War of the Roses wasn’t the easiest sell to the multiplayer-loving crowd. Featuring a setting ripped from England’s 15th Century tug-of-war between York and Lancaster for the Crown, the game lacked the kind of mainstream appeal of other online pursuits. Yet despite that hard to digest setting, the brilliance of this medieval brawler still shone through, thanks to an innovative direction-based melee combat system.
Paradox Interactive and Fatshark pretty much nailed the drama of medieval combat on their first try, with maps that accommodated jousting on horseback, sniping with finely aimed arrows and strafe ballet with mighty two-handed axes on maps supporting as many as 64 players. However, with that choice came a lack of depth as players could switch between archer, rider and warrior on every spawn. Battles became more about selecting the right class at the right time for the benefit of the team rather than perfecting a particular role, and this is a problem the sequel is sprinting head-on to eradicate.