Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

War of the Roses

Preview: Medieval times with War of the Roses

12:00 PM on 07.31.2012 // Alessandro Fillari

Paradox Interactive and developer Fatshark’s upcoming title, War of the Roses, has made quite a name for itself with its ambitious take on Medieval style combat in large scale skirmishes. Coming off their successful showings at GDC, PAX East, and E3 -- Paradox has some big aspirations for War of the Roses.

After taking some time to play the multiplayer mode at Paradox’s recent press event, I can say that the developers definitely have a lot to be proud of with their latest title.

War of The Roses (PC)
Developer: Fatshark
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release: September 12, 2012
MSRP: $29.99

Set in 15th century England during the historical dynastic war between rival houses Lancaster and York -- dubbed the War of the Roses -- players will pick a side and lay waste to their enemies on the battlefield. Spread across seven different battlegrounds in England, you’ll take the fight to your rivals and restore honor and glory to your allied faction.

Veterans of Mount & Blade will feel right at home with War of the Roses’ setting and focus on medieval style combat. However, while that game focused on the role-playing elements and the sandbox gameplay of traveling the country and battling different factions, War of the Roses reins it in a bit and keeps the focus on different skirmishes and major battles between the two rival factions. This gives Roses’ a much more refined and tighter focus on large scale infantry combat.

While on the surface it may appear to be on a smaller scale, the battle’s focus on the infantry level make the skirmishes feel just as epic -- perhaps even more so given the greater focus on combat. Each of the seven map types are designed to accommodate any number of players. During our preview session, 16 player games in team deathmatch were played on maps designed for 32 to 64 players. Despite the small size, each battle felt incredibly epic and tense as every player fought in the small villages of Clitheroe Forest and the tournament grounds in London. I truly expect to see madness unfold in full 64 player games playing the conquest game mode, where the map sizes can be used to their advantage.

Fighting is done primarily through melee combat. Players coming from Mount & Blade will feel right at home with the mouse-control combat system. For the uninitiated, each attack and parry can be specifically controlled by the mouse. For instance, holding down the attack button and swiping left with the mouse will initiate a left sided attack, which can blocked by a right sided parry from the opponent. This particular combat system give each battle a feeling of rawness. In a good way, of course.

The fights feel uncoordinated, spontaneous, and real. Which was further heightened by the superb hit-detection system that Fatshark has put into place. I came away from each battle with these feelings of self-preservation, which made each fight against other players all the more exciting. It was quite a surreal feeling to actually feel like you’re in a war, and that you only had your skill set to fall back on. It can even by downright scary when surrounded by four enemy players looking to land an execution.

Combat feels balanced, regardless of which ever style you take advantage. For every great strength, there is an equal weakness. With this in mind, each type of soldier offers this great risk/reward system. Close-range fighters who run head on into combat run the risk of getting surrounded and pummeled, archers will suffer the vulnerabilities of long reload times and close range combat, and mounted knights will have to deal with being out the open on their mounts. 

A key aspect of War of the Roses is the character customization. Before each battle, you’ll be able to customize and load out your characters however you please. At first glance, it may appear to be basic options for your classes, but upon further inspection you’ll find some rather substantial depth into how you deck out your characters. At the base, you have different weapon and armor types to choose from, but from there you pick different perks (spread across five different schools), fighting stances, and even the type of metal your weapons are made of.

I was not only impressed with the variety and detail of your options, but also for the fact that it all seems to have a play in battle. Of course there are the obvious, such as light, medium, heavy armor types having a play on speed and agility, but then there’s the more less obvious consideration of how fighting stances can be influenced by metal types. The character customization gave off this sort of quasi RPG feel. There were several points when I came into matches late because I was so busy optimizing my foot soldier for battle as there’s just that much to consider before heading into battle.

With that said, an important part of the game is understanding what role you’ll have in each battle. While there aren’t any defined classes per se, the way you customize your character will cast them in roles and dictate their effectiveness in battle. War of the Roses is very open to how players choose to customize their characters, and even the more unorthodox combinations seem to have an effect on battle. Want to create a crossbowman with medical perks and decked out in medium armor? You can do that. How about a mounted knight with lance and armor based perks? Absolutely! You’ll rarely, if ever, come across a player utilizing the same character traits and cosmetics. The sheer amount of options at your disposal opens the possibilities for truly unique soldier types among the player community.

War of the Roses looks to be an engaging take on medieval style warfare. While Fatshark and Paradox were shy on detailing the single-player mode, what’s present here for the multiplayer is very encouraging, to say the least. War of the Roses will be available on Steam on September 12, and you can get your hands on it early during the opening of the public beta sometime in August.

Photo Gallery: (6 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Alessandro Fillari, Staff Writer
 Follow Blog + disclosure afillari Tips
A San Francisco native, he's an admirer of the city's diverse culture and lifestyle. Prior to joining the staff, he was a contributor and an editor for his college newspaper where he wrote articl... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
War of the Roses

  Feb 07

Get the free trial for War of the Roses now

It's not a 'demo,' it's a 'trial.' Remember that.

  Feb 01

War of the Roses to get DLC, free trial, and gold edition

Brian Blessed will add his voice to the slaughter

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -