In an industry accustomed to rapid technological evolution, where apparently everything is called to premature obsolescence, it is a real risk to recycle a
formula of the past without making major changes. But it is the risk that GSC Games Worlds have assumed, that of bringing back to life a franchise of 15 years ago, maintaining almost intact the style of the time .
Graphics, controls, everything will immediately remind us of the strategy games of the late 90s and early millennium , a golden age for the genre where titles such as Age Of Empires, Anno 1602 or Rise of Nations marked the passage.
Conceived as a twist on the original title of the saga, Cossacks: European Wars, this Cossacks3 is dedicated to polishing that title as if time had not passed.
And yet the game does not suffer for it, because here all the emphasis is on the gameplay, and this is timeless.
The game offers us, as is normal in the genre, both the possibility of carrying out a series of predefined campaigns, and of generating a random map where we must compete against another or other powers on the map. In neither case will the title make things
easy for us, since the difficulty is from the first moment very high, with enemies that will not forgive even one (that in normal mode, since the game also allows us to select also difficult, very difficult or almost impossible, for those who dare).
Difficulty to novice test
To win the battles, it will not be enough to be the fastest to obtain resources and create units. The formation of combat and knowing how to face suitable units will make a difference, although once we enter into battle, a large numerical
superiority will be almost impossible to counter . And that is an important detail of the gameplay of this title: as long as we have resources, there is no limit to the size that can reach our population and army (up to 10,000 units).
This conditions a frantic gameplay, because it forces us to constantly produce new soldiers and facilities within our means if we do
not want the enemy to overtake us . In addition, the CPU is very unpredictable and at any moment we can find a surprise attack whether we are ready or not, so we will not have a moment of tranquility.
Luckily for those hurried situations, as long as we have gold to pay for them, we can get an immediate army of mercenaries .
We will also have a market where we can trade the resources that we have for others that we lack. And if we run out of gold, our own mercenaries will turn against us.
The mechanics are very simple. We start with villains with whom we build buildings, including a town hall. This will allow us, while we have food, to
create more villains with which to build more buildings or collect resources (wood, food, stones and mines). With these resources and villains, we
can also build facilities to recruit our soldiers and improve their skills, and with them protect or face our rivals.
While there is a wide variety of nations to choose from (Austria, France, England, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Prussia, Venice, Turkey and Algeria), the reality is that the playable differences between them are rather cosmetic, with
equivalent units and facilities that only differ in their external aspect. It is remarkable, however, that for their design they have not only bothered to copy the aesthetics of each culture, but they also reproduce real monuments of each one .
The controls are very simple and anyone who has had any previous contact with the genre will feel immediately comfortable . With clicks and dragging the mouse we will select our units, while with the right click on buildings, resources or enemies we will indicate where to go, and they will decide the appropriate action depending on the context (build, collect, fight …).
In the case of the troops, we can decide battalions and their formation, which will give us in principle a certain advantage over less organized troops, but in practice once they begin to attack the situation will become somewhat chaotic and uncontrollable.
Like the rest of the title, the online facet takes us back to the past , with servers where we can share a map against others up to seven players
and try to conquer their territories. We can create our own room and wait for other players to join (friends or not), as well as organize in teams (or not).