King's Bounty: Dark Side - Premium Edition Upgrade (pc game)
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Tales from the Dark Side
The King's Bounty series of fantasy strategy games has a long legacy, with the original release coming back in 1990 and with its many sequels, such as The Legend and Armored Princess, following over the next couple of decades. The games share similarities with the Heroes of Might and Magic series and have had a few ups and downs along the way but have earned plenty of followers and this latest installment just about manages to keep up the reputation. This one is similar to previous games, being a mix of exploration, combat, side quests and the usual things to be found in fantasy strategy adventures. Combat is turn-based, with a nice strategic element to it, but the main point of interest here is the focus of the bad guys for a change. Players get to choose between three evil characters, an orc, a vampire and a demoness, and follow their story as they struggle against the forces of light, facing extinction if they fail. The game adds in new locations to explore, some new companions, with different ones for each character, new quests and units and a handful of other additions to mix things up. Dark Side is a decidedly average entry in the franchise which is probably worth a look for fans but which is likely to leave most others a bit nonplussed. Visually, it has a fairly cartoony look to it, which seems at odds with its dark nature but the game is certainly attractive, with good environments and characters. The story is fairly compelling but the gameplay itself just doesn't seem to hold together too well. It's not terrible by any stretch, just far from being a classic.