Battle Realms

Battle Realms is a real-time strategy video game published and released by Crave Entertainment and Ubisoft in November 2001. It was the first game created by Liquid Entertainment. An expansion pack Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf was released in November 2002. In 2012, the game was re-released on GOG.com.[1] In 2019 the game was re-released on Steam in early access state with functioning online multiplayer.[2]

Battle Realms
Battle Realms PC coverart.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s)Liquid Entertainment
Publisher(s)
Producer(s)Mike Givens
Designer(s)Ed Del Castillo
Peter Bartholow
Brigand Green
Noah Tool
Programmer(s)Michael Grayford
Artist(s)Ed Del Castillo
Composer(s)Matt Holle
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release
  • NA: November 7, 2001
  • EU: November 30, 2001
Genre(s)Real-time strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

GameplayEdit

 
The clan's allies are in combat destroying the other clans' opposition.

Battle Realms' gameplay is like many other real-time strategy games. There are several factions which all have various types of available structures and units to produce. Unlike other real-time strategy games though, the basic worker units (peasants), which are used for resource gathering and construction, also act as the base unit to be upgraded into military units. Thus, military buildings in Battle Realms are used for transforming and upgrading units rather than producing them directly.

Another unusual trait is unit generation, where peasants are produced automatically at no cost. The rate at which new peasants are produced is inversely proportionate to the current population of the player's army.

Peasants gather three resources in the game: rice, water and horses. Horses are war units that can be used to combine with other military units i.e. riding or can be turned into pack horses when assigned for peasants. Only one type of builder unit is required. Peasants are the only units that can be produced outright. Most of the buildings available are training structures where peasants are trained to become other units.

All factions start off with three basic training structures which produce units along different paths of warfare, such as melee or ranged combat. In most cases, units can be trained in three different structures to produce more highly skilled infantry or Battle Gears (commonly abbreviated as BGs) to improve their combat ability. This allows lower tiered units to defeat higher tier units, which they could not normally defeat. BGs also allow the player to further define the role of a unit, such as damage absorption, building destruction, or reconnaissance.

Another key element of Battle Realms is the Yin/Yang system. Each army obtains points of Yin or Yang when in combat, depending on their moral alliance to the forces of light or darkness. Hero units, or Zen Masters, require Yin/Yang to be summoned and increase their damage. Yin and Yang are also used by structures in the faction's base for military upgrades. The rate of Yin/Yang growth depends on the strength and flair of the army and how far they are from the main base.

FactionsEdit

There are four available factions, called clans in Battle Realms, and each has a different philosophy towards life and combat:

  • The Dragon clan is a race of warriors who favor honorable and valorous combat.
  • The Wolf clan is a race of formerly enslaved miners. Their clan members live basic, healthy lives, and their culture emphasizes strong ties to nature. Their former enslavement allowed them to develop armor made from the shale they used to mine.
  • The Serpent clan is the remnant of the old Dragon clan which uses stealth, trickery, and brutality to further its goals. Unlike their predecessors, they have mastered weapon technology to a certain extent (especially gunpowder) and has also dabbled into Necromancy. This is the original and dominant clan before the fall of The Serpent himself.
  • The Lotus clan is an ancient group of sorcerers that delves deeply into the corrupting aspects of magic. They were also the clan that enslaved the Wolf clan and used to serve the Serpent clan.

Unlike most strategy games, all units in Battle Realms have a melee attack, however, missile units typically have drastically weaker melee attacks. Units are very detailed and have distinct fighting animations. Units can dodge projectiles if they run fast enough, and projectiles have different speeds and fire at certain angles.

A unit's attack has a property - either cutting, piercing, blunt, explosive, magic, or fire, as well as a bonus damage against buildings. The property of a unit's missile attack may also differ from its melee attack. Most units have resistances to particular properties and weaknesses to others. For example, the Dragon Samurai has excellent resistance against cutting attacks, but has a poor resistance to explosive and magic damage.

PlotEdit

In single-player, the plot mainly revolves around Kenji, last heir to the Serpent's Throne. When he returns from exile, Kenji comes across bandits raiding a peasant village. He can choose to either kill the bandits and save the peasants, or he can side with the bandits and kill the peasants. If he chooses to save the peasants, he will follow the path of the Dragon clan. If he aids the bandits, he will follow the path of the Serpent clan.

