For those craving a hardcore, tactical/strategy based game, Battle Worlds: Kronos could very well scratch that itch. However, it’s steep learning curve will surely turn the more casual players away.
Battle Worlds: Kronos isn’t the most accessible title. Right at the start of the campaign, the game tells you “this game is hard, but fair, but if you fail it’s due to your inability to pay close attention to the tutorial..” Having played quite a few games in my day, reading this warning right at the start of the game instantly makes you cautious and apprehensive about what you’re about to get into. It comes off like the developers are getting defensive before I’ve even had a chance to experience anything the game has to offer. Not the greatest way to get people invested in your game.
To their credit though, they’re not wrong. Battle Worlds: Kronos is very demanding, and can be difficult. There isn’t anything wrong with this, personally, I enjoy challenging games, but there is a strong contrast between games being difficult in a fair way that benefits the overall experience and games being difficult for the sake of being difficult. Though this title warns you this game is difficult but fair as long as you pay close attention, it ends up being difficult for the sake of being difficult. The tutorials are dense, and it throws a lot at you at the start of the game. Which is fine, but not when it punishes you while you’re still trying to learn the mechanics. The tutorial doesn’t ease you into anything, but it isn’t really a Dark Souls title where doing this is acceptable.
Aside from all that, the story is your typical futuristic, sci-fi tale. After 200 years of peace, two opposing factions decide it’s been too long since anyone went to war. The concept is fine, but the execution stumbles due to occasionally poor writing. It’s hard to focus and pay attention to every little detail when it’s conveyed in a bland and sometimes unpalatable way. There are attempts to flesh out certain things regarding the overall universe, which is primarily done through branching dialogue trees and some mid-battle cutscenes or conversations. However, the writing isn’t strong enough to make you want to pay attention to it all.
This game tends to drag in it’s pacing as well. Having to move dozens of units one by one can become tedious rather quickly. An option to group select would’ve changed the pace of this game in remarkable ways. I’m all for planning and prepping, but Battle Worlds: Kronos finds a way to make that process much longer than it needs to be. That being said, I’m sure the more patient, die-hard fans of the genre will enjoy the ability to manipulate every single unit, every single step of the way.
The art and cut scenes in this game are pretty solid for a smaller indie project though. Every unit has a simplistic design to it, but the color pallets and structure keep everything feeling tied together. It doesn’t always have the most detailed designs, but its uniform art direction gives it a polished feel. It also has a splash of nostalgia, as some designs make you feel like you’re 11 again setting up toys in your room to battle each other. The soundtrack is also impressive, with large, sweeping orchestral pieces that carry you along to your next objective or mission. The only pitfall in the art design is that some maps can feel rather barren when you’re on the move, but it does little to otherwise detract from your overall experience.
Battle Worlds: Kronos isn’t a bad game. There are some enjoyable moments that are strengthened by overcoming the game’s difficulty, but it’s painfully slow pacing makes it one that ends up testing your patience as much as your wit. While I’m sure this title will please a particular niche group, this isn’t a title that will be accepted by the masses.