Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

It so happened that we are spoon-feeding information on the upcoming Conqueror’s Blade: here is a preview, there is an interview, and here is another note. What to do! The publisher is in no hurry to give out everything we would like to know, and carefully shows one mechanic after another during the demonstrations. However, this time I not only walked around Conqueror’s Blade under the strict supervision of the community manager, but also got into the closed beta test of the game and finally learned it myself.Conqueror's Blade превью

The city is the only place where it makes sense to walk without a detachment of bodyguards.

Fighting bureaucracy

Let me remind you that Conqueror’s Blade is a subspecies of an online role-playing game, to which advanced strategy elements have been sewn. In truth, these elements already outweigh everything else, and I would rather dub the game as an online RTS that uses the external signs of an MMORPG for convenience.

In appearance, Conqueror’s Blade really looks like an online role-playing game: here is the character, the active skills panel, the accumulation of experience and the development of the hero. But all these mechanisms take a backseat when it comes to combat.

Your main weapon is not skills and not a rare halberd, but units. Or rather, a detachment: one general is assigned one division, two more are waiting in the “pool” and can be called up to replace them. Few? If you play alone, then yes, but it’s not customary to fight alone here. Where it was possible to tie a co-op to the “single”, it is bolted, and mass modes dominate in multiplayer.

Since my last visit, the number of military branches has not increased, but the management of the detachment has become noticeably thinner. The basics remain the same – there are three main orders (attack, defend and follow the hero), which are easily activated by “hotkeys”, while other control options have changed. Now it is much more convenient to change the form of the formation, there are options for changing weapons: the infantry can remove the shields, and then return them, the archers take out daggers with a click to fight in close combat. The activation of special unit skills, such as dash, formation with a “turtle” or volleys of arrows, has become more transparent and convenient.

Conqueror's Blade превью

The developers are fundamentally against the strategic camera: the commander must observe everything with his own eyes, and manage with his own hands.

They tried to make the controls friendlier and added a kind of context menu for quick and accurate selection of the squad’s position: location, rotation angle, formation. But the interface still needs fine-tuning. Sometimes the situation on the battlefield changes so quickly that you simply do not have time to change formation, withdraw the shooters or turn around with spears to the cavalry. Yes, since last time, the management has become more responsive, but there is still something to strive for.

USE in tactics

Previously, I managed to get acquainted only with competitive modes – the capture of points and the siege of a fortress. But PvE has not been evaluated. Well, this time I got to it.

As I wrote above, Conqueror’s Blade does not like to leave the player alone, and the same goes for PvE modes. Even “mobs” outside the city cannot be cut down, because they are not there. I hope that it won’t happen – it doesn’t suit a commander to kill any animal.

The first tasks of the main quest still allow you to play alone, but even there you will have to see a matchmaking table – in which, however, there is no one but yourself. And in essence, these initial missions are a phased “tutorial” so that the beginner does not get confused in battles against other players. And, well, they explain the disposition there: here you arrive in the city, the inhabitants of the village captured by robbers ask you for help, you save them, they come to your service. So far, nothing is known about a more global story, unless its plot is served in the introductory video. Which is still in Chinese.

Conqueror's Blade превью

After training, the player should receive his first unit, but everyone was already given a dozen units, otherwise testing the sieges would be very dull.

It’s a completely different matter – separate PvE tasks that have nothing to do with quest branches. They are built on the principle of “dungeons”, only more difficult. A party of five people gathers – and no less, there is nothing to catch here together – and is transferred to a separate location. The rules of such missions do not duplicate network modes, but offer something of their own, albeit not very tricky. In one assignment, it was simply required to break through from one point to another – through the enemies, of course. In the other – to protect the fort from countless hordes of enemies.

Linear quests – judging by what I saw – these are multi-level tactical puzzles like chess ones, where they ask for three moves to checkmate white with the help of a knight and two bishops. Only here it’s not a board, but a tunnel along which, by the will of the script, certain enemy units are placed. Here is a narrow bridge, pikemen are on duty at the other end, and then the road goes up sharply, to a steep hill, where archers are conveniently located. This is in short, in the described place there are many more additional conditions. The party is required to finish off all the enemies so as not to miss their soldiers: if they kill all three detachments prepared for battle, then the hero will fight alone and can only cope with the role of a backup dancer.

I suppose that well-pumped troops will be able to simply trample down all the defensive echelons, but before that you still have to live.

Conqueror's Blade превью

We never reached this height.

The walls won’t save

Finally, I checked how fortress sieges have changed over time. Including for the purity of experience: I used to play with colleagues, journalists and bloggers, and now I play with a harsh, unforgiving “public”.

And this is not for a red word. Only now did I truly understand how fragile ordinary soldiers are, how little time is needed to mow down half the detachment. In siege mode, there are also guns, from which the earth trembles. An accurate volley of arrows, a well-aimed shot from a cannon, a blow from a cavalry that seems to have jumped out of nowhere – and a bunch of disabled people are left from the band of ferocious warriors.

Multiplayer Conqueror’s Blade requires, first of all, extreme caution and knowledge of the terrain in order to eliminate any surprises. In the second – catching a good moment to use the abilities of your squad. They have a long cooldown, and without active skills, it will not be possible to deal a lot of damage at once. Is it possible to impose a normal battle, only suddenly the enemy’s “cooldown” has just ended?

The battle goes not only to achieve the goal (capturing fortress sectors or supply points), but also to attrition. Over time, units run out on both sides, and victory is more likely to go to the more frugal. The general can fight on his own, without a detachment, but then the range of his capabilities will be terribly reduced, and he will have to avoid any decent fight.

Conqueror's Blade превью

The first frontier has fallen, but ahead is a narrow “bottleneck” where we will be met with a hail of arrows, bullets and cannonballs.

***

The content seen is still not enough to draw conclusions about the quality of the game. I’ve made sure Conqueror’s Blade has some pretty decent PvE going on, but there’s still a lot of stuff left behind that’s needed for a decent online world. Although the battles were definitely a success – a very pleasant alternative to the usual for MMO “grinding” animals and dancing on “hotkeys”.

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