• Legends of Eisenwald review

    Legends of Eisenwald review by Rick Moscatello
    New and Different and Meh


    Role playing games are a big genre, so it’s only natural to try to add something new to stand out from the pack. Legends of Eisenwald is a RPG that adds many elements of turn based strategy and adventure games. The end result is an interesting game that nevertheless fails to pull you in as a player. The disparate elements are merged together well enough, but a few design decisions ultimately make this a “play and forget about it” game.

    Your character; the game isn't full screen.

    The game starts in typical RPG style, as you pick your character. The general world is a low magic medieval Europe scenario, so your choices are knight, priest, or mystic. Magic is very minimal here, there’ll be no flashy fireballs, and most effects could easily be explained by morale. As characters gain levels, they improve abilities, but it’s fairly minor stuff. Similarly, you can play “dress up” with your characters in the tried-and-true paper doll style. Considering the low magic of the characters, there’s a curiously large and powerful array of magical trinkets available, although even your advanced characters will still have much non-magical gear.

    As complicated a battle as any...fighters in front, then archers and spellcasters.

    Next, you’re set loose in the world, or at least a province. Your first order of business is to put together an army. The army system is nothing fancy, you seldom control more than half a dozen characters, and the turn based tactical combat system is likewise simple enough: your melee fighters almost have no option but to attack the nearest enemy. That covers half your forces, and your archers and spellcasters, such as they are, will likewise have few realistic options. It’s a clean system, but your limited choices make it very clear to you when you are “doing it wrong” and must move back to another area. Most fights, you’ll either win, or lose (and reload) based on whether you are where you are supposed to be.

    The troops you recruit also gain experience and levels, but it’s pretty lean fare. You basically decide if you want archers or crossbowmen, swordsmen or spearmen, and past that there’s not much to do with them. It’s not particularly important, as a few levels still don’t matter nearly as much as having a large enough army in the first place.

    A castle. You want it!

    Your army size is primarily limited by the castles you control, and you’ll generally need a large army to complete the map. So, you go forth and figure out what puzzles and quests you need to solve to get control of a castle, or at least get the forces so you can conquer the castle. Seige warfare, like the tactical combat, is highly simplified. Basically all your troops take a bit of damage, and then you go off to the normal combat.

    Once your army is large enough, you can “solve” the main quest for the province. Then you go on to the next scenario, with a whole new province…and you lose your army, since you don’t own any castles in the new province. It’s this aspect of the game that makes it tough to enjoy the game—your reward for winning is to lose everything and start over. This issue, and the fact that most quests are solved in one of two ways: the particular solution, or “kill ‘em all,” make this more of an adventure game than a true RPG.

    Overall, Legends of Eisenwald is certainly playable and has interesting ideas. Years from now, perhaps a great game will owe its influences to Legends of Eisenwald, but if you’re not a connoisseur of games, this one has little to offer.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Legends of Eisenwald review started by Doom View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Kanati's Avatar
      Kanati -
      I figured it didn't matter about the title image because the rotator thing wasn't working right... so I just published it and lo and behold, it shows up in the rotator thing.