On September 1st exactly, young RTS fans returned to school after a long hiatus to continue their studies. They will remember this day carefully also on the occasion of the release to the market Iron Harvesta, the long-awaited real-time strategy developed by KING Art Games in cooperation with the publisher – Deep Silver. As a word of introduction, it should be mentioned that the game is set in the 1920+ universe created by Polish artist Jakub Różalski, who presented an alternative version of European, 20th-century conflicts. Instead of infantry and specially qualified troops, mechs play the main role in the battles. Is it as huge and wonderful as the creators said? About it later in the review.
Iron Harvest offers a storyline of over 20 hours
The story campaign has been divided into 3 files. In each of them, we get to know the story from the perspective of a different faction. Initially, we play with Polans, then with Roswietas, and we end the story with the Saxons. There are 7 missions for each group, but at the very beginning of the review, it is worth noting that the action does not take place chronologically. This means that by following the history of Polans, i.e. most often controlling the young, brave Anna Kos, we deal with the antagonist, whom we get to know better only in his story, which takes place a few months / weeks before the events of the Polan campaign. The situation is similar with Saxony. In the end, it all comes together and, what’s more, is explained in depth with dialogue and cutscenes.
German developers have prepared many cut-scenes. In single player mode, we have exactly 21 missions, and each of them is preceded by a video introducing the task, as well as informing us what the characters have done in the past, and what their plans are for the future. With a beautiful visual setting, they certainly do not sin, but if we do not watch them, we will not understand the plot, in which not only the main characters play a huge role, but also those who are slightly sidelined. Some of them are silent mice, from whom we would not expect any reprehensible acts, and others are, for example, sly people who want to win a war by deception, or jokers trying to win something using their character. It is difficult to say something more about the plot here, avoiding spoilers. In a nutshell – it is good, and even very good for an RTS.
How did Polish voice actors perform? In my opinion, it was exceptionally good, because I played the entire production using Polish dubbing. I especially liked the voice of Anna Kos, the protagonist of the Polan campaign, as well as one who played a huge role, Roswiet. Of course, there were a few delinquents who read the walls of the text for the so-called “Punishment”, but there are certainly fewer of them than those who do it with pleasure.
When playing Iron Harvest, we can feel weary after some time
Completing missions in Iron Harvest Personally, it started to bore me after some time, and more precisely, at the 12th or 13th task. What was the biggest problem? During 3/4 missions, we have to fight enemies attacking from all sides to collect resources scattered around the map, take over iron mines and oil drilling rigs, and thus be able to expand our base, recruit soldiers and create armored mechs, all with the aim of taking over the enemy’s main base – there is simply no other option. This format will probably appeal to the most die-hard fans of real-time strategy, because you can spend even a few hours in one sequence with it, but as I mentioned above, after some time I was fed up with flying for raw materials to push the plot forward Forward. Of course, there are a few steps, such as sneaking, escorting civilians, but this is definitely not enough. I dare to say that if the characters were unremarkable, and the skeleton of the story itself would not interest me, I would probably put the production on the shelf while playing Roswies.
I just mentioned in my review the recruitment of armed forces. In the case of infantry, we are dealing here with ordinary soldiers without any skills, sappers who (using resources) can repair machines, pyromaniacs using flamethrowers, KM-creatures, taking machine guns that can cause great damage, or grenadiers who can at our request, they will pull an anti-tank grenade from their boot. The situation is similar with mechs, because some of them throw a volley of missiles at a given place, others breathe fire, the third attack in close combat, and still others have a huge amount of armor, resembling tanks. It is important to think about the exact units we need before each embarkation – the materials on the trees do not grow.
There can be even several dozen of allied units on the map, but I do not recommend zooming in on the cameras. Character models are of low quality, as are most wooded locations. The advantage, however, is their design, because it depends on us which path we will follow, and how we will distribute our soldiers on the map (e.g. we can flank enemies in different ways). There is no point in bullying the creators in terms of graphics, because this has never been a strong point of RTS.
How does Iron Harvest handle optimization?
On the technical side, it’s neither bad nor great here. The game has no crash, a delay, but I had one fatal error, which prevented me from continuing the campaign. More precisely, by completing a certain task, I couldn’t open the door to a location that I just had to enter. The reviewed reset did not help Iron Harvesta, computer, mission, as well as loading the previous save. The problem was fixed automatically after patch 1.0 for official release. It is very possible that my record caught, you could say, a temporary lag, because as technical support claimed, none of the reviewers reported such an error to the developers. Apart from him, I have not experienced any “errors” on such a scale.
How about optimization? As with errors – neither bad nor great. Iron Harvest it ran most often at 60 frames per second, but sometimes it did drop to 40-50 fps at different times, and probably the least often they “attacked” me in … cities. I had the impression that the locations I was approaching were already loading a few minutes before entering them, but as a sweetness I will say that it did not spoil the fun of the game, because the drops in liquidity did not last even three seconds.
Playing on the net is fun
The online mode offers as many as three variants of the game, and you could even say that and four, because the latter belongs to non-standard games in which we set the rules of the match ourselves. Except that We can choose between 1vs1, 2vs2 and 3vs3. In each of the examples, we come across a random map with extraction points scattered over them, which, after taking over, provide us with the raw materials needed to create new units.
The more players, the better, because the confrontations are then more phenomenal, there is often cooperation between companions, and perhaps most importantly, we have to share mineral warehouses with them. You have to remember not to give away all the materials for your base, because then our colleague will have to wait a few minutes to replenish the resources, which will be an ideal opportunity for opponents to take back all iron mines and oil drilling rigs. This also works the other way around.
Very good RTS, good game
The creators of the reviewed title have already mentioned that they intend to support the game after its premiere for a long period of time. The first confirmation of this is the recently announced free content, which will be added to the game over the next few weeks. We are talking about a map, ranking mode in multiplayer, or also a cooperation module aimed at people who want to get to know the campaign with friends.
By completing the review, Iron Harvest is a title that fans of real-time strategy must be familiar with (after completing the single player mode, you can spend hundreds of hours in multiplayer). The project of German developers has everything that RTS needs from flesh and blood, and also adds something from itself in the form of an interesting plot and cutscenes, introducing the audience to a given mission, as well as showing the main and supporting characters.
The game was reviewed on the equipment with the I5 8600K, GTX 1080, 16 GB RAM. The screenshots below are in 2560x1440p resolution.