May 08, 2013

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Beta, A Preview of things to come


The path leading to this release hasn’t been the smoothest. Originally releasing in 2010 as Elemental: War of Magic. It was met with heavy storm of server and game problems. Then in 2012, Stardock reworked the game re-released it as Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, or simply Fallen Enchantress. Fallen Enchantress was a success, garnering many awards and completely wiping away the problems of the forebear.

So where does Legendary Heroes fit in? It is a stand-alone title that includes everything from Fallen Enchantress and includes new maps, heroes, and skills.

Purchase Breakdown for New and Old Fans:

  • First-time buyers can buy Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes for $39.99
  • But I bought Fallen Enchantress last year? You can buy Legendary Heroes at a discount for $19.99
  • What if I only own Elemental: War of Magic (purchased before November 2010)? You’ll get Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes FREE

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, like the games that came before it, is a 4X fantasy strategy game. The 4X’s are: explore, expand, exploit, and exterminateSimilar to their publishing brother, Sins of a Solar Empire, is a 4X strategy game is mixed with elements of Civilization and growing an empire based on heroes chosen from the creation of a new game.

Starting off, you as the hero and group of settlers are out to build a city. From there you’ll strengthen your forces and navigate the landscape to uncover more of the map. Encampments and random enemies lie in wait as you stumble upon them. Conflict is inevitable, and so battles can be fought manually or automatically via auto-resolve. Battle allows you to make the decisions, while Auto-Resolve uses your stats to determine an outcome at the roll of a dice behind the scenes, negating rendering the battle before you and moving things along. This goes on and on as you build fame for your champions and rank up. You’ll research technology and other items to advance your empire. If this all sounds familiar, it is, but is far more engrossing when magic is involved and seeing fights happen more intimately.

After playing many hours of the beta, the improvements to the game are very noticeable. The UI has been updated and goes beyond simple reorganization. They’ve revamped the entire interface to be less cumbersome and intimidating. The tutorial is as friendly as it gets and will teach you every basic you need to get started. After that, it’s just learning by playing where you’ll gain the intricacies. The graphics engine has received an update too, looking sharper and running better. The art style is soft with heavy strokes on the edges to give everything a pronounced look.

Creating your game is highly customizable. Bigger maps are now available to the game. Even on “Tiny”, you can zoom out to incredible distances for an impressive map view. When you zoom, it goes from 3D to a 2D cloth map. It’s a super neat effect that’ll likely keep you entertained longer than it should.

Heroes now have skill trees rather than randomly unlocking traits that were a lucky score or a damn inconvenience  The skill trees also follow more traditional RPG structure, and are easier to follow. In the world of Elemental, a place where magic exists, Fallen Enchantress seemed limited. Now, new spells and abilities have been added to combat and in the overworld. Heroes themselves can now be earned by increasing your fame.

Stardock isn’t afraid to hear the criticisms, take them, and turn it around to make it a better product. And that’s what they’ve done. The game is still in beta, so some bugs were still present such as the lack of being able to use boats on water maps and certain abilities. In just a few short weeks, they’ll likely be squashed and releasing the final product. Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is a progression of systems and challenges overcome, and is different every time you start a new game. While it isn’t possible to explore every bit of the game at this stage, there are many turns still ahead.

Buy here: