and the archer. The knight is the solid class, the one who can handle the most by himself, especially since he can break through walls (slowly) and decimate's every other class. The knight has his sword, shield and bombs. He uses the shield to block arrows, falling debris and bombs, while the sword can be used to destroy enemy buildings, wall, traps and can be used to stab people, of course. As of this version, each knight spawns with one bomb and the bomb is devastatingly strong against other people, but not so effective against defenses or terrain.  The archer does a lot of damage with arrows and has a very long range, but he is weak (low health). The archer is mainly used to tower above the knights and rain down fiery death upon them, but if the archer get's within range of melee then he is done for, especially since he doesn't have a melee attack, just the bow and arrow. He is also very versatile, while the knight can easy get stuck in ditches, the archer can shoot his arrows against a wall and then climb up his arrows. These two classes are the fighting classes, classes that work great together, but not so well on their own.

The builder is fairly defenseless, relying on his teammates to keep him safe while he runs around and collects resources to build. The builder is by far the most interesting class to me, because he get's to build castles, towers, catapults, outposts, traps, bridges and all kinds of fun stuff. He has axe/hammer contraption that allows you to cut down trees and dig through the earth to mine resources. Maps are randomly generated (except for the pre-made ones), so you can dig all over the map and create tunnels or huge chambers beneath the surface (kind of like Terraria, except there isn't much that is already opened up). People get really creative with the builder, making anything from larger towers with pit traps or to giant bridges that stretch across the map. I've also seen ridiculously large underground mines, one's that must have taken hours to dig. The builder can create team specific bridges and doors, the bridges will fall if an enemy touches them, while the doors only open for allies. You can use the bridges to make some great spike traps, but you have to be very careful not to impede your own teammates. One of the most important things that the builders can make are outposts, they allow your allies to spawn and change classes. So, the team with the closer secure outpost to the enemies main castle is usually the winning team. You have to protect outposts carefully though, any enemy soldier can make it their teams outpost by capturing it, which requires that they stand on the outpost for a short period of time. I can go on for many paragraphs about all the various possibilities of what builders can create and devise, but even builders must rely on other builders to get real projects done. The best teammates work together to keep the wall strong and the doors up, so that your teams knights and archers can continually assault the enemy without fearing the loss of their spawn.

Video footage that I took today and yesterday, was originally fifty minutes long

This is a free game, a seemingly excellent one. I've only played for a couple days and there are a couple confusing mechanics, like knights killing me in one hit when I am also a knight with full health, but this game is a great multiplayer game. The mining and creation feels a lot like Terraria, except that objects have physics and are highly destructible, while the combat is simple enough to allow new players to be helpful. There is a premium version of King Arthur's Gold, but only four hundred people out of the fourteen thousand registered users are using it. The premium version actually sounds really fun, but it all sounds like future plans and not anything that's already done. Check here to see the list of the premium features, all of which you can get in on for a one time price of $10. Thanks for reading and give this game a chance, it's free and pretty damn unique.
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-Written by Sean Cargle


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