Bannermen, an enthusiastic first attempt for the makers of Pathos Interactive to make a Real Time Strategy game. As an RTS fan I love to give new RTS titles, especially from indie developers, a chance.
While reading about Bannermen I get slightly excited about all the features of the game. Campaign mode, Sandbox mode and Multiplayer mode. Three basic components that you would like to see as an RTS fan in a game. The Multiplayer mode is just like the Sandbox mode but against other players. In Multiplayer mode you can choose Casual games or Ranked games. A great balance for the multiplayer players among us. But does this game live up to its Bannermen name or is the game more for Bannerkids?
Bannermen is set in the realm of Valtoria, a low-fantasy medieval world ravaged by decades of war, famine and natural disasters. Players take on the role of Lord Berrian. Lord Berrian tries to restore the glory of his kingdom. To do this, he goes in search of his Bannermen to gather them for battle against a multitude of tribes, and the dark Lord Karthor. In his struggle, he is supported by a female hero Lady Vanya. Together they hunt down Lord Karthor, the game's great enemy.
Campaign mode is also the reason why Bannermen is such a fun game. The story is entertaining and well constructed. Soon you will be able to bond with Lord Berrian and his quest to restore his kingdom. The different styles of missions alternate perfectly. So you start with a mission to escape from the servants of Lord Karthor. And later, you'll join Lady Vanya to free some of your Bannermen. These kinds of missions are like the more difficult missions of Campaign mode. You only have Lord Berrian and Lady Vanya, but they are not overpowered. Because of this you will have to play some missions again because one of the two has died.
The other missions are usually traditional base building, armies and achieving a certain goal. So you have to protect your friends from wolves or bandit raids. But total conquest of an area is also part of the missions.
Most of the time I spend as an RTS enthusiast in the sandbox mode of the game. And I'm having some trouble with this. Bannermen is relatively simple when you play a conquest game. You start with a Gathering Base. With this base you can collect gold and wood. These are the only resources you need in the game. Each Wood Camp holds 10 Villagers and the Gold Mine holds 5 Villagers. In this way you will soon be collecting both resources at full power. In addition to your resources, you also need to keep an eye on your population limit. You can simply increase this by building houses.
In terms of further buildings, Bannermen really keeps the minimum. With a total of eight other buildings you have built everything the game has to offer. In these buildings you can build a total of 10 different army units. Then you can make your army stronger with a few upgrades. You can build Guardtowers to defend your base. Unfortunately, these are easy to demolish and feel more like a pinprick than a useful defense. The lack of building walls also annoys me. In Campaign mode we occasionally come across walls that help defend your base. But unfortunately you can't build them yourself.
If you start a game in Sandbox mode, you have to take your time into account. Because the game has special enough no save and load option. So all your hard work cannot be saved, so you are forced to finish the game. If not, you can start all over again next time. By the way, in Campaign mode you can save your progress between missions.
Bannermen is a great RTS game for the novice player. The Sandbox mode is very simple and the way to build your base and create armies is also very simple. The game is so simple that you can even teach children to play it. For the experienced RTS player this is a bit too simple. Bannermen gets boring very quickly and has little depth. The only thing that saved the game for me is the Campaign Mode. The story, the variety in the missions are enough to keep me busy with the game. However, once the Campaign Mode is over, I won't be launching the game as soon.
If you've never played an RTS game before, Bannermen is definitely recommended to familiarize yourself with the genre. The price for Bannermen on Steam is in my opinion a bit on the high side. You pay €29.99 for Bannermen. A price of €15 or €20 would have been more appropriate for the amount of content you get. If you are a seasoned RTS player, then I would pass this game by. Thirty euros just to play the captivating Campaign mode is too much of a good thing. Hopefully more content will be added to the game soon with free DLCs. Perhaps that will make the game more interesting.
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