By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
I love strategy games. I enjoy planning, plotting, and outsmarting people, whether they are friends or computerized opponents. It is one of my greatest joys. However, strategy games take up far too much time, and I have so precious little of it. Sure, I love RTK13, Total War, games like that. But sometimes I want to sit down and spend maybe a half hour or less fighting someone online with my army. Or maybe just going through a story mode that won’t consume every waking moment I have. That’s where Crush Your Enemies comes into play. Vile Monarch are the creators, started through two people who met during the development of This War of Mine, a very horrific and serious game about the consequences of war. That’s heavy stuff. None of that stuff exists in Crush Your Enemies. It’s Conan plus Total War minus all the politicking and grandstanding. No poisoning people, bandying words for alliances. What do you do in Crush Your Enemies?
Read the title: CRUSH. YOUR. ENEMIES. You are Spartans, Barbarians, Badasses. Name a powerful fighting force, channel them, and get in there and kick their asses! That’s the goal! It’s part strategy game, part puzzle game, where you command a fighting force of. . . well, not particularly bright barbarians. That’s being kind though. They’re dumb as a bag of rocks. But they DO have power. The game starts off pretty simple, giving you stages to explain the lay of the land. You have groups of soldiers, peasants really, and they take over buildings so long as they stay there, “recruiting” troops into the force, up to 50, at least as far in as I am. But as long as at least one man is there, you can keep recruiting. The more you have there the better, but in a pinch you can leave one person there. There are a variety of buildings, and each of them has their own purposes. Whether it’s upgrading troops [Barbarian, Archer, et cetera], Siege Towers, or other buffs that you unlock through the story mode, there are always ways to win.
It’s not always going to be easy though. Post tutorial, this game takes the kids gloves off and gets in there, throwing hands with belligerence. Most of the time the enemy outnumbers you, has more buildings, more upgrades – though the divide of the stage is typically pretty even. That’s what makes this more than just an RTS. It’s more than real time strategy, it’s also a puzzle game. You have time to look over the map, figure out what your goals are, and where you’re going to move first. It’s not like it starts timing you until you say roll out. “Wait, times you?” you might ask. Some of the bonus objectives are set on a timer. “Win in x time,” et cetera. You don’t have to fulfill any of those, but the more the better! As long as you Crush Your Enemies, that’s the important thing. In the main story, there are castles to siege, but there are also villages which can be just as challenging to siege. What do you get from those? BEER. Glorious beer, the nectar of power for the barbarian hordes. The more you have the better. But what does it do? It allows you to power-up, so basically. . . beer is a currency. It’s the currency.
It’s also got cross-play! When I first started playing, I thought to myself that it felt like a mobile game in that you only use the left mouse click to play this game. That’s all you need. You drag and move units, click them with it, and can do everything in the game in that manner. That’s when I learned that it has a mobile release and that Steam users can play with people on mobile devices without hampering their experience. I can’t imagine someone playing on a magnificent pc wanting to play versus mobile phones, but it’s offered and that’s still pretty cool! So far, it’s been nothing but a delight to play, but I do have to say sometimes the story missions can be incredibly unfair. Like I said, they tend to have more troops and more buildings, but even if the buildings are even, I’ve had to redo stages over and over because I didn’t think it through enough or got overwhelmed by not putting out small, quick groups of troops to delay my opponent’s force.
But let’s go into some of that multiplayer content. You can play against friends, you can play a random map against a random person, or you can play something more concrete. If you’re going to play something specific, knowing what is on that map will help. Each map has its own clever or humorous name, and will have particular units/buildings on it. Before the stage starts however, you can pick items! You only get two of each that I’ve seen, and you can have three choices equipped and ready to roll. They all have their own ranges and abilities, like the “Jug of Hootch” to make your men drunk and angry, or the Hedgehog Mine, a devastating device that [I learned the hard way] explodes violently even if your forces step on it; I lost most of my army to it. I tend to place it in the most annoying places to stop people from going ham through it. However. . . you can just send a suicide squad of 1-5 soldiers at it.
There doesn’t seem to be ranked matches, and I don’t know if that’s going to happen. The only huge negative I’ve seen is that there isn’t much of a comeback factor. If you’re behind, whether it’s online or in the story, you’re pretty much behind forever. Unless you’re Sima Yi or something, it takes a real tactical genius to come back in Crush Your Enemies.
What Is Best In Life: Hearing the Lamentations of the Women!
All in all, Crush Your Enemies is so much fun! It’s simple, easy to get into and offers just the right amount of semi-addictiveness to let you play 2 stages to unwind every once in a while and still feel competent. It’s easy to play, hard to master. The language is raucous and vile at times, the jokes coarse and mean spirited. Lots of usage of “gobshite,” which makes me as an English Major giggle. It’s not beautiful or intricate, but it has quite a few interesting classes, and you have to really think about every stage and approach them in different ways. However, I was made aware there were not enough guttural grunts in this article. Would you like to hear more of the Bottom Tier team grunt and re-enact some of the catchy dialogue? Then tune into our video <here> and give it a listen!
+ You’re a Barbarian. No politics, no bullshit. Just action.
+ Hilarious dialogue, fantastic artwork.
+ Stages are well put together, requiring a large amount of thought, while also CRUSHING YOUR ENEMIES.
– Want to comeback? Then don’t get in a losing position.
– No help icons for anything [like items in PVP].
– Some of the stages feel grossly unfair.