It’s been a long time coming. A lot of waiting… and then some. I remember buying the first Cossacks for no reason really, the back of the box looked cool to me, and that was it. The rest is history. Cossacks was always a solid RTS game to play, and always fun to play online, despite my obvious suckage at it due to getting the game later than anyone else. No matter, I got Cossacks II before anyone else, and while the veterans are still outgunning me, I’m able to hold my own a lot better this time around.
Cossacks II enters a genre of war games that not nearly enough people are willing to enter. I think somewhere out there in the world people desire to fight the battles of the 19th century. These battles shaped our world as we know it today, and are among the most important wars in the history of the world, and yet very few games are willing to tackle the time period. Rather, they tackle World War II, and lately Vietnam has been attempted, but failed. Cossacks II is one of the few games, if not the only game available to you right now with combat in the 19th century. So if that’s what you’re looking for, well you need not look any further than this one.
This is one of the few RTS games that is really in it’s own clique. It really has no competition, because if someone is looking for a fight in the 19th century they’ve got nowhere else to turn. This little tidbit has to keep you worried that the developers will do little to continue to evolve the worldwide popular Cossacks series. The changes between Cossacks I and Cossacks II do, in fact, seem a bit subtle.
The interface and everything has been kept similarly the same. Now, for a lot of RTS games this can mean the beginning of a repetitious pattern, which sucks for gamers. However, here Cossacks II shines. The interface has always been easy to navigate unlike so many other RTS games, and once again the developers tweak it just enough to make it seem different, all the while it works almost flawlessly.
Maybe the only thing that will be a disappointment for fans of some of the other RTS games on the market, such as Rise of Nations or Command and Conquer will be the graphics. The graphics are still based off of a 2D engine. However, the graphics have been kicked up a notch from the original Cossacks series and continue to impress players of the series. The terrains have been updated and flow well with the games. The formations of your soldiers are nice to look at, and everything is pieced together well, however, not up to par with the RTS games I mentioned earlier. But no big deal, as the game itself makes up for it’s 2D graphics.
Cossacks II stacks up well in the gameplay department. Of course, I’ve always been a fan of the way it plays. It plays very true to it’s name, and very true to the time period it represents, something you don’t see many RTS games doing as they try to add their own flare to the periods. The developers of Cossacks have always been able to capture the aura of their time period, and to keep you feeling like you were controlling real men on an old battlefield with the greatest generals to ever walk this Earth. Now that chance is notched up a knot, as you test your brain power with people like Napoleon. It makes for a satisfying day to beat the French General, to do something people were unable to do back when he truly existed.
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