Kingdom Under Fire 2 is a survivor. Many games die on the vine as production passes the three-year mark, but Blue Side's MMO sequel to the oddball action-strategy hybrid is now well into its seventh year of development. Enduring false starts, major changes to the fundamental design of the game, the rise and fall of consoles, and the wild transformation of the MMO market worldwide, Kingdom Under Fire 2 remains and its coming to PlayStation 4 and PC in the near future. Barring any sudden changes of course.
Sang Youn Lee, the producer and Blue Side CEO who's stuck with the game over the years, doesn't need any more sudden changes. The game is, finally, right where he wants it. Guiding a demo of the game E3, Lee demonstrated how Kingdom Under Fire 2 plays in 2014, so long after it was first conceived. In large missions, it looks very much like Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders, Blue Side's original Xbox game. You control a big, flashy hero wielding a sword and command legions of troops on a field, a more intentional and less wantonly chaotic spin on Dynasty Warriors' massive conflicts.
It's been modernized of course. The troop customization and commands relegated to text-heavy menus back in 2004 is now done on the fly through simple button or keyboard commands. Surrounding that formula are the trappings of an MMO. Cities like Accolade where you can pick up quests, an open field for wandering and getting in small skirmishes, and big mission areas. It's all very pretty,generically high fantasy but also lovingly detailed. Nothing about it looks like a game that's been struggling to release for nearly a decade. What happened?