For The King II review: Refreshing royal turn-based fun
For The King II continues the thrilling story of Fahrul while trapped under the thumb of evil oppressors – but does it further the series to new TTRPG depths, or plunge itself into the shadow of its beloved predecessor?
Taking its gameplay inspiration from TTRPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, For The King II is a direct descendent of For The King and therefore has to be held in relatively high regard. The first game was a roaring success, expertly combining D&D mechanics with adventure Roguelike gameplay, while still managing to make something wholly unique.
While For The King II certainly encapsulates these genres and designs, the title has large shoes to fill. With the promise of larger multiplayer, and a focus on improving on its predecessor, it’s clear For The King II is an experience many won’t soon forget.
For The King II: Key Details
- Price: $24.99 | £19.99
- Developer: Curve Games / IronOak Games
- Release Date: November 2, 2023
- Platforms: PC
A truly superb sequel
For The King II kicks off its introduction by explaining the events of the first game, leaving all players with the same basic understanding of the overarching plotline. Thanks to a detailed tutorial that doesn’t inhibit your first adventure, the gameplay is easy to understand and allows you to begin playing tactically from an early stage.
Thankfully, much of the controls and gameplay are similar to For The King – but that doesn’t mean For The King II is just a repeat of its predecessor. In fact, this title manages to expertly build on the foundations already laid to craft something truly superb.
The introduction of a multitude of new classes, the addition of loadouts, some adorable companions, and the ability to explore with four characters instead of the traditional three produces a distinct aura of creativity and design, much like the TTRPGs it’s based upon. Despite the characters never really interacting with the world around them, it’s hard not to fall for them while in character creation, and fight to keep them alive, especially when your life-pool is drastically decreasing.
Missing a few elements
However, along with these new features, it’s hard to ignore the notion that For The King II is lacking in some key elements. While the overall game and its experience are enjoyable, some missing features felt much needed.
For example, an added feature has the ability to see the group’s stats or inventory when receiving items and loot. This way, you can know whether everyone has a Godsbeard before selecting who takes the item, or who’s best suited for the selected weapon. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always apply. When looting a weapon or piece of armor, the interface doesn’t let you compare, or work out who’s best for the armor. This leads to situation of just leaving many to take it and sort it out after.
Outside of loot, certain combat elements can feel rather frustrating, especially when they often mean life or death. Just like the original, your character gets the ability to use an action and a secondary, which can apply to movements. However, unlike the TTRPGs it’s inspired by, you can only perform these in a certain order, meaning you can’t hit the enemy and then move to a safer location. On top of this, the inability to position the team before a battle often felt frustrating and seemed like an obvious addition to a title that focuses on tactics and key positioning.
Multiplayer at heart
When it comes to those combat elements, and even exploration, it’s hard to deny that For The King II is a game that should be played with friends. While it does have a thrilling single-player experience, we found controlling four characters to sometimes feel a little tedious, both while trying to get to an objective and in a battle.
However, when switched over to multiplayer, the experience turned from great to superb. The process of adding friends and beginning that experience felt streamlined and simple. On top of this, once you enter the adventure, any tedious exploration feels quicker and the combat feels all the more tactical.
Ultimately, while there are a few elements that For The King II could improve on, this is still a wonderful game to enjoy with or without friends and proves that the TTRPG doesn’t always have to be distinctly on a tabletop.
The Verdict – 4/5
For The King II manages to expertly build on its predecessor, greatly improving combat, exploration, and cooperative features through added elements and a much cleaner UI. While single-player may suffer on occasion and certain elements can feel missing, For The King II is nothing short of an amazing title that will both cement itself into the minds of fans and cause its predecessor to hand over the limelight for good.