I've been following the development of Kingdom Under Fire 2 since long before I started writing about games. First announced in 2008, it was originally intended to be a flagship game for the Xbox 360 in 2009. An ambitious Warhammer-inspired hybrid of high fantasy MMO, RTS and Dynasty Warriors-style hack n' slash action, putting Korean studio Blueside on the map once more.
Clearly, things didn't quite work out. After a decade of development hell and several attempts at free-to-play launches around the world ending in server shutdowns, new publisher Gameforge hope to give it one more go. Launching in English for the first time on November 14, Kingdom Under Fire 2 will now be a retail game priced at £26.99/€29.99/$29.99, though it's still an MMO, and there will still be (mostly cosmetic) microtransactions available after launch.
As you can see from the new trailer above, the extra decade of development hasn't hurt it much in the looks department, even if the heavy metal excess of the character designs feels a little dated. KuF2's huge battles and enormous monsters still have the capacity to impress, especially as you wade into the middle of it in third-person action style. As well as controlling your hero in Dynasty Warriors-esque style, each player has strategic command over several regiments of troops. Not a full army individually, but in larger cooperative and competitive battles, you're looking at fights on par with Total War: Warhammer 2 at its most excessive.
It's a formula that I had a lot of fun with back on the original Xbox in Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders (and its standalone expansion, Heroes), and I'm excited to see if it still holds up in 2019. Still, those failed launches in other territories aren't the most cheerful of omens, but I've still got my fingers crossed.
While I'm personally holding off until the dust has settled on this one, more daring aspiring strategists can pre-order the game via Gameforge's official page here, where you can also check out some of the classes available to play, and the types of troops you can recruit. Kingdom Under Fire 2 launches on November 14.
Correction: Kingdom Under Fire 2 is launching on November 14, not the 12 as previously reported.