Vikings, Persians and Demons go to war in strategic side-scroller Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon

Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon brings Vikings, Persians and Demons together in an epic war for control of the perfect shawarma! Our side-scrolling strategy game has all the good stuff you’d want…

Single-player campaign

The single player campaign tells a story leading from the Viking homeland all the way to Persian deserts and the depths of the netherworld itself! On top of this 10-hour tale you can practice against the AI in skirmish battles and try for highscores in a series of hilarious mini-games, before taking on online opponents.

Split-screen and online multiplayer

Multiplayer support includes split-screen and online play, and a custom army builder feature which allows you to mix and match your favourite units, spells and structures from across the three factions. If you want to combine Viking berserkers with carpet-riding fakirs and demonic magic, go for it!

You can also skirmish or mini-game while waiting for an online match-up, then return to the skirmish after your multiplayer battle is complete.

The factions and how they play

We really wanted to emphasize differences between factions, from unit and spell variety to how they collect the mana for spell-casting.

For example, the Vikings generally rely on brute force, with tough but expensive units backed up by Freya’s Healing and Thor’s Lightning. They use valuable real-estate for putting up mana menhirs to generate more of the magical blue stuff, and they can summon snowstorms or call Thor’s hammer Mjolnir to smash into massed enemy ranks if lightning isn’t enough.

For beard-lovers there will be a free Viking Avatar Pack featuring both the Viking leader Redbeard and Gramps, whose beard is less huge but makes up for it with fetching tartan and a traditional tam o’ shanter cap. The other Viking representative in the pack is Helga, their faction hero unit in the game. This valkyrie is as skilled with her operatic singing as she is with that enormous hammer and will inspire friendly units to fight harder!

Other avatars that will be available on PlayStation Store will be from the Demon armies, who offer a mix of cunning and brute strength! Two demonic leaders, Sir Loyn and Miss Chief, are featured alongside the humble boggart Charles (boggarts are the demon workers in-game).

The fourth demon avatar is the sinister Necromancer, who raises the dead to fight again as spooky skeletons. We think the Demon units are great fun – particular favourites include explosive barrel riders and the enormous Troll hero, who can literally hurl friendly units over enemy defenses or hurry them into the fray!

Practising dark magic, the Demons can sacrifice their own units to suck mana directly from their health bars, leaving behind a skeleton to fight on (they also have a Crypt structure that pops out a stream of skeletons… you may be noticing something of a theme here)!

Their spells can explode corpses, transform their workers into cash stealing fighters, or summon kobold trappers who float above the battlefield waiting for enemies to catch and consume – fiendish!

The ancient Persian armies can hit hard and turn the tides of battle with stealthy Desert Stalkers and subtle magic with the ability to leap allies forward, bribe enemy units into switching sides, creating mirage doubles of units.

To generate more mana, the Persians can switch their Gold Mine to become a Mana Mine. This combines excellently with their hero unit – Phil the Genie, who can activate his wish-granting mode to halve spell costs and cooldowns!

How French comics inspired the game’s look

The art style for Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon was initially heavily inspired by French comics and traditional animation. Here at Ronimo we really love the specific way of drawing characters and finer hints of detail in the art of comic artists like Albert Uderzo (Asterix & Obelix), and we strived to emulate that in Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon.

A good example of this can be found when looking at the iconic berserker unit: compared to our previous game his lines now have a lot more variation in width to create the traditional “inked” feeling. Parts in shadow generally tend to have thicker lines, while parts that are in the light are a little thinner. Increased detail can be found in both the face and the detailing on the armour itself.

To contrast with this comic look we chose to have the backgrounds in a more painterly style reminiscent of traditional animated movies like Aladdin. It also contrasts nicely with the characters to make it easy for the player to see what’s relevant to the gameplay and what’s not.

We’ve also looked at older animations to guide our choices in where we would use outlines for and where we would keep the painted look.

The rule ‘only outline what moves/interacts with other objects’ was at first used as an incredibly strict guideline, but that lead to results that, in the eyes of the team, were not ideal.

A good example of this was an early iteration of the Viking base: only the tires were outlined (as the viking base is able to drive in certain parts of the game), and everything else was painted. This, however, caused the team while playtesting to feel a jarring visual disconnect between the two parts of this single structure.

Therefore, we revised our plan to the more liberal use of outlines in the game that you see right now.

To further reinforce the feeling of playing a game that looks and feels like a cartoon or a comic, we also put a lot of time in making the special FX feel like traditional animation. We did this by combining frame-to-frame animation and effects like particles and glows that our custom Ronitech engine takes care of.

We’re excited to show off Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon to the world and we hope everyone will have as much fun playing it as we’ve had making it!

With three powerful factions willing to go to any lengths for the perfect shawarma – the only thing certain is that there will be the battle of a lifetime! You can find out more on PlayStation Store when the game releases this Thursday, 8th November.

*may not actually protect you from trolls, but it does look cool…

The post Vikings, Persians and Demons go to war in strategic side-scroller Swords and Soldiers 2 Shawarmageddon appeared first on PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

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