Paradox InteractiveDeveloped By:
T (Teen)Release Date:
April 7, 2009Screenshots: LinkAmazon: Buy Now!Written By:
Christian H.March 10, 2009
- Elven Legacy is a sequel to Fantasy Wars, a 2007 turn-based strategy RPG developed by Ino-Co. I should probably note here that I never played Fantasy Wars. Indeed, I had never heard of Fantasy Wars until spending time with Elven Legacy and doing a little research of my own. As the name implies, Elven Legacy, like the similarly appropriately named Fantasy Wars, is set in your standard high fantasy setting. Humans, elves, orcs, and undead all compete with one-another using sword and sorcery. Somewhat unusual for a western fantasy setting, especially a European fantasy game, the aesthetic is actually quite colorful and vibrant. Elven Legacy reaches far into the ranks of high fantasy, concerning itself with battles between good and evil, order and chaos, and all that good stuff.
Like its predecessor, Elven Legacy is a turn-based strategy game. Like most games of the genre, any battle plays out like an elaborate game of chess. Each player takes turns moving their units across a grid-like map. The goal is to set up positions for the best tactical advantage, before unleashing an assault on enemy units. Elven Legacy doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel in any way. If you’re familiar with genre, especially western titles such as Heroes of Might and Magic, then you should feel right at home.
Unlike many of its peers, however, Elven Legacy does not concern itself with resource management or base-building. Elven Legacy is purely a tactical combat game with heavy RPG elements. There is a lot to consider when moving your units: their strength versus the enemy’s, the type of terrain they’re on, the type of attack they use, and the positions of your other units, as they can automatically provide support for one-another if positioned correctly. Your army is composed of regular units, such as various forms of infantry, archers, cavalry, and other, more interesting types such as air units and siege weapons, as well as hero units. As the name implies, hero units are characters central to the story, more powerful than regular units and possessing their own unique abilities and spells.
Both regular units and hero units gain experience as they battle and can gain new abilities as they level up. For heroes, these upgrades include passive bonuses to themselves and allies, as well as new active abilities, such as spells and skills. Regular unit upgrades are normally passive, and grant bonuses to skills, movement, attack, defense. etc. Sometimes these upgrades are conditional, such as an ability that grants archers a bonus to their attack if their under the cover of trees. These are by no means new features, but they do allow for a certain level of customization. The way you build your units determines the type of terrain you’ll seek out, the ways you’ll position them relative to each other, and how your heroes will be used (offensively, defensively, or for support).
Elven Legacy isn’t trying to accomplish anything brand new. The setting, mechanics, and genre conventions are all in place and should be instantly familiar to any veteran of strategy RPG. The ways in which you can customize your units, and therefore the way you approach the game, offers an extra layer of elaboration that fans of the genre should enjoy. Look for Elven Legacy this March.
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