Armchair tacticians everywhere should break out the pointy ears. The ranger, Cornelius, comes to the realms of Elven Legacy.
Elven Legacy: Ranger is the first of three expansion packs that are planned for Paradox Interactive’s turn-based strategy title, Elven Legacy. The three expansions are planned to be released in quick succession and will add a huge amount of extra content to the game.
Firstly, a little about the original Elven Legacy game. Released earlier this year, Elven Legacy is, as you would imagine, based in a high fantasy setting. The game is a turn-based strategic affair, whereby the player is charged with moving units around a map, with different objectives. These objectives mostly revolve around trying to reach a certain position on the map. The map is divided up into hexagons for the purposes of movement and battle. Melee units can attack units in the adjacent hexagons, ranged units do not have to be adjacent, but have a fixed limit. The player will take it in turns with the enemy AI to move, fight or cast magic.
As the player works through the campaign, their units will be able to learn skills that will improve them in combat,giving variety to the basic troop types. Each mission has a set goal, with three increments of success. These goals are to complete the given mission in a set number of turns, with gold, silver and bronze awarded for hitting these goals. Failure to finish in the bronze time frame, however, means restarting the mission again.
Elven Legacy is a very tactical game, with a high level of difficulty. This level of challenge, and the frustration that comes with having to restart missions, is perhaps the games biggest flaw. The game starts relatively simply, but soon it becomes apparent that your elven forces are fighting an uphill battle, being out numbered and out equipped in almost every mission.
Elven Legacy is a great looking turn-based strategy that will serve to entertain fans of the genre, but may be too difficult for newcomers.
Elven Legacy: Ranger, and the two upcoming expansions, Siege and Magic, strive to add new content and expand the Elven Legacy game. This expansion brings a new and engrossing storyline for the player to work through.
The story is as follows. The Order of Marcus, long dormant in its isolation, is expanding. The renowned ranger Cornelius, armed with his spear and trained in the arts of subterfuge, has been tasked with preparing the world of Illis for the coming of the order. Included in the expansion are 16 new missions, 3 new heroes, 5 unique artifacts and 12 new spells.
In a first for the series, the ranger Cornelius is armed with a holy spear that grants him a special ability. Each turn Cornelius can actually use the spear in conjunction with his usual move and attack actions, effectively allowing him three actions each turn. Players will find numerous ways to tactically use this ability to their advantage.
Also to the players advantage is the down toning of the games difficulty. The original game was known for its high level of challenge. This time, the game is substantially easier, opening it up to new players and people wanting to take their first steps into the turn-based strategy genre. Masters of the game may well find it too easy, however. But in my mind, making the game easier has increased the enjoyment tenfold.
Thats not to say that there are no frustrating moments in this expansion. There will still be times when, after much nurturing of a favorite unit by adding skills and making them powerful, your best unit will be wiped out. Investing time into a unit, only to lose them is one of the worst moments in the game. The developers should really consider granting the ability to bring favoured units back from the dead.
Elven Legacy: Ranger has a deep and satisfying storyline. The characters have a lot of depth and the game expands the world in which the Elven Legacy game is based. The improvements to gameplay that have been made by this expansion are really welcome and have made a good turn-based strategy game into a great game. Although the mechanics of the game have more or less stayed the same, the improvements that have been made will allow new players to enjoy the world of Elven Legacy.
Elven Legacy: Ranger is a great expansion. The game builds on the originals good points, and improves its faults. A deep story combined with fun and enjoyable gameplay make this game a hearty recommendation to all. I can’t wait to see what the next expansion will bring.
This game was provided for review by GamersGate.
Elven Legacy can be found here and the expansion, Ranger, can be found here.