Legends of Eisenwald – What We Think:
Legends of Eisenwald has set out to fill the void left in the wake of games such as King’s Bounty. This niche genre puts you in the role of a military commander in a fantasy world, gathering and leading troops into battle. Fusing RPG elements with turn-based strategy, Legends of Eisenwald aims to offer a tactical experience in a somewhat more grounded fantasy setting.
Russian developers Aterdux have put a lot of work into creating a distinct, albeit restrained fictional world which is more of a traditional medieval setting than a truly fantastical one; you’ll be fighting barons and their knights rather than orcs and dragons here.
Get You Castle in Order
After a short introductory sequence, the main narrative opens with your character returning to his or her homelands where everything is in a bit of a mess. Your first tasks will be to capture castles and restore order to the area.
The gameplay of Legends of Eisenwald is split between the overworld map and the battle screen. The overworld features castles, villages, roaming armies and other terrain. Moving around progresses time and the map operates in a way that is reminiscent of the Mount and Blade games, with non-player forces moving around on their own agendas.
Ale and Assail
Quests can be started by talking to all manner of people, ranging from patrons in taverns to lords looking for help with their own machinations. If you don’t feel like taking on these more specific tasks, then you can always declare war on neutral lords in order to claim their land and castles.
This political aspect will also be familiar to Mount and Blade players but it’s a very welcome feature. The process of deciding which castle to go after next makes for satisfying strategic play. You can also hire more troops and buy them equipment by visiting the various destinations dotted around the map.
The Fray’s The Thing
The combat phases of the game are entertaining and occasionally challenging; battle takes place on a hex grid and operates through a turn-based system. Melee units can only attack the enemies nearest to them whilst ranged attackers can choose their victims with diminishing returns based on distance to the target.
Support units generally sit at the back and cast buffs or healing spells on the troops in front. These skirmishes can often offer a strong tactical challenge and building up a well rounded force that can take on any threat is an appealing aspect of Legends of Eisenwald.
A Good Evening/Dusk To Die
The rolling hills, forests and rivers of Eisenwald are beautifully rendered with a day/night system presenting the world in a variety of lighting conditions. Locations come with some attractive artwork to represent them, although you may find the same image popping up a few times for different areas.
Combat is also easy on the eyes but sound is somewhat less impressive. There are currently no sounds for weapon strikes in battles and this drains the action of some of its impact. Thankfully, the music of Legends of Eisenwald is thematically appropriate and serves as a relaxing backdrop as you explore the world.
Play Eisenwald Til You’re Wise and Bald
Legends of Eisenwald is a strong turn-based strategy game with an interesting adventure and a refreshingly restrained fantasy world to back it up. Some aspects of the game feel a little unfinished, but this doesn’t detract much from an enjoyable tactical experience. Eisenwald itself is a well fleshed-out world with some good storytelling to be found tucked away in its text-based dialogue.
If you’re looking for a new strategy/RPG hybrid, then Legends of Eisenwald is a good contender for your time.