The original Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders
combined the tactics and strategies found in RTS's with the white-knuckled action of a typical action game. While it was met with critical acclaim, the game never caught on with mainstream consumers, at least not in North America. (Crusaders
was a smash hit in Korea, outselling North American heavy-hitters like Halo 2
KUF: Heroes follows the same basis as the original. The "point" of the game is that you're not only taking part in massive, Dynasty Warrior styled battles, you're also calling all the shots by directing troop movements and pulling off other tactical feats while on the ground with your troops. The core of the game revolves around your generals and their armies, both of which can be upgraded through a Diablo-esque training tree. Each army is broken up into squads which have certain specializations. You have your archers, knights, pikemen and even a few magic-wielders. Squad-types are determined by the type of leader they're following and will feed off his/her experience. Powering up a ranged general will influence the archers under his command, and so on. Leaders can also learn special attacks, arm their followers with new weapons and even hire officers who can grant additional abilities to the squads their assigned to. Really, the system sounds complicated on paper and is much simpler once you get into the game.
Once you're past the tactical, RTS-like layer, the action part kicks in. Instead of witnessing the action from the vantage point above the action, you'll take control of one (or more, depending on the scenario) of your leaders as they jump into the thick of battle. Battles take place on massive maps and require you to scout around and plan out battles before entering the fray. You'll have to figure out where the best vantage points are, how to best use the terrain for cover or as an advantage in battle and how to best use your army to defeat your enemies.
The multiplayer aspects of KUF: The Crusaders were some of the best parts of the first game. KUF: Heroes expands on those elements by upping the number of players, thus offering larger scale battles, and including co-op games against A.I. controlled enemies. Leaders and squads are just as customizable online as they are off; so the more you play, the stronger your armies will grow. Online battles can either be laddered, which is a basic free-for-all, or limited by experience so younger armies aren't crushed by the older, more experienced ones.