Swords and Soldiers Review (PS3)
Swords and Soldiers, the simplified RTS game originally released on WiiWare more than a year ago, has made its way onto the Playstation Network. While losing the Wii’s motion controls (the Move is not supported), the Playstation version adds a variety of new features, including updated graphics, a strong competitive multiplayer component, and addictive leader boards. Is it a fair trade off?
Review by: Dustin Grissom
In summary, Swords and Soldiers is a RTS game simplified for consoles. With the simplification comes a whole new perspective: 2D, which works great. Instead of having an overhead view of the action, Swords and Soldiers puts the player at a side scrolling, 2D perspective; an innovation that works perfectly with a console’s control limitations. In addition, the game also has a unique, bold art style that consists of humorous characters and beautiful, bright colors.
What you’d expect from a RTS game is all right here, you mine for resources, spend these resources on research and soldiers, defend your territory, and all while trying to take over the enemy’s base. It’s all here, just simplified for the benefit of console players. It works miraculously; you slide around the environment with the left stick, while summoning troops and spells with the L1 and R1 buttons in combination with the right stick. It’s such an easy, intuitive process, but you won’t get as much depth as other, more complicated games in the RTS genre.
There are 3 single player campaigns, each lasting you about 1 or 2 hours each, perhaps more depending on your ability to plan out a successful strategy. Each campaign you play as three different factions: the Vikings, Aztecs, or the Chinese. Each have their own unique story and spells, the Vikings, for example, are trotting the globe searching for a tasty Barbecue sauce using spells that mainly focus on powerful attacks such as lightning, while the Aztecs are trying to protect their precious giant chili pepper with spells that can bring the dead back to life. These stories are humorously told with snappy dialogue, yet they can get annoying when you have to restart a level over and over again after dying from the game’s challenging difficulty.
Luckily, the game doesn’t have you doing the same thing for too long. There is a ton of variety in the campaign missions, ranging from attacking the enemy base, making it through a level with limited resources or troops, or a simply surviving for a certain amount of time. It’ll keep you on your toes, and you’ll have a blast going through the multiple campaigns. Sadly, they don’t last long, but this is where the exciting multiplayer comes to play. You can play competitive matches online, which may last from 5 minutes to half an hour; depending on how well both players play. In addition to competitive online play, the game gives you 3 fun mini-games to play around with, with the addition of leader boards, which, if you are like me, you’ll be addicted to. And finally, you can play local competitive matches against your friends at home, which splits the screen in half for both players.
Swords and Soldiers is a wonderful download, it comes packed with a challenging campaign that will last you somewhere between 4 and 6 hours, great online multiplayer, and a list of other exciting features. Its game play is extremely simple, but a lot of skill and thought is surprisingly needed to come out on top. To wrap this great package is a humorous, cartoony art style and a rousing orchestrated score; this truly is a stand out game on PSN.