Proven Progression System Mixed With New Gameplay
The popular World of VEHICLE progression system has proven a tried and true method so far. Players are familiar with it, and it seems to be easy to pick up and run with. I like it, at any rate. I am also a fan of third-person melee combat systems, thanks to For Honor. The combat has also been compared to that of Mount & Blade fame. When you mesh these two halves together, you have a game. That game is Tiger Knight: Empire War! Medieval combat in ancient China, circa 220-280 AD. China is simply the first culture in the game, two more are already in the works!
Tiger Knight: Empire War is a free to play game that follows the popular style of match-based combat. You can queue up alone, or with friends, to participate in PvP or PvE gameplay. While there is a general player-only battle mode, what makes Tiger Knight stand out is it’s ‘Command Mode’ PvP. You get a unit of troops to take with you into battle! These are what you use the familiar tier system to rank up. The higher the tier, the more troops in your unit. The AI is surprisingly good too. Along with straightforward deathmatch gameplay, there are also Siege maps in Command Mode which give you the thrill of assaulting an enemy fortress! There is a good variety of maps and modes for PvP. PvE is a little more limited, but offers a whole new experience. The last bit of information worth mentioning is the presence of mounts in the game. You can charge, and fight, from horseback! It’s amazing! (Inside joke) Your troops can be mounted as well. The Rome update will add the Roman culture in December 2016 or January 2017. Tiger Knight has already began asking its players which faction they want to see next! Example options were Parthian Empire, Kushan Empire, and more.
What Makes It Fun
The siege maps in Command Mode feel unique, and extremely fun. Generally I hate these types of maps (Strand of the Ancients in WoW, Voidstar in SWTOR), but Tiger Knight has done something different. There is no timer, which reduces your frustration, and lets you focus more on having fun. Tiger Knight follows a very familiar framework: Third-person view, XP unlocks new upgrades (troops, weapons), but one of its key features is what I’ll call the hit system. Which armor you wear, and where you wear it, matters. A superb breakdown of where you were hit, and how often, is given at the end of every match. This lets you plan where you can afford to wear heavier armor, and where you can probably sacrifice armor for less weight. The weapon side of the hit system involves the pointy end of weapons, namely making the pointy parts deal more damage. If you hit someone with the spear tip, you may do 50 damage. Meanwhile if you hit them past the sharpened steel portion, you may only do 15 or 20. It makes your positioning weapon dependent, and very important. On the perhaps most important note, the game is F2P friendly. The price per-month to maintain a premium account is less than $10. The amount of boosted XP you get is also reduced as well, meaning paying players won’t have as big a lead on free players.
What Makes It…Not
As I mentioned, positioning is important. This makes low latency all the more crucial. Recently the moved the game servers to the west coast of the US, which has almost doubled my ping. I can definitely tell the difference. People on the west coast are reporting better latency, however, so where you live may greatly determine how much this affects you. Additionally, not all of the translations are the best. The developer is based in China. Most of the time, you can easily understand the idea. Occasionally though, it is a little confusing, and takes some extra effort to figure something out. More often, it’s just plain funny. Still, they have promised to improve their translations in time.
The Bottom Line
As it stands, this is one of the best titles for people who can’t afford to put much, if any, money into a game. Tiger Knight: Empire War has just recently launched in Early Access. The balance on weapons seems pretty good, and is still ongoing. The devs seem active on social media, and are unequivocally fair in their treatment of players. They’ve passed out many a premium time pass for downtime, which is extremely generous considering it’s an early release title. I’m eagerly looking forward to the Rome update, as well as to see which empire will be added next.