Knights of Honor is a real time strategy game at heart but also offers some large scale empire management as you conquer Europe over the course of hours of strategic gameplay. With over 100 kingdoms to choose from there are many paths to total conquest on offer that each offer their own spin on game mechanics to play as or be worthy opponents instead.
Released in 2004 with a 2005 North American release players are set deep into the past with a Medieval Europe at your finger tips that is ripe for the taking. From the early centuries of this continent to the later centuries you’ll see the world shape around your decisions across this familiar historical time period. Including a large selection of locations which stretch from Ireland to Scandinavia and the tip of Africa you’ll fight over everything in between these corners of Europe.
Ultimately you’ll want to crown yourself as ruler over all of these lands although with no set time limit or obvious path forward how you reach this point is entirely up to players. With no set time limit and objective it’s easy for Knights of Honor to turn into a medieval Europe simulator as you manage your relationships with each province. While ultimately you’ll want to conquer them all the journey there can be a strategic joy.
The Europe that you’ll be conquering in Knights of Honor is split into various provinces which feature cities, farms and even monasteries for you to conquer. When you have control of a city you’ll also have room to erect buildings to boost the rural areas of your provinces for additional bonuses. Because each city has a limited amount of room for buildings it forces players to choose a strategy for each city as they simply can’t do everything.
These buildings and your military all derive from the three game resources which include money that is earned from taxes and trade for buildings and recruits, piety by converting provinces to your religion of choice and books that can educate your knights or the recently absorbed provinces to your kingdom. Second to these resources is the basics of food, hammers and peasants that are automatically generated by towns and limits what you can achieve with each although not a resource you can easily influence like the others.
This resource management combines perfectly with a level of grand strategy decisions and real time battles to ensure that every city sacking is strategic and feels more rewarding than similar strategy games. The most evident of these strategic decisions is the balance across military efforts and religious ones that you employ. With four different religions with their own unique mechanics it adds an extra element to your strategy depending on your religion. The Catholic Church for example can call a crusade on the non-Catholic kingdoms which grants powerful units to fight for your cause.
Trade is the final pillar of strategy you’ll have to master in Knights of Honor and is surprisingly deep once you look beyond the surface. This stems from the limited buildings that each province can build as previously noted which forces you to more actively seek trade to ensure that you can access everything you need for your strategy.
- Real time strategy and empire management combined as you fight over the entirety of Europe as one of many factions.
- Fight, trade and convert as part of your three pillar strategy with the freedom to decide on your ideal mixture.
- Unique city capturing and limited building space forces you to make tough decisions with each province.
- Four different religions add an extra level to the game with each having their own mechanics to consider.
- A classic of the RTS genre with a sequel released over a decade later.
Review Platform: PC