This preview is based off time spent with the PAX East 2015 build as well as the current early access build
Do you long for the days of old when strategy games actually took strategy? Do you miss the days of permadeath that could cost the life of your best character? Then Aterdux Entertainment’s Legends of Eisenwald is the game for you. Rather than going with a traditional high fantasy setting, Aterdux has gone with a renaissance esque setting with light supernatural elements. While you’ll find skeletons prowling the lands, there are no elves and dragons, etc.
Legends of Eisenwald plays a lot like classic games like Heroes of Might & Magic, mixed with newer titles such as King’s Bounty. The bulk of the game takes place on a giant overworld in which you explore cities and dungeons, and where you’ll buy new equipment, recruit party members, and engage in combat.
Combat plays out like traditional grid based strategy games. Your units will be appear in a small arena where you’ll take turns giving commands. While the various classes (archer, pikeman, knight, etc.) aren’t anything new, Eisenwald employs a rock, paper, scissor system that mixes things up. Combine this with the gear system and combat rarely gets old. You can equip your knight with a horse that allows him to move faster and plow through weaker units, but which also makes him more vulnerable to archers and pikeman. This works both ways and plays into the strategy element. You can prepare for a horse heavy fight by creating a defensive formation of pikeman with archers in back. You also have access to basic “spellcasters” who can heal allies and curse enemies.
While not in combat, you’ll explore towns where you can pickup quests, purchase and upgrade equipment or listen to rumors at the local tavern. You can also meet travelers and members of your kingdom on the road. In some cases, you’ll be able to recruit people you meet this way. Couple this with a day/night cycle and Eisenawald’s world feels like a living and breathing community.
Legends of Eisenwald aims to be the next big strategy game and is well on its way to becoming a genre classic. Those longing for a challenge should look no further. The game is currently aiming for release sometime this year on PC.
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