With years of successful development under their belt, it is safe to assume that the guys and girls at InnoGames understand the core essence of strategy gaming. After Tribal Wars, Grepolis and The West, they are currently working on a much anticipated new title, Tribal Wars 2. The browser game is currently in its closed beta. In order to give you a first preview of what to expect, we dove deep into medieval times and gave the free-to-play title a try. Will it wow us with its new features and prettier graphics or will it leave something to be desired? There’s only one way to find out: by joining the early testing phase ourselves, of course!
Same Old, Same Old with New Features
After logging into Tribal Wars 2 for the very first time, one thing is immediately clear: There is absolutely no doubt that this is Tribal Wars. We still construct and upgrade buildings, train an army of troops and keep an eye out for other players getting suspiciously close to our turf. We still get the same old real-time strategy feeling, but this time, everything looks much fancier.
Interacting with other players on a friendly basis is possible either via in-game messages or by joining a tribe, which is the best way to find like-minded players and collectively prepare for war between alliances. As per usual, collecting resources is the most vital thing about Tribal Wars 2. Without wood, clay and iron, we are nothing. A lengthy series of tutorial missions helps us understand more about how the strategy game works and what we can do to increase our standing within the browser universe.
After upgrading our Barracks a couple of times and investing precious materials into recruiting Spearmen, Axe Fighters and Mounted Archers, we're ready to head out into the wild.
What is there to do for us? Either attack barbarian villages or other players. We’re not too keen on making enemies quite that early, so we opt to take out savages. Looting their camps gives us bonus resources and helps our paladin (a special unit that leads our troops) level up the weapon he has equipped. Thankfully, Tribal Wars 2 gives us the opportunity to create presets, meaning that we can determine an army and use this pre-determined band of warriors every time we want to attack something. This saves us a lot of clicking and is definitely one of the many improvements over the first installment of InnoGames’ popular strategy browser franchise.
Healing Powers and Sneaky Rats
What else is new? Buildings. While we have to bid farewell to the Smithy, we can now add a hospital (to save fallen troops) and a tavern (to recruit spies) to our medieval kingdom. The new and improved spy feature is certainly a welcome addition to the world of Tribal Wars, as it adds a little bit of extra spice. Want to know more about another player before attacking? Then give espionage a try and see what your five sneaky little minions can find out on your behalf. Beware of getting your hands on some false information, though! Spies can be treacherous like that...
Early Pay-to-Win Troubles
Tribal Wars 2 is a browser game that is, of course, free-to-play. All we have to do in order to join the MMORTS is sign up an account and start playing. But what if we want to spend a little bit of real-life money on the game? Does that give us an unfair advantage? With how things currently are in closed beta, yes. This may sound a little bit exaggerated at first, but seeing what some of the premium perks promised us made us raise an eyebrow in surprise. Take the Grandmaster officer, for instance, which is a one-use-only item used before a battle that grants a 10% attack boost. This might not seem like much in the beginning, but can certainly make all the difference later on. See what else is currently available in the in-game Tribal Wars 2 shop for crowns:
■Resource Boosters (7 Days)
■Loot Protection (7 Days)
■Additional Build Queue Slots
■Attack Protection (3 Days)
It’s a bit unfortunate to see that not spending any money could lower our chances of winning battles against players that have chosen to stock up premium currency. We'll just have to see if InnoGames decides to add other ways for us to earn crowns, just so that we could keep up with paying players.
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