War of the Roses: Kingmaker Review

War of the Roses: Kingmaker may be the breath of fresh air you are looking for in the online multiplayer gaming world. Players assemble to do battle in competitive onslaughts of York versus Lancaster in this ode to the historic battle which took place hundreds of years ago in England. Reliving the past is something we all love to do, and playing with swords is just a gamer classic. War of the Roses: Kingmaker became a favorite among the RealGamerNewz crew as we delved into the multiplayer together and were pleased with what we discovered.

Soundtrack, Audio, Voice

The game’s soundtrack definitely gets the job done maintaining the theme that really makes you feel like you are in the War of the Roses. The sound effects actively immerse players into the universe of kill or be killed mentality. Every slice and dulling of the blade as it’s slicing through air, meat, or flesh, can be heard in crisp and clear audio quality especially if you have a surround sound entertainment system or high quality headphones. March of the Eagles also offers Blessed Brian Voiceover DLC, which adds even more variety to the sounds you’ll hear throughout the game.

Graphics, Physics, Glitches, Engine Performance

Developed by Fatshark on the Bitsquid engine and published by Paradox Interactive, War of the Roses is graphically impressive. You won’t want to expect anything up to par with Battlefield 3, but it is a PC game and War of the Roses benefits from the advanced hardware available on its native platform. Paradox titles are typically third person and not first person, but the strategy brought to this first person title is where War of the Roses shines. The physics of the Bitsquid engine lend a helping hand in making everything feel like a smooth and cohesive experience. You accomplish the slices you are trying to for and the online multiplayer-only title War of the Roses brings depth to the arena. Players are challenged to think more than just act, and act quickly and intelligently in battle or face a grim outcome.

Characters / Enemies

There isn’t really any specific characters in War of the Roses but rather customization for the classes, like choosing to be a noble, commoner or peasant. War of the Roses really goes all out, with essentially three separate tiers of people, for lack of a better phrase. Choosing one over the other affects how you look and the voice of your character.


War of the Roses is an only online game but set during the War of the Roses, hence the name. The War of the Roses was a civil war in England where the House of York and Lancaster fought for control. Historically the game is accurate, but it has a twist. On every map the loading screen gives a description of the battle that occurred there. It doesn’t give the answer to who won which battle, that’s where the online players come in.


When described in the simplest terms available, War of the Roses is like Call of Duty but for Medieval and/or Action RPG fans. However, if you’re a Call of Duty player about to jump into this game, expect to be frustrated at first. The hit system is very precise, so precise in fact that you may not be used to such accuracy and realism with how your attacks are animated and logged in the game’s online multiplayer matches. Players will have to adapt to the game and hone their skills at the advanced Bitsquid engine’s multiplayer battles.

Here’s the breakdown on exactly what this means for the actual gameplay experience. Archers have to be aware that their arrows drop over distances. Melee attacks must be attempted in your optimal range for your that particular weapon. So, for example, a sword can’t reach as far as a spear. If you’re having trouble playing at first, it’s likely you aren’t close enough or for the longer reach weapons like a spear, you’re too close

Classes / Perk System

Although this game is definitely the type of game that players master rather than exploit, there are some intense customizable class options that make you feel like you’re playing the RPG equivalent of Black Ops, or even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The class system in War of the Roses allows players to buy new weapons, instead of guns it’s a choice of swords, bows, and more. War of the Roses also has perks similar to the Call of Duty title. There’s a total of 5 perks and how they work depends on how you set up your class.

Offensive, Defensive, Supportive, Movement and Officer

The 5 perks come under the categories: offense, defense, officer, support and mobility. How you set up your perks affect how you play the game with that particular class a great deal. In the offense you have two distinct choices: ranged combat (archer) or melee. choosing the archer peak obviously means the class you’re making is going to be an archer and so allows you to use a bow or crossbow, otherwise the melee peak gives you a charge ability which helps close the distance. Defensive perks are split between being able to use a shield (called shield bearer) and armor training. Beyond these there are heaps of other customizable options which affect the look of your character like different armor sets that give your player different stats.

It should be known ahead of time by all potential players of War of the Roses that this game is purely online, other than a tutorial.

Upgrade from War of the Roses to War of the Roses: Kingmaker

WotR, or War of the Roses, was given a massive facelift and upgrade on March 21, 2013 which advanced the game’s vast arsenal of weapons and armor to include a number of new selections. Kingmaker also sees the addition of the Assault mode, in which Lancastrians take the offensive against Yorkist encampments and occupied locations.

Steam’s “Big Picture” Mode is also supported now as well as controllers natively, making the game more compatible with your television and your couch. War of the Roses owners received this upgrade without purchase and this version effectively replaces the original.

Replay Ability

You may never get tired of running around and killing people in the midst of this chaotic battle between York and Lancaster.

Final Verdict

Every gamer has his own taste, and not every game is for you. If you’re looking for the Call of Duty experience set in a Medieval, Role Playing Game universe then we highly recommend and praise this title for its originality, replay ability, skilled community, and overall fun factor.

Overall Score: 8.75/10

Review Copy Info: Four digital Steam copies of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by Paradox Interactive for the purposes of this review.

Available on: Computer

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Sam Chia on 20130414 and was last modified on 20130414 .