Review by Ethan Baron
The King is dead, murdered by an unknown assailant. Now the once peaceful kingdom of Fahrul is in chaos.
For the King is the new tabletop inspired, Roguelike RPG by IronOak Games. It’s a beautiful looking game that takes the best part of Board Games and RPG’s, combined with a harsh reality of failure around every corner.
The first thing to mention is For the King is tough, very tough. Once you die, you are dead, along with all your progress. In a game where everything is up to the dice roll and the luck of the RNG gods, this can be frustrating, especially for the casual gamers. However, if you get past this (and you really should try!), For the King rewards you with a luscious world, beautiful designs and exquisite gameplay.
Moving on from that, For the King, first released on PC in early access, has now arrived on consoles with all DLC included. It has 6 different campaigns for you to try, which range from dungeon crawlers to story modes. Also, thanks to the perma-death option each time you load up a campaign the system procedural generates a new looking world which in a game where you constantly start again from the beginning is a simple, effective way to counter the repetitive boredom that would usually follow. I like it.
Much like you would come to expect, For the King has Character Customisation and Classes, each with its own special abilities that will help you on your journey. Take the time to learn each one and how it works. The better you know your team, the better your chances of beating the Chaos.
The biggest and possibly only issue I have with For the King is the story or lack thereof. You have a basic plot to start you off and drive you forward but that’s about it and it’s pretty generic at that. However as dissatisfied with that as you may be, For the King isn’t about the story. It’s about strategic turn-based combat, and when looked at from this angle, there’s nothing disappointing about it.
When looking at For the King’s visual and sounds, the first thing you notice is despite the bright colourful environment and the low poly art style, the game is incredibly detailed, and the music seamlessly flicks between a soothing peaceful melody and more upbeat intense music at the right moment. It’s all part of what makes this game so special.
As far as actual gameplay goes, as I’ve mentioned before, it is hard. When an entire game is based on RNG dice rolls mixed with the Roguelike perma-death, you are going to have a bad time. Especially when you get a great weapon, only to lose it and your progress after a few bad rolls or flips.
The turn-based system works flawlessly in combat and ties to the weapon you are using and damage multipliers are set based on your level and the weapons stats. IronOak Games have done a fantastic job of with For the King, everything you love about RPGs combined with the Roguelike genre, the turn-based combat and Tabletop board gaming all blend together into a smooth, polished game that also looks visually gorgeous.
This is what happens when the developers are truly passionate about their creation and work tirelessly to bring it to life. It’s fantastic to look at and even better to play. Even if it can be controller smashing difficult at times. This is a game definitely worth picking up and trying. FOR THE KING.