The The iron harvest is getting closer and closer, because the full version of the real-time strategy game Iron Harvest will be launched in September. The date is easy to remember, because the Bremen-based studio King Art Games has chosen a nice marketing trick: If you place two points in the prominent year 1920, the year in which the story is set in the game's alternative historiography, you get 1.9 .20, the planned release date of Iron Harvest. In different phases of play, the fans were able to get to know three different factions: Polania, Rusviet and Saxony, but only in individual missions.

We were now allowed to try out the first three campaign chapters on the proud Saxon empire and tell you what to expect, which plot is told and which characters you will get to know there.







On the isometric battlefield, we have to be tactful so as not to be overrun by the enemy.



On the isometric battlefield, we have to be tactful so as not to be overrun by the enemy.

Source: PC Games




At Iron Harvest (buy now for € 79.99) it is a classic RTS with no frillsin the style of Company of Heroes and Co. In an isometric perspective, we as the commander lead an army of different military units into battle – in single player against the computer, in multiplayer against the armed forces of other players. A strategic map shows us important points and enemies in the immediate vicinity that we have to fight. To do this, we must skillfully use the individual abilities of our units to destroy the enemy. The surroundings can also be used for this: behind buildings, walls and trenches, our troops can protect themselves from enemy attacks by pulling them into cover with one click. Depending on the mission, we train new units in our military base that need resources such as oil and iron. We can collect these means of production on the map or mine them.

The Saxon parliamentary group, like the other parties, has very little base construction: There are only a few buildings that can be secured with the help of barbed wire, mines and other elements. As with all factions, the basic units of the infantry are identical.

Instead of panicking clicks, the battles challenge you with lots of tactics. You have to take good care of your units and you can't just burn them up, on the one hand because they require a lot of resources, on the other hand because they can gradually rise to different ranks: If you keep losing your men, you have to train new ones start again at the lowest level. Instead of impulsive attacks, strategy is required, especially in the Saxony campaign, because it is very difficult right from the start.

To lead the Saxons to victory in the campaign, we move through hostile, snowy maps and defend ourselves against the armies of Polania and Rusviet. In addition, we are given classic military tasks such as the conquest and subsequent defense of a base or a successful retreat to the base.







The exoskeleton unit 'Eisenhans' not only looks impressive, but is also equipped with powerful, long-range cannons.



The exoskeleton unit "Eisenhans" not only looks imposing, but is also equipped with powerful, long-range cannons.

Source: PC Games




The exoskeleton unit is particularly distinctive for the Saxon company. Although every faction has such a half-human-half-mech division, the infantry division Pkp 17 "Eisenhans" is particularly impressive and memorable in its gloomy design. It has a small troop size of just three soldiers and is relatively slow thanks to the heavy armor, but with its long-range, all-penetrating cannons it is a valuable weapon in combat. However, you shouldn't position them in the middle of the turmoil between nimble opponents.







'Grimmbart' is one of the 'Mechs of the Saxon empire who are consistently box-like in terms of design.



"Grimmbart" is one of the mechs of the Saxon empire who are consistently box-like when it comes to design.

Source: PC Games




In addition, of course, we also have special mech units at our disposal, which not only shine through their imposing, heroic names such as Grimbart, Erlkönig or Wotan. As with the machines of the Rusviets, we also have the choice between lightly armored, more agile representatives like the stepmother or mighty walking fortresses like the emperor. Depending on the tactics, we control more flexible, unprotected machines or heavy, slow tanks that are almost impenetrable. All Saxon Mechs have their names based on German fairy tales or Germanic mythology.







The impetuous Prince Wilhelm and the gloomy commander Gunter von Duisburg are the two dissimilar protagonists in the Saxony campaign.



The impetuous Prince Wilhelm and the gloomy commander Gunter von Duisburg are the two dissimilar protagonists in the Saxony campaign.

Source: PC Games




Iron Havest is more than just a wild tumult of war. If you are only looking for a nice pastime, you will probably not find it here, because the gloomy diesel punk world is anything but cheerful. Based on an idea by Polish artist Jakub Różalski, the game brings an alternative story to life in Europe after the First World War. The shattered nations fight a multitude of smaller conflicts with the help of giant 'Mechs and this war is filthy, which is also reflected in the narrative of Iron Harvest: The campaigns are atmospheric, their characters are profound and our murderous acts are often not without moral concerns. All of this is not always easy to digest and that is a good thing.

The Saxony campaign, which we have now been able to play, is similarly thoughtful. The faction is based on the German Empire in the last legs of the monarchy – a powerful people with ultra-modern industry, which after the World War is also marked by discontent and subversive thoughts.







The first look into the thoughts of Commandant Gunter von Duisburg reveals a gloomy, bloody war vision.



The first look into the thoughts of Commandant Gunter von Duisburg reveals a gloomy, bloody war vision.

