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    Field of Glory 2: Medieval review

    Need to know

    What is it? Grid-based medieval battle simulation.
    Expect to pay $30
    Developer Byzantine Games
    Publisher Slitherine Ltd.
    Reviewed on AMD FX-8350, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, 32GB RAM
    Multiplayer? Asynchronous 1v1 competitive
    Link Official site (opens in new tab)

    Check Amazon (opens in new tab)

    The cavalry is here, y’all! Actually, the cavalry has always been here. We started with the cavalry. This ain’t no Ancients-era Field of Glory game. Gone are the blocks of legionaries and swarms of charging barbarians, replaced instead with ranks of spearmen and the thunderous charge of knights in enough armor to make a toaster blush. Field of Glory 2: Medieval delivers an authentic tabletop miniatures wargame experience, but just like a historical wargame whether you like that experience is going to be all about whether you like the rules.

    This is a wargamer’s wargame. There’s no nice music. The graphics are barebones. The UI is pretty basic. You’ll want to memorize hotkeys. This could have come out in 2010 and nobody would have blinked. What there is are 50+ hours of historical scenarios and campaigns. The famous battles give you a prearranged battlefield and let you pick a side, then customize it a bit. The historical campaigns give you good context on a fixed route while still letting you make flexible decisions about your army’s composition and evolution.

    Multiplayer is handled in the same asynchronous style as past Field of Glory games, which is disappointing and frustrating if you want to finish a match in one sitting. It’s just functional enough if you can only sit down to play for 15 minutes at a time. Very unimpressive and underwhelming.

    Assorted fields of glory.

    (Image credit: Slitherine)

    Finally, the fights just tend to stick in one place for too long. It’s most noticeable in a scenario like Hastings. The battlefield was supposedly a very dynamic place as one side or the other broke formation to pursue the routing enemy, only to be caught up in a counterattack. In Field of Glory 2’s model, fleeing troops only rarely rally and come back to the fight, and you can’t set up a fake retreat to lure the AI out of position.

    Those shortcomings don’t dull the thrill of victory, or the satisfaction of a clever plan playing out. The way battles hang on tense moments and unknown outcomes from chaotic melees is no less tense in Medieval than in previous Field of Glory games. There are a lot of ancients wargames on PC, and it’s nice to see the medieval period finally get some turn-based love.

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