Cossacks II

Cossacks II

Written by Phillip Ellis on 5/11/2005 for PC  

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.
The battles are very cool because they do carry this 19th Century style of fighting. There are no automatic weapons, or any futuristic weapons in this game, simply what was used to fight when Napoleon surveyed the battlefield. Send your musketeers in and watch as your men stand in a line and fire at each other. Yeah, we think it’s crazy today, but this is how they fought back in time, and Cossacks II captures that aspect perfectly. It makes it a strategy also. If you fire on your enemy at the wrong time… then you better hope you hit some of them before you have to run away. Due to the long re-load times of soldiers in this era it’s imperative you pick the correct times you fire at your enemy, and attempt to flank among other things.

Another new thing to the Cossacks series is the idea of morale. If your troops are standing in formation and begin to see their comrades get shot and fall to their knees, then in real life you expect your soldiers to run, right? Well in the original Cossacks this is something we did not see. Soldiers would stand and fight, even if being obliterated, and decimated. Cossacks II gets this right. Real soldiers have morale, and if I see my fellow comrades getting shot down at a rapid rate, your initial instinct is to retreat. Finally, a game that seems to capture a battle perfectly, and the war feeling of soldiers in this time period greatly.

Cossacks II is a very fun game. It’s driven by a solid engine, the same one that made Cossacks one of the best RTS games of it’s time. While the age may show around the edges, the developers have introduced new ideas to keep Cossacks II a very good game. Fighting in the 19th century looks boring on the outside, but deep down in the game fighting in the 19th century was about honor, and it is a lot more strategic than one would have thought. Cossacks II captures everything about our past in Europe, this is a game for any fan of RTS games.
A solid game that builds on the already solid Cossacks engine. Fans of modern RTS games may be disappointed to find that Cossacks II is not all about the flashy graphics, but more about the game play. Cossacks gamers will enjoy more of the same, good quality fighting.

Rating: 8 Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

I guess since I am the new guy here I will introduce myself. Name is Phillip, but you can call me Phil, and/or Philly. It makes no difference to me because the girls prefer Philly. I have never been a writer on a review site per say, yet I have reviewed games for various websites over time. I own every console except for Nintendo because I enjoy blowing my money off for no reason. I was perfectly content with my Playstation 2 until one day, I just felt the need for a larger green box. On top of the consoles, I buy a new computer way too often, and probably have way too many. I sometimes believe there is enough technology and stuff in here to launch a nuclear warhead, and I would not doubt it. I currently reside in North Carolina, near Charlotte, with no idea where I will end up in the future!

Currently I am playing NFL Fever (XBox), Full Spectrum Warrior (Xbox), Rainbow Six 3 (Xbox), Fight Night 2004 (Ps2), and Joint Operations Typhoon Rising (PC).
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