Richard the Lionheart returns to war

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

Said out of the way, Lionheart: Kings' Crusade It's not bad, but how many Total War-like real-time strategy games set at the time of the Crusades will we still have to play before the market gets saturated? As soon as the game starts, the sense of deja-vu assaults us overwhelmingly and, as we move forward in the Crusader campaign, it does not abandon us until the end. NeoCore, the developer to whom we owe the good King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame, another real-time strategy player whose battles are inspired by the Creative Assembly series, knows how to handle matter and certainly hasn't had major problems in adapting the work already done in the new title.

The start is revealing, because we were able to play without any problems despite not having played the tutorial. The troop selection controls are the classic ones, the power relations between the different units in the field idem. We were so comfortable with Lionheart that we almost thought we had started an old game ...

The fierce predator

Obviously the staging is always the same: there is Richard the Lionheart and there is the Saladin who give it all with panache in the holy land. If you want some information on their stories, open a history book that space is scarce here. The descent into the field takes place without too many frills: choosing one of the two available campaigns, which obviously allow you to take the sides of both factions, you are immediately in command of the armies. In fact, compared to the aforementioned titles, the pre and post mission tactical sections are almost completely missing, which are limited to a few elements of configuration of the armies that we will talk about. Put simply, in the Crusaders' campaign it will be necessary to conquer the sixteen kingdoms that make up the domain of Saladin, gloriously entering Damascus, while in the Saladin campaign it will be necessary to recover the stolen goods and drive the Pope's envoys back to the land of Albion (where Robin Hood awaits ). It should be specified that the second campaign is more difficult than the first and that, therefore, it is better to face them in order, to get used to the game mechanics and prepare for the most difficult battles.

From the point of view of the armies, the two factions change little and if you have played any other strategy with a similar setting in recent years, you will not struggle to understand the potential of archers, heavy infantry, light infantry and cavalry. Obviously there is no shortage of special and support troops, which greatly increase the configurations of the army. Other introductions that incorporate some of the novelties of recent years are the leveling of units, which become stronger by winning battles, and the possibility of finding artifacts around the maps.

The siege

The battles of which the game is composed are generally well studied and give the idea of ​​the great ability of the developers to interpret the battlefield in a dynamic way.

The situations you come across are the classic ones, so expect to assault strongholds, to fight in the open field, to have to exploit the terrain to compensate for the numerical disadvantage and so on. Generally we are faced with situations that are controllable and less confusing than the genre, with great advantage for those who like to have a clearer view of what is happening on the pitch. Sure, the battles seem a lot less pitched than in any Total War and there is no spectacle of armies impacting and spreading across the battlefield, but in general we liked the more rigorous setting. The most interesting part is that of the sieges, with the possibility of defending the captured strongholds by building war machines of various kinds (towers, spikes and so on). Here too we are faced with a work of great wisdom that will satisfy the most hardened strategists, but it is still difficult to get excited about something that, after all, we know well because we have already experienced elsewhere.

Until the sun goes down

From a technical point of view, Lionheart is a title that remains at a high level. Zooming in on a battle allows you to enjoy well-defined troops, with good animations, fighting in a realistic way. Of course, something more could be done from the point of view of historical reconstruction, but in general we cannot complain. The landscapes are also very beautiful, as much as this can count in a game like this. The sound effects stand out only for their functionality and do not affect the standards we are used to. It should be noted some return to the desktop too many, a problem that also plagued King Arthur. It didn't happen very often to us, but honestly we didn't say kind words when we found ourselves with the game stalled towards the end of a battle we were winning.



Readers (11)


Your vote

Lionheart: Kings' Crusade it's not evil, but it has little more to offer than the competition. Everything knows already seen, even compared to the previous title of the same developer, which on balance was much more complex than this. Strategically it is a good product and some missions are well researched, but there is really nothing that sets it apart from the crowd.


  • Very solid from a strategic point of view
  • Belli the sieges
  • Technically well done
  • Nothing new under the sun
  • A few bugs too many

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Scheda video: GeForce 250 GTS
  • Operating system: Windows Vista

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows XP / Vista / 7
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 3500+ or ​​Intel Pentium IV 3.4 Ghz or higher
  • RAM: 1 GB (XP) - 1,5 GB (Vista/7)
  • Video card: nVidia 6600 or ATi Radeon X700 with 256Mb of memory or higher
  • Disk space: 8 GB
  • DirectX: 9.0c
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