Yep! It’s Another real time strategy (RTS) game where you gather the raw materials, make buildings that can manufacture troops, research technologies that allow better buildings to make better troops armor and weapons etc. But this one has a few differences plus a decided "Scottish flavor" to it.
The graphics are ok. They are choppy at times, but generally ok for this type of game. The sound is ok as well; nothing to write home about or drive you screaming from the room either.
It does have a decent in game tutorial that can get you familiar with the basics of the game in short order (and we all know how much I look for tutorials). Like any new game these days, you will need to get familiar with Highland Warriors’ controls and game interface before you can really sit back and enjoy the game itself. The tutorial will be a BIG help in obtaining that familiarity!
It takes place roughly in the time period from the 800’s to around the 1300’s in and around Scotland. You can play any of three Scottish Clans or the evil (from the Scottish perspective) English. Each has their own campaign to run through. Of course, there is also multiplayer options and random skirmishes thrown into the mix. You even have the ability to make your own maps.
You will need to gather the Lumber, Ore, Stone and Gold and produce sufficient food to keep the population happy and to feed your growing army. Also you will discover new technologies that will allow better structures and advanced troop types, armor and weapons.
You can group the units together with the familiar cntl # option after getting them all selected by drawing a box around them with the mouse. And can activate the group by using the associated # and double click that # to activate and go to the group. Spearmen are nasty against horse mounted troops but the mounted troops are murder on bowmen and axemen, while the bowmen are deadly against advancing spearmen.
Pretty standard fare so far huh? So what makes this different from the million other RTS games out there? I would say the Scottish flavor and some of the new things they have added:
Like Heros. These guys have very cool abilities that they can transfer to troops around them either just by being in the proximity of them (my favorite by far) or by activating the special ability and then clicking on a nearby unit to give that ability to them. Since my old fingers just will not cooperate and allow me to do all the clicking necessary for the second type of ability I tended to favor the abilities that got transferred to units just by being near them.
Then there is the worker specializations. As your workers spend time doing a particular task they will get better at it. The longer they do a certain task the better they become at it. At least that is the theory. Every now and then you will get an in game message that a worker is ready to advance in lumber gathering, or food production or hunting etc. There is an easy way to accept the advancement and then the workers get better. More efficient perhaps? I am not 100 percent sure exactly what the specialization does but my workers did seem to gather more of what they were after as time went on and their specializations got higher. Now this is good for me as I tend to make new workers to make new structures that become available and then assign them to resource gathering and forget them. When a particular resource area is used up I will send that group of workers to another area of the same type so I do not have the problem of sending lumberjacks to mine ore. I usually have a few that do nothing other than make residential structures and build fortifications and defensive towers, walls and such.
Military units also get experience over time and get better at what they do as well. And there are even different battle formations you can put your troops into before you engage the enemy. I found that most of the formations broke down quickly in the heat of battle but it was still cool to have them marching over to the battle scene in a certain battle formation.
Is the game 100 percent bug free? Of course not, but I did not find any show stoppers that would make me not want to play it again.
I had many hours of fun playing around with this game and believe that if you have grown tired of your current RTS or are just looking for something a little bit new, and really enjoy real time simulators, then you owe it to yourself to give Highland Warriors a try. It may not knock your socks off but it will provide you many hours of RTS fun with a few new ideas thrown into the mix. All in all well worth the investment and the 3 GiN gems I have given it!