Source: PC Games




At first glance, the history of the Saxons seems a little less emotional than that of the rebellious Polanians who want to defend their homeland in a dramatic battle. Nevertheless, the plot of the Saxon campaign appears mature, gloomy and political, especially thanks to its mysterious main character, the commandant Gunter von Duisburg. The aged war veteran is taciturn, has seen a lot and is difficult to understand. Even the first cutscene shows that the war has drawn him more than his expression reveals.







During a peaceful Christmas festival between Saxony and Rusviets, Prince Wilhelm suggests simply destroying the enemy from ambush.



During a peaceful Christmas festival between Saxony and Rusviets, Prince Wilhelm suggests simply destroying the enemy from ambush.

Source: PC Games




A counterweight to Gunter is the cocky young Prince Wilhelm, who gradually seems to rebel more and more against the commanding officer. The psychological stress of the war seems to be hard on the noble son and his methods become more and more impulsive and inhuman. The burgeoning conflict between the two men is already evident at the beginning of the Saxony campaign and suggests that it will be the central theme of the story. This political feud is told non-linearly and with large time jumps between the individual story sequences, which make it even clearer how much the prince, who was still euphoric at the beginning, changes step by step through the horrors of war.

Between fame, honor and Denglish







Prince Wilhelm's personal mech and Gunter's gigantic machine Brunhilde go into battle.



Prince Wilhelm's personal mech and Gunter's gigantic machine Brunhilde go into battle.

Source: PC Games




Like Ana and Lech Kos, the two controllable main characters in the Polania campaign, the Saxony campaign with Gunter and Prince Wilhelm offers us two unique characters with special skills on the battlefield. On the first three maps, however, the two do not appear as infantry units, but with their personal 'Mechs. Prince Wilhelm controls a somewhat more agile, metal colossus, while Gunter is in a huge tank named Brunhilde. While both have powerful guns, Brunhilde in particular has to be used tactically. Not only does the 'Mech roll over any infrastructure that is in its way – sometimes even the one that you actually wanted to use – it is also extremely slow and cumbersome. In return, Brunhilde can take and deal a lot of damage.







Gunter von Duisburg is increasingly dissatisfied with the methods of his emperor and increasingly turns his back on him.



Gunter von Duisburg is increasingly dissatisfied with the methods of his emperor and increasingly turns his back on him.

Source: PC Games




In contrast to the crude appearance of the Polania units, which, appropriately, always look as if they had been melted from old parts, the Saxon divisions are proud and imposing. That is exactly what can be seen as a slight deficiency compared to the other factions: the Saxons are the set masters, the cool clique, the rulers and therefore noble, but not necessarily personable.

In contrast to their lived arrogance is their somewhat clumsy English pronunciation with a German accent. The other parliamentary groups were also dubbed with a corresponding national accent.
The Denglish of the Saxon empire takes getting used to and sometimes almost makes you smile a little – a nice contrast to its perfection and a well-chosen quirk that takes away the perfection of the radiant men.
The narrated conflict between the commanding officer and the prince builds up tension. At first glance, as mentioned, the Saxon empire is boringly flawless, but there is far more slumbering beneath the surface.

After this first glimpse, we can be curious to see how the Saxony campaign will continue and what the whole game has to offer when it appears for the PC in a few weeks.

My opinion

Wow! I think this will be an absolute board!

Iron Harvest has left me speechless repeatedly and that is not so easy for me. So far it is not only an extremely tricky, tactically interesting RTS, but also a fantastic (anti) war game full of melancholy and bitter sarcasm. Actually, the war theme is not really my cup of tea, especially heroic tank battles. But thanks to its pictures, its soundtrack and the well-written lyrics, this game has always brought goose bumps on my skin or a sad smile on my face – it touched me. The Saxony campaign is in no way inferior to the others in terms of design and atmosphere, even if I still like Polania better. One often prefers the underdogs, and the main characters of the Saxons are both – presumably on purpose – not purely popular. The political conflict that is slowly building up, which is indicated in the first few chapters of the campaign, is really well done and makes you want more. In addition, the tough, tactical fights of the Saxony campaign, which you can puzzle over for hours, are convincing: This tough nut is the perfect food for genre veterans. Nevertheless, I find the agile main character of Polania more practical and I had more fun with play than, for example, Gunter von Duisburg in his Brunhilde, which you have to control at the beginning of the campaign. But that's a matter of taste and gripe at a very, very high level. Anyway, I can't wait for the finished game!

Read also Iron Harvest in the preview! "Src =" https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/237x133/2020/07/Iron_Harvest_Aufmacher-pc-games_b2teaser_1691.jpgPcPS4XBO

Iron Harvest: Preview of the Rusviet Group

The Rusviet faction of the real-time strategy game Iron Harvest was first of all playable for us. Our preview of the title made in Germany.

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