King Arthur: Legion IX Review

Written by Dinenae

Legion IX Cover

Set in the same dark fantasy universe as King Arthur: Knight’s Tale, this is the latest game from NeocoreGames. King Arthur: Legion IX is a turn-based tactical game mixed with a character-centric RPG. I had the opportunity to take a look. Let’s see if the Ninth Legion is good enough to rise from the dead or if they should stay fallen in Tartarus.

In this review, I am going to cover the following:


Gaius Julius Mento is a tribune of the undead Ninth Legion of Rome. He was tasked by their dead emperor, Septimus Sulla, to lead the legion out of Tartarus. Being no easy challenge, the legion ends up in the mythical land of Avalon instead. 

Gaius must navigate this new land full of monstrous nightmares and foreign tribes. His goal is to subjugate the land to form an Eternal Rome in Avalon. By the end of the story, will he claim Avalon for Emperor Sulla, or will he restore humanity? The choice is yours to decide. 


Like many strategy games, King Arthur: Legion IX has both a base-building element and a combat element. We will start off by talking about the different components of the base building. Then, we will talk about the adventure map with different types of missions. Lastly, we will wrap things up by going over the exploration and combat while on a mission.


To build Eternal Rome in Avalon, you must rebuild the city of Nova Roma. There are several locations within the city that you can assign your heroes to. Depending on the location, they might get a boost in stats for combat or even increase their loyalty towards their tribune, Gaius. 

Each location can also be upgraded. These upgrades cost both gold and building resources, which you will gather while on missions. You can also gather resources from dismantling any gear that your heroes are not using. Some of the locations include a merchant, where you can purchase gear for your heroes, and a blacksmith, where you can upgrade gear or dismantle it. There are also places like the Lararium and War Council where you can apply passives to the upcoming missions to better suit your tactics. 


There are six heroes in King Arthur: Legion IX. All with unique abilities and fighting styles. Each of the characters have their own personalities and wants. The demonic characters from Tartarus do not always get along with the more humane heroes from Avalon. Some might not even go on missions if a particular character is also going. It is your job to decide if you want to keep the piece or pick a side to lean more heavily towards. 


Gear is very important in King Arthur: Legion IX. In between missions, you will be able to view the gear that you collected and equip it for your heroes. There are four different types of gear. These are weapons, armor, items, and consumables. Other than the consumables, the gear is class-specific. However, they typically have two or three classes that can use a particular piece. 

The higher-level gear is where things really start to get interesting. Not only does it provide a big boost to health or damage, but it also starts to have unique attributes that apply to specific characters. There is gear that can make certain abilities free to use in combat. There are also pieces of gear that give the hero a special ability while wearing that gear. One of my favorites is rat traps that I can throw all over the battlefield to slow my enemies down. 


Aside from equipping gear between missions, you will also want to level up your characters. There are no experience points to keep track of. Heroes level at a rate of once per mission. Upon leveling, most heroes are awarded 2 skill points to either unlock new skills or upgrade their existing ones.

Each hero has six active skills, nine passive skills, and an ultimate ability. None of which feel overlapping with other characters. Each character has a different fighting style that makes them stand out from the rest. Their specialized abilities really show what they are best at and how to use them most effectively in battle. 

Gaius likes to boost up his damage and rush into battle to do maximum damage on the first hit. Octavius carries a large shield and prefers to have his enemies come to him while he taunts and counterattacks. Plutonius, on the other hand, prefers to weaken the enemies from the back line, making it easier for his allies to end the combat quickly. Those are just a couple of examples, though. I’ll let you discover the others. 


Once you are done upgrading the city and leveling your characters, it is time for the next battle. The map view in King Arthur: Legion IX is where you will go to select the next mission. You can see all the different locations from this view, but they are not selectable unless there is a mission there. 

Each mission will show you the recommended level to go there. It will also give you a summary of the mission, as well as, the expected enemy type and the rewards. It is possible to complete a mission at a higher level, but with one mission at each level and your heroes leveling after each mission, there isn’t really a point to skip ahead. Especially if you are just going to go back to that lower-level mission anyway. 


Once you have selected the mission for your heroes, it is time to start exploring. The exploration portion of a mission is in real-time. The map on each mission is not very big, so it would behoove you to take the time to explore all of it. There are various things that you can find while walking around each map. 

