How often have you read lately that real-time strategy games are dead? This phrase will probably hang out for fans of the genre. However, this statement cannot be called false, because over the years we have not necessarily been blessed with high-quality genre representatives. If you wanted to have fun with RTS games, you had to make do with remaster versions of older giants like Age of Empires 1 and 2 and the recently released Command & Conquer Remastered.
But here, too, things weren't always going well for the fans: The warcraft 3 reforged, which was initially much sought after, was literally torn apart by the player community. Empty promises and lack of content made the remaster of one of the most popular real-time strategy games a blunder for Blizzard.
A developer studio from Bremen is still vehemently opposing itself
of the once popular genre. The RTS game called Iron Harvest (buy now) was funded by Studio King Art Games through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for the German region with $ 1.5 million. In March, we already reported in detail in our preview of the Steam Game Festival demo about the real-time strategy cracker made in Germany, which is due to be released on September 1 for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Now, in addition to the existing Polania and Saxon Empire factions, we were allowed to exclusively refer to the third faction called Rusviet. We have carefully examined the party based on Russia for you.
The proud soldiers of Rusviet were known to us only as antagonists in the five campaign missions of the demo. The country, rich in natural resources and human labor, mostly acted as an aggressor against its neighboring country, Polania. Shaken by the great war and plagued by internal turmoil between the Tsarist house and revolutionaries, it starts renewed attacks on the neighboring state. In the campaign missions that have been playable so far, one learns that the units of Rusviet, led by Colonel Zubov, are looking for new technologies in order to have the upper hand in the event of the next major war. How do the supposedly evil Rusviets differ from the other factions?
Source: PC Games
When building the base, which is not too present in Iron Harvest anyway, the visual contrast between the parties is very low. The headquarters, barracks and workshop are so far the only functional buildings that can be built by all factions. Bunkers, sandbags and barbed wire fences can also be built at Rusviets to secure your own base. With regard to the infantry units, the three factions have so far played almost identically. At Rusviets we have the same selection of specialists such as grenadiers, engineers, MG and anti-armor units, flame throwers and paramedics. The base units, however, are equipped with powerful shotguns compared to their Polish and Saxon counterparts with their hunting rifles and submachine guns. These units are currently making short work of their counterparts: Here you would have to tweak the balancing. Other different units could be added before the release, but the differences are not significant at the time of the beta.
Definitely more important than the infantry units are the massive diesel punk mechs, which play an important role in warfare in the alternative universe of Iron Harvest. And yes: The unique selling point of the real-time strategy game also convinces the new faction. The six different 'Mechs, which each faction has, bring a great playful change to the very tactical gameplay. While the Mech of Polania is designed for mobility and the armor-like fortresses of the Saxon Empire are suitable for stationary siege, the strength of the Russian Mecha monsters lies in close combat. Most 'Mechs are equipped with weapons similar to blades and sickles. Here there are definitely positive differences that provide a lot of tactical depth in the battles.
The Rusviets arsenal does not only contain a deadly combat machine: As with the other factions, you have the choice between three light and heavy 'Mechs – most of them move with two legs. The Kolokol, for example (Russian for bell) shoots slow, but effective against larger groups, like crossbow bolts, explosive projectiles. The Ognivo works with flame throwers and is effective against infantry and buildings, but is easily vulnerable even from behind. The anti-mech unit Nagan fires a destructive cannon volley from its head.
Source: PC Games
The Nakovalnya, modeled on a cannon, can cause extensive damage with its mortar attack over long distances, but it has a long cooldown. The super-heavy Mech Gulay Gorod is literally a two-legged artillery fortress. Our favorite is the two-legged Serp. With two sickles on its arms, the colossus inflicts colossal damage on enemy 'Mechs and buildings – in style. A very unusual design, we think.
The light and heavy 'Mechs can be produced together in the workshop, but swallow a lot of resources. In addition, the workshop must be upgraded for the production of the heavy 'Mechs. A very expensive undertaking, which can probably only be carried out towards the end of a round. It's worth it all the more because the heavily armored units are usually enough to turn a hopeless battle.
