Eador Masters of the Broken World Review: Deep Strategy and Demigods
Eador, Masters of the Broken World might just be one of the most ambitious games ever made. In my time with it, there was never a moment that I was not blown away by the game’s depth and the amount of content within it.
Fans of strategy games will feel right at home with Eador. Equal parts Heroes of Might and Magic and Civilization, those who have put time in with these games will be able to pick up and enjoy Eador immediately. Those who are new to the genre are in for a wonderful experience that they will not soon forget. Continue on for the full review.
Eador, Masters of the Broken World
8.5 out of 10 Buddhas
- Easily one of the most content filled games in recent memory
- Karma system allows for unparalleled depth in decision making
- Eight different endings encourage multiple playthroughs
- Strong writing
The Not so Awesome
- Animations are clunky and repetitive
- Inconsistent difficulty during some battles
- Stronghold building can be overwhelming
Buy or Pass: Eador is must buy for those looking for deep gameplay and grand strategy at an affordable price
Eador puts players in the role of a Demigod. After a short tutorial segment, you are thrown out into the universe in an attempt to seize control of The Astral. As the title suggests, the game’s world is very much broken. The universe has been shattered into shards, which function as capturable pieces of land that hold strategic advantages and resources as you battle against other Demigods during your quest.
Filled with political intrigue and difficult choices that shape the type of ruler you can be, Eador earns points in putting together a story that allows players to become immersed in it. While your quest for control of The Astral seems straightforward at first, the game’s karma system brings players deeper into the plot. Players are given the ability to shape the game’s world; challenging you to become whatever kind of ruler you want to be. Coupled with branching story arcs based off of your chosen alliances, Eador’s story allows for eight unique endings, each of which warrant an extra playthrough to see.
While Eador earns points in the story department, the gameplay is truly where it shines. At the start of the campaign, players are presented with a view of various shards, called The Astral View. Each shard is host to various resources that allow the player tactical advantages and strategic resources. Upon choosing a shard, the Demigod is presented with a strategic view of it, allowing the conquest to start.
Every shard is home to dozens of unique provinces. These provinces are inhabited by everything from barbarian tribes to Lizardmen. Each province is explorable, and upon doing so, players can find various locations and loot to benefit their quest. Every province that you claim brings resources to your cause, but not without a price. Provinces require careful management. Neglect one for too long and the player may run the risk of a revolution, causing you to take action. Capturing provinces and building them up allows the Demigod to gain footing on each shard. Utilizing each province’s resources ensures that when it comes time to battle the shards local lord, your hero and troops will be ready for the siege.
The hero units will feel similar to those with experience in the fantasy genre. From the Warrior who can tank tons of damage while decimating foes, to the Scout who can utilize his bow and traps to pick enemies off before they can reach him, to the Wizard whose offensive magic is unparalleled, to the Commander who leads the most troops into combat, players are able to use a hero that matches their preferred style. Each hero has unique skills and perks that can be leveled up, allowing you to tailor them to your heart’s content.
Your hero certainly won’t be able to win every battle without a little help from his friends in Eador. As your influence increases, so do the amounts of troops at your disposal. Your forces start out modest, but with patience (and gold), your hero will soon command masterful units to help in each battle.
Combat plays a huge role in Eador. Each battle will find your hero leading various troops into battle against your enemies on hex-based grids. Troop positioning is paramount when it comes to combat. Without carefully placing your troops, what seems like a simple battle can lead to your hero’s untimely end. Patience, planning, and preparedness are the three keys to victory.
Much of the ability to be prepared for difficult battles comes together in Eador’s incredibly in-depth stronghold building. Featuring dozens upon dozens of different structures to create, stronghold management can be overwhelming at first but is incredibly rewarding once you figure out its nuances. Each structure can provides various bonuses to your capital, from military units, to magical libraries; each structure allows your capital to grow ever stronger.
With so many elements melding together, Eador does have something of a learning curve. While the game’s tutorial stage does a great job of allowing players to get a grasp of the basic mechanics, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the campaign. The stronghold building elements in particular could be reworked so as to be a bit clearer to players.
Eador is a great looking game. Each hero and all of your military units are wonderfully designed. Their art direction never strays too far from traditional fantasy tropes, but this is for the better. While they might not be the most unique looking characters, they are instantly recognizable, making it easy for players to gauge which unit to select on a hectic battlefield a breeze.
The game’s environments are beautiful as well. The various battlefields look amazing and players will certainly find themselves stopping in combat to take in the scenery.
Sound design is one of Eador’s weaker categories. While sound is present throughout the game, it is particularly wonky in combat. There is a general discrepancy during attack animations. Sounds tend to trigger after the animation is finished and seeing one of your units drop dead before even hearing the clash of metal can really break the immersion the game’s other elements built up so well.
This issue aside, the overall sound design is enjoyable. While it is nothing to write home about, the game’s soundtrack is classic fantasy. Players will find themselves listening to a variety of songs that make them feel right at home in their stronghold.
Eador, Masters of the Broken World is sure to be one of 2013’s biggest sleeper hits. While playing through the campaign, there were numerous times when I had to remind myself that I was playing an indie game. Sure, there are certain areas that lack a little polish, but the level of depth presented outshines anything gamers have seen in recent years.
Overall, Eador is a wonderful fantasy adventure. It perfectly blends turn based strategy and world-building aspects, keeping the player engaged and invested in the campaign’s outcome. I give it 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas and strongly recommend Eador to both strategy veterans and those who are looking for a great game with lots of spirit to sink their teeth into.
*The Author recieved a review copy of Eador: Masters of the Broken World – which is available for the PC
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