Swords & Soldiers HD hit the Wii U’s eShop earlier this week. After being on the original Wii, 3DS, and Steam, the game has finally made its transition to Nintendo’s newest console. While I am a big fan of the series so far, I am eagerly awaiting the release of Swords & Soldiers II coming out sometime this year; for the time being, I will quench my beer drinking RTS fights with the HD remake. So lets start ATTACKING this review of the HD counterpart of Swords & Soldiers.
If you still haven’t played Swords & Soldiers yet (you are a bad person), you’ll probably want to know that the game surrounds three different factions. They are the Vikings, who are looking to make the ultimate BBQ sauce, the Aztecs, who are trying to protect the Giant Chili, and the Chinese, who are trying to create the perfect toy. As funny as the premise of the story is, strategy is of the utmost importance. Every faction plays with a different style with a variety of units and spells, so you have to make sure you’re able to counter your foe’s infantry with what is best suited for the task. Collecting gold is your main source of currency, so make sure to have a bunch of units available to collect it so your cash flow doesn’t slow down your production.
While this game is considered a RTS, it still brings a fun twist to the genre. Instead of being your traditional RTS where you build bases and units, Swords & Soldiers is a 2D side-scrolling tug-of-war match in which the first one to destroy the enemy’s base is victorious. You shouldn’t have a problem with the campaign as it’s only 30 missions and 10 per faction. The mission objectives are simple and the enemies become easy to overwhelm, so you shouldn’t have any problems conquering your foes.
While the gameplay mechanics work exactly the same is they do on the other platforms, the Wii U version makes use of the GamePad’s functionality, where instead of using the Wii Remotes to click and point, you can simply use the touch screen to go at your tech tree or click to get new units. With the GamePad’s uses, the flow of the game feels a lot quicker and organising your units is a much more simple task. The GamePad was used very well in this port; its response time is solid and there are no gimmicks behind it – it’s just a simple delight to use.
The game shows off its polish with the much-needed improvements from its predecessor. The character models look a lot better and the backgrounds also look top-notch. What really brings the experience together is the humor that comes with Swords & Soldiers. It never takes itself seriously with all its quirky dialog and stereotypical portrayal for each faction. The humor is never really forced and I always cracked a smile whenever someone would say “ATTTACCKK!!!”, Swords & Soldiers trademark speech.
While the game is only $2.99, the game still misses its DLC. Super Saucy Sausage Fest not being included from the start is a little disappointing, to say the least. Another feature that isn’t found on the Wii U version is the online multiplayer – instead, you’re only given the option of playing locally with a friend. The local multiplayer is always fun, but I feel that there should have been online. Let’s face it – who wants to come over and play Swords & Soldiers at somebody else’s house when the PC version offers the same experience from the comfort of your own home? With all of this, the value for the game is still there – you get the same experience the original game brought on the Wii.
Swords & Soldiers HD has always been a treat for anybody who likes a good old-fashioned RTS. No matter if it is on the Wii, Steam, or the Wii U, the experience is still as good as the next. The GamePad really is the main factor that propels the HD version, as it brings out the best controls for the game. While the game has all the original content from its predecessors, the lack of DLC is a little disappointing, and no online support is a bit of a downer as well. With the game starting at $2.99 on the eShop though, there isn’t any room to complain – you still get a great game at a steal.
This review is based on Swords & Soldiers HD for the Wii U eShop.