In the beta version, the Mechs of the Rusviet faction have a similar problem to the base units with their shotguns: they feel too powerful. Compared to the mechs of the other parties, the newly added ones are simply far too effective. Not a particularly annoying point of criticism, but a little bit of balancing work is required before the complete package is released.
The country needs new heroes
Not only the Rusviet faction was new in our version. The first row of heroes from all parties was also playable for the first time. There is always an infantry and a 'Mech hero for each faction. We already knew Anna Kos and her uncle Lech from the campaign missions. The sniper goes into battle with her bear Wojtek, while Uncle Lech hops agile across the battlefield in his gorilla-like combat 'Mech.
Source: PC Games
We already knew Colonel Zubov from the campaign. As hero units, we can control his ship mech, including blades and rocket jump, for the first time. Olga Romanova, however, was not playable before. The infantry heroine can make herself invisible and do great damage to buildings with a detonator. Similar to Anna Kos, she also has an animal companion: the Siberian tiger Changa.
The Saxon empire does not go empty-handed in terms of hero technology. In the battles, we could choose from the heroes Gunter von Duisburg, who goes into battle with his wolf companions day and night, and a huge, four-legged 'Mech named Brunhilde.
The heroes are selected before the battle begins. You have a total of six reserve points at your disposal. Infantry heroes cost you one point, while mechanized heroes cost you two points. In addition, the reserves are divided into two waves. Mech heroes always fall into the second wave, which can only be called after you have bought the first with resources. In both reserve waves you have a total of three slots, which you can fill with infantry units, each one, and Mech units, each costing three points. At the right time, these reserves can either decide the fight for you, or avert an impending defeat. All in all, the heroes of all factions are very balanced – without unfair advantages.
Source: PC Games
Iron Harvest impresses with its unique setting. The World of 1920+, a retrofuturistic retelling after the First World War,
comes from the Fede
by the Polish artist Jakub Różalski. Although the gameplay, as noted in our first preview, is very similar to that of the Company of Heroes series, the mech battles are enough to make the title stand out from other genre greats. Graphically, Iron Harvest also has a lot to offer. The 'Mechs and the battle maps are extremely detailed. The fighting also runs extremely smoothly. It is only the balancing problems that have so far been noticed negatively. But since this is the beta, you can be confident that it will be optimized until the release.
Supports PC games – it only takes a minute. Thank you!
All readers receive news, articles, guides, videos and podcasts about their favorite games from us free of charge. So far we have financed this page through advertising and kept it as free as possible from clickbaits or paid items, but since COVID-19 this has become increasingly difficult. Many companies will cut or cut their advertising budgets for 2020. Budgets, which we unfortunately rely on if we want to continue offering PC games in the usual way free of charge in the future.
For this reason, we are now turning to you. You can support us as a PC games supporter so that we can continue to offer our content in the usual way for free without introducing a paywall or clickbait news á la "And you will not believe what happened then …" . Every contribution, large or small, is valuable.
A new star in the RTS sky that I can still experience it!
As the saying goes: better late than never. Iron Harvest has long been an offshoot of the RTS genre, which gives little cause for criticism. The setting is unique, the mech fights feel powerful and tactical at the same time, the campaign has potential and the title of the King Art Studios also impresses graphically. With the newly playable Rusviet faction, a further change joins the ranks of the parties. Of course, Iron Harvest is still plagued by smaller AI dropouts and balancing problems, but the beta is there to fix such minor things. I'm just really happy that I can say almost ten years after Starcraft 2: Finally a real-time strategy game again, which I also enjoy with its special setting. It will be interesting to see what the overall package will look like. My forecast: It will hit like the rocket salvos of the Nakovalnya.
The Nakovalnya can cause extensive damage over long distances. So you can really lure enemy troops into a trap with your own infantry! (Source: PC Games)
Also popular with PC game readers PCPS4XBO
Iron harvest: Video reveals many details about units of the Rusviet faction
Iron harvest: Strategy game demo for a limited time only
Iron harvest: Steampunk RTS in the preview
(*) We have marked affiliate links with an asterisk. We receive a small commission for a purchase via our link and can thus partially finance the free-of-charge website with this income. There are no costs for the user.