Epic Wars 2

A Different World, a Different War

Epic War 2: The Sons of Destiny is the second archer-tower-defense type of game from the same company that brought you the first Epic War, Art Logic Games. Epic War 2 tells the story of three factions; Mankind, Elves, and Orcs; that waged war against each other. Unbeknown to them a fourth faction, the Shadows, is creeping up to take over all of them. When they discovered the fourth faction, the remaining survivors of the 3 factions banded together to fend off the Shadows. Your adventure begins just after this war.

Unlike its predecessor, Epic War 2 has a storyline. The story begins with the surviving Human Faction where you play as the King’s newly appointed general. As the game progresses, you find yourself on the side of the rebels and become their commander. You will encounter the other two surviving factions along your adventure. Towards the latter part of the game you will eventually learn the truth about what happened during the past war.

Gather the Hosts

You begin with the Mankind Faction. Clearing Chapters 1 to 8 will unlock the Elf Faction and clearing Chapter 1 to 12 will unlock the Orc Faction. You upgrade each faction separately. The faction you used will be the one gathering the Experience Points from the victory during their chapter. Each faction will have seven unique units and one unique Titan unit of their own. However, they all have the same three siege machines and some hidden units that you can unlock through hidden achievements in the game. These achievements are as simple as reading the instructions and credits, to somewhat challenging like fully upgrading all 3 factions. That Angel Soldier is so worth it, as she goes hand-in-hand with the Red Dragon.

Familiar Faces

You have a total of 17 units at your disposal: 7 unique units, 1 unique Titan unit, 3 Siege machines, and 6 hidden units. And yes, there is a healer unit for all the three factions. The seven faction-unique units are:

Mankind Faction: Squire, Human Archer, Cleric, Knight, Crossbowman, Wizard, and Paladin.

Elf Faction: Apprentice, Hunter, Healer, Assassin, Phantom Archer, Druid, and Protector.

Orc Faction: Goblin, Fighter, Orc Archer, Ogre, Troll, Totem, and Beast Rider.

The Titans are the most powerful units in your arsenal. They inflict massive melee damage that affects the area surrounding their attack. Despite it costing 9999 mana points, it is really worth it to summon one. The Mankind Faction’s Titan is the Arch Angel. For the Elf Faction it is the Forest Guardian; while the Orc Faction has the Cerberus. The three siege machines are the Catapult, Trebuchet, and the Cannon, which all factions share. The six hidden characters are as follows: Hobbit, Dwarf, Bomberman, Red Dragon, Devil, and Angel Soldier.

A lot of them are comeback characters from Epic War 1. It seems that only the Horned Centaur failed to show up in the game. Even Epic War 1’s Final Boss, The End, is back to challenge the player. If you managed to play Epic War 1 then you will know how to beat The End. But be ready for a big surprise once you reach the last boss of the game. The developer of the game really made us gasp and say: “Wait! What?!? The End is not the Final Boss?!?!”

Similarities and Differences

Epic War 2 is still the archer-tower-defense type of game that we all know and love; unlike other similar type of games; you have to turn the tide of war to win. You still need to summon minions to destroy the enemy tower since it is out of range from your arrow shots. Experience Points is still used to upgrade your base; and mana is still used for the training units.

There are some changes in the game that players need to know about. You now start with two arrows instead of one. Battle Fields are branched out to two; so you can take different paths to finish them. Usually the unlocked Battle Fields are 1 and 2 levels higher than the cleared ones so be careful. You can now cancel a battle through the Options Menu. There are now five structures that enhance your base: Castle, Tower, Barrack, Archery, and Academy. You can upgrade your arrow shots and unlock your units by upgrading the different structures. And also, even after you have to upgraded your structures in the Research Tab, you still have to upgrade it during battle in order to utilize them.

Controls of the Tower

In Epic War 1 mastering the shortcut keys is essential to having a smooth game play. With Epic War 2 it is not that important anymore. It is all thanks to the revolutionary Auto shot feature. Keystroke 0 (zero) will let you continuously shoot your normal and elemental arrows. Auto shot makes your game play much smoother. Pressing S while holding down the Alt key automatically shoots elemental arrows only. Z, X, C, V, B upgrades the Castle, Tower, Barracks, Archery, and Academy, respectively. 1 to 6 keys train the hidden units acquired through achievements. Q, W, E, R, T, Y, U keys train different units available through structure upgrades. While the I key trains the very powerful and tide-of-war-turning Titan unit, the H, J, K keys mobilize your siege machines.

Also, you will notice some similarities to the shortcut keys. You still adjust the trajectory of your aim using the up and down arrow keys. You scroll your view using the left and right arrow keys. A keystroke is still the Normal arrow fire, while the S key fires the elemental arrow. The mana upgrade was moved to the space bar key, which is used to activate your Special Attack. In Epic War 2 you get 3 Special Attacks: D key activates Super Arrow, while F and G keys activate Special Skill 1 (Meteor Rain) and Special Skill 2 (Holy Sword).

The Judgment

Once again, the developers have created a wonderful game. They have managed to maintain the core of the game while adding new features. And the nostalgia you get on seeing the comeback characters is a nice touch. It is quite nice to have a storyline behind the game. However, there are a lot of texts that take away the excitement of the action. But if you are after a good story, Epic War 2’s story is decent enough, provided you can tolerate some typographical and grammatical errors.

We do have some minor gripes about the game. The aiming system is too sensitive compared to Epic War 1. You can easily offshoot your intended target when adjusting your aim. The tilt of the Bow tends to be faster if you hold down the up or down arrow key for too long; so sometimes you need to tap it ever so lightly for precision aiming; it sometimes gets annoying aiming and just waiting for the enemy units to cross your line of fire if they managed to survive your volley.

Since we had the privilege to experience Epic War 1, we have mixed feelings towards removing friendly fire. It is a relief that you do not hit your units anymore. However, it also decreases the tactics factor as removing friendly fire allows the player to recklessly shoot anywhere without repercussions. On the other hand, we are thankful that there isn’t any friendly-fire because of the aiming issues mentioned before. Or else you will be killing half of your own units.

The game heavily lacks unit sound effects. 85% of the time all we hear during the game are the background music and the arrows hitting their targets. The benefit of this is that we can listen to the soundtrack better since the music is so beautiful. It really sets the mood as you shift from defender to the aggressor to releasing special units or Titans.

The Final Boss is fun and challenging. You will really need to be analytical and on your wits to defeat him. However, he is too harsh on his Ground Smash. Seems it gets triggered when there are ground troops, friends and foes alike. So this translates that there is only one viable strategy to defeat him. We will not divulge what it is; we will let you have the joy of figuring it out (though we gave hints throughout this review). If this is the intention of the developer then it means he wants you to play all factions and fully upgrade them. If not then we suggest they tweak the bug a bit. Even with the drawbacks, we still managed to enjoy both the story and the overall game. A score of 86/100 is well deserved for Art Logic Game's Epic War 2.