I have a very love/hate relationship with the RTS genre. Classic RTS games are brilliant and I honed my gaming skills on many titles. I fell in love with games such as Command and Conquer, Starcraft II, and Dungeon Keeper and loved every moment I spent with these titles. This was a time when nobody knew what a micro-transaction was and if you had a mobile phone at all the cleverest thing you could play on it was Snake.
The RTS genre that we now know has been used as a cash-cow by greedy developers and publishers far too often and it’s just soured the whole experience. It’s genuinely sad but now when I learn that a game has building mechanics I instantly skip past it. It doesn’t matter what medium the title is being released on. This is a crying shame and we really need some games to buck the trend and bring the genre back to where it belongs. Death Crown, the game we’ll be discussing today, may well be part of that solution.
Death Crown is due to hit your consoles later this year with a custom control system and it’s two DLC packs, Era of Human and Demonic Menace, included. PS4, XB1 and Switch owning RTS fans are going to be getting something a touch different when launch comes. Enthusiasts will be used to the very deliberate pace many RTS titles set. Speed is the name of the game here and that might just come as a shock to some.
Take all you know about RTS mechanics and squash that down into a match that will be settled in a matter of minutes. In Death Crown, your resource gathering, troop building, defense strengthening antics will be happening at a blistering pace so you’ll absolutely need to be on your toes.
The rules are simple. All you need to do is destroy the enemy fortress. To do this you’ll need to gather resources by building mines or mills and use these to create the troops you’ll be using to throw at your opponent. You’ll need to be defensively minded if you’re to fend off enemy attacks so building towers will be a key part of your strategy as well. These structures will not only defend your conquered positions but also allow you to take new areas of the map.
In many RTS titles, if you’re smart, you’ll be playing the long game. In Death Crown events can occur in seconds that can change the outcome of the entire match. This being said it’s not just about being fast and smart, being inventive with your play-style might just be key to victory.
Death Crown will offer three campaigns, allowing you to take the three factions in the game, namely the humans, undead, and demons into battle. You’ll also be staging said warfare across a whopping 90 maps against an utterly psychotic AI who isn’t going to give you room to sweat let alone think. Interestingly for a game of this style you’ll also have 12 unique bosses to pit your wits against. This isn’t just good for adding flavor, difficulty and lore but it’ll make your mental gymnastics even more rewarding.
If all of this doesn’t sound painful enough Death Crown has a Domination Mode. Here you will face off against 30 hellish missions in a bid to climb the player rankings. You’ll need to be a master to complete these levels successfully. They aren’t only going to be hard as nails but you’ll only be getting three lives for the entire run. Sound like fun? You’re more of a masochist than I am if the answer is yes. If you don’t want to do any of what I’ve just mentioned and just have some fun with a mate, multiplayer is of course supported too.
The last thing to mention is the art style. If you think 8-bit is retro you haven’t seen anything yet. Death Crown is taking the 1-bit approach. Paying homage to the Apple II creations of the 1980s, and inspired by medieval engravings this pixel art is as beautiful as it is timeless.
See what I meant when I said we might have an addition to our RTS libraries that’s doing something notable? Death Crown sounds absolutely brilliant. If you like a pretty hefty challenge this may well be destined for your digital libraries come November.
Hailing from Southport England, Alex started his gaming career in the late 80s on a Commodore 64. Since that time he's either owned or played on virtually every console released. Alex happens to...