Battle Stance: Human Campaign
Let me start right off by being honest: I don't usually play battle-themed or defense games. Nevertheless, I'm often willing to venture into the unknown and take on a new challenge. Besides, when the Call to Adventure is sounded, who can refuse? This is why Game Launch Project's Battle Stance: Human Campaign won me over. Brimming with attention to detail, artistic touches and many customizable options, this real time strategy fantasy game is designed to entice every ilk of casual gamer into medieval hero.
Proving once again you can never trust an orc, Battle Stance puts you in charge of dealing with a very nasty invasion that has resulted in enemy strongholds springing up all over your land. In each level, you'll have to balance defending your own home base with amassing enough army power to march across the map and rout the enemy fortress... easier said than done since you'll find yourself under almost constant attack. Enemies will swarm towards you, and you'll have to direct your troops to intercept them and keep your own castle safe, holding the line until you have enough manpower to push through and launch your own assaults. (A handy in-game tutorial goes over the finer points of troop management.) Training soldiers takes time and money, but when you get enough of the latter, you can spend it on a skill tree in game to provide big bonuses to your troops. If you're particularly powerful, you can even complete "quests" (essentially level restrictions and demands) that will give you a permanent bonus for the rest of the game.
Players can use the [WASD] keys to navigate while utilizing either keyboard shortcuts or clicking buttons to perform actions. If you prefer, select "mouse scroll" and the game becomes playable entirely via point-and-click. This customization makes the game accessible equally to seasoned real time strategy gamers and to the more casual, needing-a-quick-diversion-from-work type.
Analysis: Battle Stance: Human Campaign's features allow us learn-as-you-go-along types a lot of leeway. Personally, I'd be lost without that ability to go back and re-attempt failed quests. Perhaps there are seasoned pros who can master each chapter's quest without a second try, but I found some quests to be too impossible to complete given the initial resources. Fortunately, you are able to return after gaining some new fighting classes, towers and catapults to try again. The retread will be worth it; questing success means accumulating even more advantageous upgrades.
The gameplay itself can be a bit dry, but there are controls to increase speed up to five times the normal (which is going to be too slow for most) or to call on the next wave. Frankly, there were times I wished I could increase the speed to ten times the normal: aside from a variety of new resources and a different game map to explore, each chapter is much like the next. Battle Stance: Human Campaign furnishes players with more choices; "casual," "normal" and "hard." I stayed on "casual" the entire time and, as long as I patiently built up resources before venturing past base camp, being in no hurry and having no concern for meeting quest goals, I was ultimately able to reach victory and make my way through. Some would say that's neither the adventuresome nor proper way to play a defense game; for those sort, no doubt solid strategy, planning, and some quick maneuvering on the game field are essentials to tower survival.
As soon as Battle Stance: Human Campaign opens, operatic music rises up to pull you into the moment. Also helpful are sound effects that signal the next wave of enemies, the throes of battle and other key actions. While you can opt to turn the sound off, you'll probably want to use it as an alert to aid your battle tactics. Despite its drawbacks, with so many remarkable features such as the ability to upgrade, artistic graphics, climatic music and a multitude of customizations, Battle Stance: Human Campaign is worth a venture.