RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Friday, 21 June 2013

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes

Fallen Enchantress brings the city expansion mechanics from Civilization and influences it in another direction with hefty RPG elements. When a tried and tested game is taken and built upon in the correct way, it can either be worse or better than the original. In the case of Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, it's arguably a definitive improvement on Civ.

If you don't want to create your own hero, there's a pool to select from.

This is a title that makes you want to clear you schedule for several days; just so you can play campaign after campaign. In my opinion it's a strategy masterpiece, once again proving that the smaller and more driven gaming companies are more reliable at producing top tier video games. I must admit I have an affinity for strategy games with a strong RPG components. Being able to build your own kingdom or empire from scratch is a feature that everyone enjoys.

Early on it's good to try and field a couple of armies to search the map.

Turn based strategy games are uniquely qualified to perform admirably in tandem with roleplaying games. Fallen Enchantress allows you to create your own faction by selecting perks, colors, and banners for your armies and cities. After that, you can customize your main character with weapons, stat bonuses, magical talents among other choices. With a comprehensive and satisfying list of options when beginning your campaign, your army feels like it actually belongs to you. It's what makes this game special. Instead of starting as a predetermined country or race like most strategy games, it feels pretty damn glorious to see your handmade empire conquering cities and wiping out enemies.

Autobattle is really unreliable.

After restarting several campaigns I got to grips with the general rules of play. You begin the game with your commander and a small army. From turn one it's important to explore the map to grab valuable resources and upgrades. You can also take out some of the weaker neutral armies on the map, or complete quests to gather experience and a reward. Early on the map is a very inhospitable place. There are countless dangerous enemies that will get you wiped out. At the same time it's also important to establish your city and choose a strategic approach to how you want to build it. I found that on the higher difficulties it was vital to create pioneers and create several well placed cities early on.  Although your biggest problem at the start is the gigantic lands filled with dangerous monsters, other factions will quickly get in your way and try to cut off your expansion.

There aren't that many important nodes to tap into on the map, but they are useful.

Legendary Heroes is an addictive game. Once you get rolling and attract a few heroes to your cause, it becomes a debate on whether you should play defensive and rush your research, or pump out armies to take control of the best resources to get ahead. Leveling up your basic soldiers is difficult when they die so quickly but very rewarding. It's a shame that the auto-battle feature is pretty awful, it doesn't try to keep your units alive. So even when you have a superior force, you usually have to resolve the conflicts personally to prevent losses. They don't take too long but they can get pretty boring.

Out of the many strategy games I've tried, I find Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes one of the forerunners. Up there with titles like Shogun 2 and Warband. From the frantic early game to the empowering endgame it's addictive and enjoyable. It's a shame that it lags pretty harshly between turns and lacks much needed polish. Here's hoping that the sequel steps it up a notch and brings us something for the hall of fame.

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