15W - 21W
For The King 2 was provided by Curve Games for review. Thank you!
There's something amazing about finding solid online co-op games on PC. I fondly remember teaming up with my friends playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive together in competitive matches or sailing the ocean in Sea of Thieves, but For The King holds a particular spot in my heart. It was a unique blend of tabletop RPG and individual progression that combined to create an interactive experience that makes you rely on your companions. With For The King 2, I was extremely excited to continue those moments, and for the most part, I can with ease.
The gameplay loop largely remains the same from the previous game, which I am so glad they did. Developer IronOak Games hit the nail on the head with its original release, so releasing a more refined version of that game was a great move. Going through different campaigns, you will pick your team of 4, choosing their classes and customizing how they look, and go across a tabletop-esque world in one of 5 chapters that offer procedurally generated worlds. Taking control of each person on your team one at a time, you will travel to towns, take on quests, test your skills for loot, and take down enemies in turn-based battles.
Just like the previous release, the combat is addicting and enjoyable but adds more depth to it. While you do have your attacks and abilities, you also have new mechanics like positioning, taking cover, and primary/secondary actions. The accuracy and power of your attacks are still governed by your weapons and the roll chance you have. These are some nice additions, along with the UI overhaul, field actions, and updated visuals. I love how most actions, including movement and testing skills, are dictated by rolling chances and how every person has their own gold, inventory, equipment, abilities, and stats, all allowing each to act as an individual.
On top of that, we do have persistent upgrades that can unlock new classes, items, customization options, and more in the form of Lore Books. These are given to you during your adventures when you complete quests and you can use them in the main menu. I loved having these as it felt like I had a reason to go back into different adventures when I was sad about losing my beloved team.
For The King 2 is a fantastic game to play with friends, both online and offline, and it's fantastic. While it needs some compromises, it is playable and pleasant on the Steam Deck.
I was really hoping for the best with For The King 2, and when the settings are adjusted, it is a good time, but there are some compromises to get it to this point. The first is going to be framerate. No matter what the settings are, even on the lowest, it can't hit a consistent rate above 40. This is based on the map being zoomed all the way out, so it is an extreme case, but with the varying locations, I decided to optimize for this performance.
For the most part, graphical settings don't change the framerate or battery drain as much, but there are two or three that can change how much of a TDP limit we can have. So, with that in mind, I created two different groups of settings to use:
From playing, I found that Bloom and Ambient Occlusion had the most effect on how For the King 2 performed. So, turning both of those off and setting a 30 FPS limit allowed me to set a TDP limit of 8 to maximize my time with the game on a single charge and keep it visually appealing.
Now, we can actually play the game at full quality with 40 FPS, as long as there is no TDP limit and you don't zoom out of the map completely. If you do, you will see some slight drops, and there may be drops to 38-39 in some battles, but keep it zoomed in, and we will see a maximum battery drain of 21W while it sticks to 40. And yes, it looks as good as it can get!
While there are a lot of updates coming from IronOak, which is amazing, there are still some lingering problems. There are still a lot of areas with small text, and while you can increase the UI size, it doesn't change text in some spots. This includes elements in stores, stats at the bottom of the screen when in the overworld, and some text in battle. Hopefully, this is addressed in a patch, but it's a bit of an issue.
But the biggest area of concern is the controls. Using a controller/gamepad feels great when it works, but half the time, it was too hard to use. Navigating menus is difficult, going through shops made my cursor disappear, and I had to use the touchscreen to bring it back, and there was one moment when I couldn't move my characters at all, even when I had tiles selected. I had to restart the game to fix that one. Generally, I wouldn't recommend using a gamepad at all with this game, but it is playable if you stick with it and use the touchpad occasionally.
As for the settings, there is an Accessibility tab that includes a chat filter, language, and the UI scaling I previously mentioned. Other than that, you can toggle tutorials, camera edge scrolling, auto end turn, camera bobbing, Arachnophobia Mode (disable spiders), Action Camera intensity, change audio sliders, and turn off data sharing.
For the King 2 does support 16:10 resolutions, so there are no black bars, and it does have controller support (details on that above) and cloud saves.
For The King 2 takes the formula that made the prequel so great and refines it into a fantastic co-op tabletop experience. The turn-based combat, the story, and the procedurally generated worlds make for a ton of fun going back and forth into new adventures, while the Lore Books present a nice way to unlock new items and classes that can be used. It is playable on the Steam Deck, though using a controller isn't great half the time, but it is awesome regardless to be able to take it with me wherever I go. It just may need the touchscreen every now and then.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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For The King 2 is a fantastic follow up to the original game and refines the great formula they had before, but it isn't the easiest to play on Steam Deck.
No Forced Compatibility
Texture Quality: Dream
Shadow Quality: High
Antialiasing Type: SMAA
Ambient Occlusion: Off
Depth of Field: On
No Forced Compatibility
No Changes Needed!
Zooming out of map fully will bring framerate down slightly.
15W - 21W
75c - 80c
1.5 - 2 hours