Historical warfare is something of a niche subject, but if you’re into it, then you’re probably going to be really into it. As such, if you’re a fan of the genre then you’re probably already familiar with Field of Glory 2: Medieval, a historically accurate turn-based strategy title from Slitherine set in Europe during the Middle Ages. With Slitherine’s incredible strategy pedigree on display, it’s been incredibly well-received by the strategy gaming community. Now we have Rise of the Swiss, a new DLC expansion that details the rise of Swiss armies’ use of long pikes weapons in warfare from the late 14th century. The question is, whether or not this particular expansion represents a great addition to the game overall.
Rise of the Swiss Is a Historical Treat
Rise of the Swiss, as we previously mentioned, details the rise in popularity of long pike weapons that was caused by various tricky engagements involving the Swiss army during the late 14th century. The result was that the percentage of long pikes being used in Swiss armies steadily increased, resulting in the long pike becoming the dominant weapon in Swiss armies by the end of the 15th century. How do I know this? Because one of the best features by far of this DLC is the way that the historical information is presented.
When you select the Rise of the Swiss campaign or one of the one-off battles, you’re given an insane amount of information that surrounds the events. The campaign contains broader information about the sweeping historical landscape, which is interesting enough, but each of the individual battles goes into more detail, covering not only the historical context of the battle but who originally won and what the outcome eventually led to. It gives a lot of narrative weight to everything that’s happening and makes the idea of changing history by forcing the losers to win much, much more appealing.
So, at the very least to a casual observer, Rise of the Swiss presents historical facts in an accurate fashion. However, the biggest question is whether the included content is interesting, well-made, and plentiful enough to represent a decent value to fans of the base game. On that last point, there’s certainly enough here to make it worth your time. There are 8 new historical battle scenarios, 4 full campaigns covering various different conflicts, 41 new army lists for quick battle mode, and a whole slew of updates and new units for the various factions peppered throughout the game.
Perfectly Crafted Combat
With that in mind, it all really comes down to how well-made the content in Rise of the Swiss actually is. Luckily, once again the devs have knocked it out of the park. The various battles included in the new campaigns are incredibly well put-together. Each battle gives you specific win conditions, as well as a lot of variety in different factors, such as having flanking units show up midway through a battle, or needing to keep certain units from fleeing. Not only does it keep you on your toes, but it also stops the battles from being dull, not that there was too much risk of that in the first place.
There’s also a decent ramping of difficulty across the board. Each campaign features an optional sliding-difficulty setting that ramps up the difficulty as you go through the various battles. Not that the difficulty needs ramping up unless you’re already a master of the game in the first place. Both the 4 campaigns and the various new historical battles can be quite challenging even on the easiest difficulty. If you’re already pretty decent at strategy games, I can imagine that this would be a welcome challenge for you, but if you’re a bit kack-handed with the genre then you might struggle at times. Still, on the plus side, it’s very simple to save your game and try something out and then load the game again if it goes wrong.
Rise of the Swiss – In Conclusion
Overall, Rise of the Swiss is a fantastic addition to Field of Glory 2: Medieval. It not only adds a huge amount of content to the base game for a great price, but it’s also well-made and packet with historical information that will keep anyone with even a passing interest in history completely glued to their screens during gameplay. Difficulty aside, if you’re looking for a game that brings both historical accuracy and a lot of challenge to the gameplay, then Rise of the Swiss is seriously worth your time and consideration.