New Kingmakers trailer looks like Mount & Blade with an M1 Abrams modded in

Kingmakers, a game that's one part hybrid RTS and another part Earth Defense Force but with Welsh peasants, got a new trailer this week, showing off some impressive physics based destructibility and also tons of peasants getting murdered. 

The new Kingmakers footage starts off with a relaxing dirt bike ride through the fifteenth-century Welsh countryside before exploding into a cacophony of warfare so egregiously one-sided it can only be described as murder—the idea here is that you've traveled back in time with modern weapons. Most of what's showcased isn't too different from what was seen in the prior, equally unhinged trailer, that being the gleeful slaughter of a pre-Industrial peasantry, but there's some surprisingly impressive destructibility tech here. 

The obvious highlight of the trailer is the tank, which is used to unsurprisingly great effect against opponents that only just discovered accurate timekeeping, grinding serfs into mincemeat under its treads and lobbing depleted uranium tipped shells at castle walls. The collapsing towers here are genuinely impressive, and the whole thing looks something like a mad Mount & Blade total conversion mod. 

In an interview with Insider Gaming, developers Redemption Road cited the infamous Reddit alternative history story "Rome, Sweet Rome '' as an influence, where a full strength battalion of the United States Marine Corps goes to war (and loses) against the Roman Empire at its height. It's a story of modern hubris, where the initial devastation of the Marines' assault proves unsustainable without access to resupply. 

The more I see of this bizarre, Calvin and Hobbes daydream turned videogame, the more excited I get—hearing that Kingmakers is at least partially inspired by a semi-thoughtful approach to alternate history really elevates the premise. 

The notion of using modern military hardware and tactics to affect shocking, sudden social and political change in the early modern period is equal parts compelling and hilarious. It reminds me of Darkest of Days, a thoroughly whatever bargain bin FPS that, for all its faults, has a set piece where you mow down hundreds of Confederate soldiers with a belt-fed machine gun. 

Kingmakers is slated for a 2024 release, and can be wishlisted on Steam here

Nova Smith
Contributing Writer

Nova Smith is a freelance writer based out of Alberta, Canada. Nova's grab bag of non-gaming interests and passions includes Japanese mecha anime, miniature painting, as well as history, literature, and classical music. Nova also moonlights as a bureaucrat and amateur historian.