In Kenji's Journey, the player may choose which territories he or she wishes to attack first. (Otomo, his lieutenant, gives you the options.) When Kenji returns from Malcomson, he must decide whether to rebirth the Dragon Clan and save the peasants honor with righteousness or take up reigns in his brother's and his father, Lord Oja's, footsteps and lead the Serpent Clan. Taking specific territories might give benefits, and other Zen Masters may join Kenji. Later on, the player can summon these Zen Masters from the Keep. The story focuses on an artifact Called Tarrant's Orb/Orb of the Serpent which Kenji, the NPC Clans, and The Wolf and Lotus Clans are seeking out. Kenji must get to the Orb before them.

There are four clans in the game: Dragon Clan, Serpent Clan, Wolf Clan, and Lotus Clan, each with their own motivations. The ancient Dragon Clan prizes honor above everything else. Due to their devotion to honor, the Dragon deity assists them during times of great peril. The Serpent Clan have forgotten their honorable ways and have resorted to thievery and deceit. Serpent clansmen are Yin followers. Wolf Clansmen prizes freedom above all else. Wolf Clansmen are down to earth, hardworking people, and take a delight in nature. Lotus clansmen follow the Forbidden Path, which focuses on death and decay.

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings82.04%[3]
Metacritic82/100[4]
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame     [5]
CVG8/10[6]
Edge7/10[7]
GameSpot8.7/10[8]
GameSpy85%[9]
GameZone8/10[10]
IGN8.7/10[11]
PC Gamer (US)70%[12]
PC Zone86%[13]
X-Play     [14]
FHM     [15]
ActionTrip9/10[16]

The game was met with positive reception upon release, as GameRankings gave it a score of 82.04%,[3] while Metacritic gave it 82 out of 100.[4]

Igromania magazine gave the game 9 out of 10, calling it an "ideal contemporary Real-time strategy". The reviewer noted good gameplay and praised the graphics and animations, but he said the game did not deviate much from traditional RTSes and the AI did not stand out.[17]

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Battle Realms for its 2001 "Computer Strategy Game of the Year" award,[18] which ultimately went to Civilization III.[19]

ExpansionEdit

Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf is the expansion pack, announced on July 7, 2002 [20] and released on November 5, 2002.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Release: Battle Realms + Winter of the Wolf". GOG.com. CD Projekt. September 20, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Nieva, Jason (November 15, 2019). "Battle Realms Arriving To Steam Early Access On November 25". Player.One. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Battle Realms for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Battle Realms for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Allen, Christopher. "Battle Realms - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  6. ^ Ellis, Les (January 15, 2002). "PC Review: Battle Realms". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  7. ^ Edge staff (January 2002). "Battle Realms". Edge (106).
  8. ^ Kasavin, Greg (November 12, 2001). "Battle Realms Review". GameSpot. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Abner, William (November 30, 2001). "Battle Realms (PC)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on January 12, 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  10. ^ Code Cowboy (November 28, 2001). "Battle Realms Review - PC". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Butts, Steve (November 21, 2001). "Battle Realms". IGN. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  12. ^ Harms, William (February 2002). "Battle Realms". PC Gamer: 78. Archived from the original on November 22, 2004. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  13. ^ Pullin, Keith (December 29, 2001). "PC Review: Battle Realms". PC Zone. Archived from the original on October 30, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  14. ^ Rubenstein, Glenn (November 21, 2001). "'Battle Realms' (PC) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on November 23, 2001. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Battle Realms". FHM. December 2, 2001. Archived from the original on May 29, 2002. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Katilovic, Dusan "Lynx" (December 3, 2001). "Battle Realms Review". ActionTrip. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  17. ^ Полянский, Олег (February 2002). "Battle Realms". Igromania (in Russian). 53. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  18. ^ "Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Announces Finalists for the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards" (Press release). Los Angeles: Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. February 5, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-06-02. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  19. ^ "Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Announces Recipients of Fifth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards" (Press release). Las Vegas: Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. March 1, 2002. Archived from the original on 2002-03-06. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  20. ^ Walker, Trey (2002-07-01). "Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf announced". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  21. ^ Calvert, Justin (2002-11-05). "Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf ships". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-11-22.

External linksEdit