Date of publish: 24/10/2020 11:55 CET
After the abundant success of Cossacks, it was inevitable that a sequel would show itself eventually. This sequel, Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars, maintains the same traditional style of gameplay that made Cossacks so popular, but concentrates primarily upon the battles around the time of Bonaparte.
The game is displaying several appetising attributes so far. Possibly the most obvious of these is the new video overlay feature. The developers have actually gone and shot masses of real life footage of soldiers re-enacting battles from the time period. So whatever your soldiers are doing in the game, their actions will also be shown through the video clips in the little overlay box. Whether holding ground, moving, shooting, or reloading, it is all recreated through real life footage. It’s certainly an odd concept, but it successfully manages to grant the game a more tangible sense of atmosphere.
Another nice feature is the way Cossacks II attempts to recreate the defining aspects of the time period. For example, the rifles carried by soldiers during the time of Napoleon are a far cry from the killing tools we’ve been exposed to in more recent times. They were hopelessly imprecise to aim, and reload times took quite literally almost a minute to complete, evinced by the video overlay which shows the reloading process in detail. Although some might consider this to be something that would ruin the gameplay, it actually gives a whole new tactical angle to the game, as you are perpetually forced to judge between safety, effectiveness, and reload times.
Other tactical distinctions manifest themselves as you play the game, such as how essential it is to effectively use different formations in a variety of circumstances, how to use the terrain and plant life to your advantage, and the value of knowing where and when to deploy your different units for maximum tactical benefit. The unit count stands at the impressive figure of 64,000, once again allowing for battles of epic proportions. A huge number of unit and building types as well as six playable civilisations only makes things even more exciting.
However, in its current build, Cossacks II is alarmingly deficient in several game areas. Ridiculous things such as wrong sound effects playing continuously, unit animations running at treble speed, and routing soldiers strolling away leisurely as though they have not a care in the world. The translation is also dire, with statistics like ‘Resourses maintainanse’, ‘Expiriense of generals’, and ‘Your looses’ hiding round every corner. In fact, almost every single line of the in-game dialogue needs rewriting owing to the outstanding ‘Engrish’ grammar and spelling that prevail.
Nevertheless, if GSC Game World can get out the tools and dirty their hands in time for release next month, then we could be looking at a very classy game that pulls in even more devotees to Cossacks’ already substantial fanbase. We’ll bring you a full review shortly.
- Vast battles.
- Professional style of RTS.
- Still buggy at the moment.
- Restrictive camera.
Written by Adam Shirley
Original date of publish: 13.03.2005