Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Fort Triumph (Early Access)

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 20 - 2018

Fantasy XCOM? Sign me up!

 
Nearly a year ago, CookieByte Entertainment started a KickStarter campaign for Fort Triumph. Despite sounding like the sort of summer camp that would attract all manner of masked axe murderers, CookieByte tempted gamers by promising a tactical RPG within a fantasy setting, giving rise to dreams of a fantasy XCOM. Not surprisingly, the game quickly achieved its goal and thus began the wait for Fort Triumph to become a reality.

 
So now, Fort Triumph is almost ready to launch on Steam Early Access. In fact, it is set to launch next week, on April 26th and the cost of entry will be £14.99. As is often the case with Early Access, the game will be far from finished, with an estimated 10 to 12 months until a full release. However, jumping in at this early stage will give players a chance to see the game evolve, and maybe even have a hand in how it evolves. The game will launch next week with the first part of a single player campaign, a tutorial and a couple of other missions. The developers will continually update the game throughout its time in Early Access to add yet more content and features.

 
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I have had the chance to spend some time in Fort Triumph already and, although it is still very early days, it shows great potential. The game is set in a fantasy world that is coming apart and needs a likely group of heroes to save the day. One impression that struck straight away was the light hearted nature of the game, which included a fair amount of humour. Now, I may be alone in this, but I think I would prefer a fantasy-based XCOM-a-like to be a bit more serious. But I am not averse to a little chuckle as I fight monsters, and the humour in Fort Triumph so far is a little silly, but fun.

 
But the humour could be there to counter the hardcore difficulty of the game. Fort Triumph is tough to play, especially as it takes a little while to adjust to how the game works.

 
The combat encounters are turn-based, similar in structure to the likes of XCOM or, more recently, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The player will move and act with each of their heroes in turn, before allowing any enemy units to have their turn. Each hero comes with their own specialties and can level up through the course of the game to learn more abilities from a skill tree and become more powerful. Some heroes are more suited to getting up close and personal with the enemy, while others attack from a distance with magic or bow and arrow, and it is up to the player to form a team that works well together according to their play style. However, players also have the environment to take into account when approaching any encounter.

 
This is perhaps where Fort Triumph stands apart from other similar games. The environments are almost completely interactive, and this will have to play into the players tactics. An obvious effect of this is that cover can be completely destroyed, affecting both friend and foe. But the interactivity goes far beyond this, allowing the player to do things like topple rocks on top of enemies, set fire to buildings, or even push enemies into hazards. This raises lots of tactical possibilities for the player, as each battleground will contain numerous ways to do damage to the enemy indirectly, but also open up those hazards to the player.

 
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It’s a great system that, even in this early stage of development, shows a lot of promise. There is something quite entertaining about pushing enemies into each other, or into a burning tree, and it’s even more fun when you get to attack an enemy that you don’t even have a line of sight with, such as by knocking a pillar on top of them.

 
Visually, Fort Triumph takes a light and breezy approach. The 3D graphics may not be of the highest quality, but they are bright, colourful and have plenty of detail for the cartoony theme. Obviously, as the game is fleshed out and more content added, then more variety will come with the environments and models.

 
There are still features missing at the moment, but that is normal for a game as it enters Early Access. What is there at the moment may need polishing and bulking out, but still manages to provide a good couple of hours of entertainment. But it is the promise of more that has me excited. Fort Triumph is a tricky game, but the use of the environment means that if something doesn’t work, there are plenty of other options for the player to approach the encounter.

 
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Fort Triumph is a tactical RPG that has the potential to become something quite special. As it prepares to enter Steam Early Access on April 26th, it already has some good systems in place and the promise of more to come. If the idea of a fantasy XCOM sounds good, or the ability to set fire to a building and take out the enemies hiding behind it is something that could be fun, then keep an eye on Fort Triumph.

 

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