I used to play Empire Earth a lot as a kid. From there, Cossacks 1 came to my knowledge, and I loved both games. Now, Cossacks 3 is upon us, and it´s an experience, a positive one at that. Why, you ask? Well, here are my thoughts on it. Cossacks 3 hits you with fairly intense battles, pretty graphics and a dynamic yet challenging director´s role right off the bat. Even for someone like me, who is not that good in multitasking and panics easily. I managed to get a hang of the necessary controls and hotkeys to control and command your troops and civilians in the matter of just 20 minutes or so (which I did by foot, across water or by steed).
Building actions, upgrades and meanings were strongly and distinctively established right from the start, leaving nothing to doubt. Booted with storytelling taking place in the early days of the Swedish kingdom, the tutorial(s) get full marks from this gamer. In general, the tutorials are split into ”Peace” and ”War” -parts instead of just a single mission, giving a much more accurate and in-depth explanation on the mechanics of the game than normal. ”Peace” focuses on economy control and balance, troop balance and rationing and the overall maintenance of your empire or city, whichever goes for you.
”War” on the other hand, gives rather detailed guides and advice on how to reach convincing and efficient military strength and its tips to the utilization of said military. That´s a definite pro in my book. It allows both veterans and amateurs of the genre to enter the game without a hitch. As a side note, the tutorial missions weren´t a total cakewalk, either. Even so, they were not frustrating. Because the tutorial is really well-made, I have to say.
Cossacks 3 have a total of five campaigns, each focusing on their own respectable time period all the way from the Ancient Rome to the British Empire´s battles, which gives you a brand-new world to conquer each time you enter a new campaign. Each campaign has five missions included, so the total of the game (including the tutorials) is 27 missions. All of which takes places in different scenarios and gradually getting harder and harder.
Regarding the difficulty of the game, there are four different ranks of difficulty that you can choose from: Normal, Hard, Very Hard or Impossible. From my firsthand experience, the difficulties do live up to their names. Nevertheless, I would still recommend ”Hard” for anyone mediocre at Cossacks or any other game in the same genre. The ”Impossible” difficulty is for your die-hard try hard strategist who has unconditional love towards the Cossacks franchise. Sure, you can give it a try, but don´t say that I didn´t warn you.
In the end, the difficulty levels are nicely balanced out and there´s enough challenge for anyone to thrive and excel at, allowing you to reach that lovely end screen that indicates your victory. Every difficulty provides its own challenge in various ways such as AI level, resources and their gain et cetera. A nice balance between different difficulty levels, without too much sporadic change: that´s another pro for Cossacks 3. Ultimately, Cossacks 3 takes you on one heck of a trip to replace commanders of grand armies and the kings of massive forces around the Earth during years already gone by. Glorious victory or bitter defeat: that`s up to you.
When you first enter the game, you will see the visuals of the game are quite nice. As there is a clear improvement from Cossacks 2. There are a lot more details added to pretty much everything, the animations have been improved and the overall atmosphere the game gives through visuals is better than Cossacks 2. Naturally, that should be expected, because Cossacks 3 is a brand-new game, after all. Furthermore, considering the gap between the two previous games in the Cossacks series (despite the given improvements that I just mentioned). I´m truly happy that the graphics and the gameplay weren’t outdated or half-broken. So tons of props to the developers for that.
As far as the options go. Cossacks 3 offers the average Joe`s amount of sliders and toggle options. Even so, none of it is unnecessary, and it´s still enough to get your perfect settings done. In other words, no matter if you play the game solo, online with friends or strangers. You should be ready for an intensive strategy gaming session of Cossacks 3 in no time!.
Cossacks 3 do have a multiplayer mode just as its predecessors did, and it´s intense army duke-outing up to six other players with the choice of six different terrains and six distinctive land types, modifiable resources and other starting conditions and game values throughout the gaming session. However, the options that you´re presented with and allowed to change aren´t that wide. There could be some more, which is a con in my eyes. Sure, it´s nothing much, but it´s a con nonetheless. The other con that I encountered is, of course the matchmaking in Cossacks. You have almost no guarantee to end up against people of your skill level, which can lead to dislikable games. That is nothing to get all worked up about though, since the match works on a drop in /out method.
The music in Cossacks 3 is fantastic. Whether it is in the heat of a choke hold battle or the casual equipment and city managing, the soundtrack of the game keeps you invested and focused on the task at hand. The composer, Yaroslav Odrin, did a fantastic job with the music. As the music is fitting and epic, just as it should be for an RTS like Cossacks. Nevertheless, please allow me to explain why the music is on point. As I was saying. The orchestral drums and vocals is booming in your ears just with the proper intensity for every single situation individually, and that´s both fitting and extremely satisfying to listen to. Well, that´s definitely a pro in my book at least.
In the end, Cossacks 3 is an enjoyable new addition to the RTS series ”Cossacks” and its sequel, ”Cossacks 2”. People feared that Cossacks 3 would continue the failed trend which Cossacks 2 started. Nevertheless, because from experience, I can say that Cossacks 3 does what it was expected to with good success. So pick up the game for yourself and start playing, because you will not be disappointed!
+ Simple and comprehensive controls.
+ Easy to get in and play despite the genre
– Multiplayer settings and matchmaking
– The general slow pacing of the game
Sound and music: 4/5
Replay value: 5/5
Cossacks 3 is with no doubt a huge improvement from Cossacks 2. So if you enjoyed that game, then you´re going to have a real blast with Cossacks 3.
Title: Cossacks 3
Developer: GSC Game World
Format: PC; Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS
Genre: Strategy /RTS
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 – 60Hz
Release date: 2016-09-20
Difficulty: Normal to Slamming your head against the wall constantly.
Spent time: +10 hours
Average grade internationally: 60.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 12+
Price: 19,90 Euro via Steam
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