I wasn’t really hyped about this game when I saw the announcement for the first time, but I was happy that we are finally getting one proper RTS game. Cossacks game series isn’t maybe so known in the gaming world, because there are few more better RTS game series, but Cossacks games were good and I expected they will do a good job with the new Cossacks 3.
Developer: GSC Game World
Publisher: GSC Game World
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release date: 20 Sep, 2016
Type: Single-player, Multi-player, Co-op
Cossacks 3 isn’t really a sequel to the previous games or a new part in the game series. Cossacks 3 is an official remake of the first Cossacks game, which makes me confused. Why? Well, the game is called Cossacks 3 and I thought it was a new installment in the game series, but I was wrong all the time. I know that people were asking developers why are they using mechanics of the first Cossacks 3 and I thought that they maybe want to mix up the old mechanics with the new RTS stuff. I have played all of the Cossacks games and it’s expansions, but I don’t remember them so well and because of that I don’t know how good was the decision to implement the old mechanics instead of researching and trying to do something new with the game series.
Cossacks 3 doesn’t offer anything new, since it is a remake. You have 5 historical campaign, each having at least 5 levels, you can train your skills in skirmish or as it’s been called in this game (random map). Of course we can’t forget about the multiplayer, which has a let’s say healthy playerbase (700-1000 average). There are total of 12 playable nations, some of them don’t exist anymore and some of them are still “alive”: Austria, France, England, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, Prussia, Venice, Turkey, Algeria. 70 units, 100 research and over 140 buildings are available in the game. These numbers are I guess same or a little bit different from the classic games, but I want to talk about some other numbers in this game.
Even though I am not happy with this game, generally speaking, there are some positive things about this game. First of all I am glad that GSC used the modern hardware to its maximum for the RTS genre. When this game was released originally, you were able to see a battle with maximum of 10 000 units on the screen, but that number was increased to 16 000 units, just seven days after the release of the game. That’s another positive thing about this game or should I say about the developers. They are very active, they released like 4-5 patches already, people are active too, because I’ve seen many threads on Steam game’s page and also on the official forum of the game. GSC is really doing a good job, maybe even a better one than when they were developing the game.
Graphically speaking, this game series has made a big step forward. It’s a beautiful 3D graphics, with nicely designed buildings and detailed too, units are looking good too and historical accurate. You always need to be careful when you are praising graphics in RTS genre, because it’s a top-down camera view and even though it’s a 3D game, mostly it looks like it’s a 2D and I don’t know when the graphics mattered in RTS genre, maybe only in the new generation of RTS. Last RTS game I have played was Ashes of the Singularity and the graphics in that game were amazing, animations too, new 64-bit engine made everything possible in that game. Cossacks 3 doesn’t have that kind of graphics or maybe engine capable of doing that, but then again it’s a remake and I think it wasn’t GSC intention to make an mind-blowing graphics and I think the main reason was, because the better graphics requires much better PC and when you want to develop game with ability of 10 000 and more units showing on one screen, I think the graphics are not the most important thing. GSC managed to mix the old game (mechanics) with the new graphics and ability that new modern hardware gives.
So what’s new in this remake? Not a lot I would say, beside the new graphics, ability to show more than 10 000 units, we really don’t have a lot of new things. Multiplayer was in previous games, but I’ve never played the MP in Cossacks, this is my first time. Since it has passed 11 years from last game (10, if you count the expansion), I thought that AI was improved. In first couple hours of playing I noticed that AI isn’t so great and I was playing on normal difficulty. I’ve noticed that sometimes when I select a bigger group of soldiers and order them to attack, some soldiers “refuse” to attack, they are just waiting for a new order, so I need to select them again and order them to attack again. Another problem with AI was with enemy’s AI. When I am attacking them in their fortress, some groups are also waiting. For example, I am attacking group of pikemen and other two groups of musketeers are just waiting, doing nothing, Another example is when I am using artrillery units, I can basically kill all the enemy army and they will not do a thing about it. You can come in front of them and shoot at them, but they will not move, most of the time. In some cases enemy units come and size my artillery units, but most of the times and in short: artillery units are OP in my opinion. Overall the AI of units and individuals is bad, they look stupid sometimes and it doesn’t matter I am playing on the normal. I hope GSC will fix/improve the AI in the future updates.
Although this is not a new game in the series (remake) and it doesn’t really bring anything new beside graphics and animations, the game is still fun in its way. With campaign, skirmish and multiplayer, you will have a lot of time to explore the game, have fun with it, frustrate. You’ll feel everything with this game. I can’t really recommend this to everyone, I would only recommend this one to the RTS fans. The game is very hardcore in my opinion. Single player campaigns are long and the game is slow-paced. Some units takes more than 40s to produce, even though you can increase the game speed by going to the game options or by pressing the + button, most of the times I had feeling that it takes too much time to build a big army, especially in missions where you play against two or more and when you add that slow pace, you get annoyed and not so motivated. Maybe I am playing the game in a wrong way, but I think since it is a remake and the game isn’t really adjusted to the modern gaming, I consider Cossacks 3 only playable and fun to the RTS fans and people who enjoyed the games from early 2000s.