European Conqueror X Review

Coming just over a year since the release of Easytech and Circle Entertainment’s World Conqueror X on the Nintendo Switch, its sequel now cannonballs its way onto the hybrid system; bringing with it a whole host of refinements, extra features and a wealth of new content. Whereby the original focused solely on the events of the Second World War, European Conqueror X takes us back further into the past and brings us an historical lesson in the art of combat during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For the most part, the game focuses on the era of the Napoleonic Wars of Europe, but to add further appeal to a wider audience, as well as offer some variation in its style, we also get to become armchair generals during the American War of Independence and take part in a series of conflicts within the Canadian borders.

In terms of gameplay, European Conqueror X follows a similar template as its predecessor with turn-based combat over a series of mapped grids, general-boosting formations and the development of town and cities in order to fuel your war effort. The game also offers a similar level of depth and content, with an abundance of campaign levels and chapters, a challenge mode that tasks you with specific objectives and the all-powering conquest mode which offers a full-scale conflict and enough longevity to last a lifetime. However, this isn’t simply a carbon copy of World Conqueror X that is set within another era of history, as due to the nature of technologies and societal values of the time, brings a few new additions in the form more cavalry-based combat, royalty and national negotiations.

Whereby World Conqueror X contained a military might in mechanical warfare, European Conqueror X has a more boots on the ground feel to it with a bigger emphasis on foot soldiering, household cavalries and artillery, or cannon fodders. This brings with it a more rock, papers, scissors style of play that requires a more strategic level in how you deploy your armies. It also brings a greater emphasis on town or city structuring, as these can be developed in order to produce more powerful battalions on the battlefield. It runs on a similar idea as its predecessor, but contains more of a focus this time around due to a similarity of strengths within each opposing army. Everything feels more urgent this time around, especially within the confines of a smaller area of play than before, which may sound like a bad thing, but in reality brings a more claustrophobic feel to the skirmishes.

The campaign levels of the game take place over a variety of conflicts, each one containing numerous levels of singular battles that comprise the whole war. Battles such as Trafalgar, Waterloo and Leipzig are nicely represented here, allowing you to follow the course of history or change it in an alternative setting. The developers certainly haven’t held back on the sheer amount of levels or content available here; ensuring that this is a game that holds plenty of appeal in terms of length of its playtime. Each of the levels also brings with it a brief overview of the historical events and figures of the time, bringing an interesting way of learning the history of the time; although the battles themselves are rarely accurate depictions of the actual events.

To add to the staggering amount of campaign levels, the game also incorporates a series of special skirmishes that have been designed to test your tactical skills, with a series of objective-based battles that requires a full understanding of the game’s mechanics. However, its real appeal lies within its conquest mode, where you take leadership of a specific country of your choosing and declare all-out war in your quest for European domination. You can take the role of a European superpower with its wealth of options, or if you want a real challenge, take control of a lesser country with less resources and firepower to really prove your prowess on the battlefields of Napoleonic Europe.

Whatever mode you choose to play, European Conqueror X offers enough variation, content and depth to last a lifetime; making it a game that offers superb value for money of you’re a fan of turn-based, tactical warfare. Although there is an element of management within the city building, royal hierarchy and unit deployment, none of them ever feel over-complicated in their execution. Designed to promote an ease of access, all of these elements can be learnt over time until you have gained a full understanding of all their elements and executions of each of their mechanics. Use your resources, or royal influence to develop a city or town, and you can develop more powerful units to give you edge on the battlefield. You can also build defensive barriers for your armies and even large fortresses that can add further firepower with their defensive, as well as offensive capabilities.

There’s plenty of tactical scope within all of the elements of the game’s battles, from terrain advantages, or disadvantages to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual unit. It also contains a graphical representation that is nicely detailed with easily distinguishable units with the colourful depictions of army uniforms within the era. The red jackets of the English, or the blues of the French are instantly recognisable; a feature that is further boosted with the national flag of the units representation also clearly visible. In fact, due to the colourisation of uniforms, I found it much easier to distinguish unit types than the similarities of armies from the more modern era of World Conqueror X’s depictions.

Overall, European Conqueror X offers a similar experience to those that are familiar with the first game of the series. However, whether you’re a seasoned vet or a newcomer to the turn-based battlefields of the game, there’s enough instructional information and accessibility in its mechanics to make it an ideal entry point into its genre. Although it may seem complicated at first, at least in terms of development, all of its elements can be learnt with time, thus increasing the level of satisfaction that the game can offer over the long term. The historical information that revolves around each of the battles adds an interesting aspect to the game, even creating a touch of immersion as you command your troops to recreate the skirmishes, or even alter the course of history as we know it; albeit in a not particularly accurate representation. As far as turn-based, tactical warfare goes though, particularly on the Nintendo Switch, there’s simply nothing else within its library to match the scale and playability of either World Conqueror X, or this latest offering of European Conqueror X.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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European Conqueror X Review
  • Gameplay - 8/10
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  • Graphics - 8/10
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  • Sound - 8/10
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  • Replay Value - 8/10
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Overall
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Summary

European Conqueror X offers a turn-based and strategic insight into the battles of the Napoleonic Era.