Some of these things include treasure (gear and gold), shrines, and camps. The shrines are most helpful if they are found early, as they provide one of your characters with a stat boost until the end of the mission. The camps, on the other hand, are going to be helpful after a tough fight. Camps allow your heroes to all heal up or fix their armor. 

One other thing you might want to consider while exploring is the formation of your heroes. There are six different formations to choose from. You don’t want to walk into a battle unprepared, so it is usually best to make sure your team is in the formation you want before you start exploring. Or at least before you jump into combat. 

Another benefit to exploring is gaining a tactical advantage before the next combat starts. If you took the time to explore the map as much as possible before engaging the enemy, you might find that you can start the engagement from an angle that the opponent was not expecting. This means you might be able to come in from behind or even force the enemy through a choke point.   


Once combat begins, you will notice that it is on a grid-type system. Instead of an initiative-based timeline, you will move all of your heroes before all of the enemy units move. Each character has a set amount of action points (AP) and movement points (MP). MP can, of course, only be used for movement. AP, on the other hand, can be used to activate abilities or movement. The game does a good job of using movement points first before taking from the action point pool. 

For your melee-focused heroes, you are mostly going to run in weapons swinging to engage and probably not move much until those enemies are gone. For your ranged heroes though, getting the right angle for line of sight at a distance is key. So, if you have a wall of your melee units in the front of the line, it might be hard to get in a shot. Luckily, King Arthur: Legion IX allows you to move and attack in an order. Even move, shoot, move. Which Is a nice feature that I wish more games had.

The ability to use your AP and MP in any order can allow for some great flexibility in combat. There are also important things, like facing attacks of opportunity, that can really affect the course of battle. There are two lines of defense before a character loses health. The attacker has to get through the armor and through a unit’s block. Block can be bypassed, though, if your hero can get around behind the enemy to perform a backstab. Be careful, though, because the enemy will look for any opportunity to do the same to you. 

An attack of opportunity is also a nice strategic way of locking down those slipper-range opponents. Even if they are too far to hit this turn, you can still use your MP and AP to run across the map and engage. Once your hero is in melee range, the enemy can’t get away without giving you a free attack. Don’t forget that the enemy can do the same when you are trying to reposition one of your units. 

Once you unlock each character’s ultimate ability, it can make for some very fun encounters. There is an interesting twist, though. Ultimates have to be built up by defeating enemies and gathering souls. On top of that, the pool for souls is shared between all your units. That means you have to choose wisely whose ability you are going to use because you probably won’t get more than one-off per encounter. 


So, with all that being said, does the Ninth Legion in King Arthur: Legion IX deserve to rise up from Tarturas? I certainly think so. If you are a fan of the first game, King Arthur: Knight’s Tale, then I am sure you are happy to see the developers made another game in the same dark universe. If you have never played the first one, don’t be afraid to jump into the universe with this game. Play the other one later if you want.

There weren’t a whole lot of things that I could find to complain about. I think the biggest thing that kind of stood out as odd was the fact that the voice of Gaius Julius Mento during the game was not the same as the voice in the opening cinematic. That was kind of off-putting for me. Gaius sounds a lot more metallic in the game. I actually thought there was something wrong with my audio during the first mission. Other than that, the voice acting was really good.

The only other thing that might be a downfall for some people is the fact that the game is so linear. Now, I’m not saying that every game has to be open-world. However, as I mentioned in the map section, there is only one mission per level and every level after each mission. Even if there are multiple missions available at one time. There really is no point in doing them out of order. That just feels a little limiting to me. Almost like there is no point to having more than one unlocked at a time. 

With only two things to complain about, I would say there really isn’t any reason not to check this one out. If you are a fan of turn-based tactical games or RPGs, then I would say this is going to be a good one to dive into. I really enjoyed the setting and the combat. Hopefully, this review will help you decide whether the game is right for you. The game is available on their Steam game here.

A review key was kindly provided by the developers at NeocoreGames.


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I love spending my free time playing turn-based games and discussing them with people. I find a lot of joy in talking to indie devs and getting excited about their projects with them. I'm looking forward to discovering the next big turn-based game.