by Sergio Brinkhuis
previewed on PC
Ignoring my presents
Just before the holidays, Paradox Interactive sent us a preview build of their upcoming game Elven Legacy. In hindsight, I wish they hadn’t sent it. Or perhaps I just shouldn’t have installed it until after Christmas. The game pulled me in and whisked me away from the presents under the tree, getting me so involved that I actually dreamt that they (the presents) were organizing a protest march, demanding my time and attention.
Elven Legacy is a turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting. It is the sequel to last year’s Fantasy Wars and bears resemblance to classics such as the Age of Wonders and Heroes of Might & Magic series.
The Great Tree
The elven race has been in decline ever since they destroyed the Dayaran’s in a most brutal war in which there was no room for giving quarter. A powerful magician cursed the elves for their heinous act and destroyed the Great Tree from which all elves draw power. The game follows Sagittel, an elven commander who is tasked to retrieve stolen elven lore before it falls into human hands. He is joined by a female magician named Gylven who – as quickly turns out – has her own agenda. She plans to use the stolen lore to restore the Great Tree and with it the power of their race. A path of difficult choices and hardship awaits our two heroes.
Elven Legacy borrows a lot of its assets from Fantasy Wars. While it introduces a new elven race, pretty much every other race and unit has been taken from its predecessor but this is not necessarily a bad thing. By doing this, the developers were able to focus on adding new gameplay mechanics, a deep and intricate storyline and other great new features.
Band of… warriors
The player will lead a band of elven warriors that, along with your heroes, can consist of ranged, melee and air-based units such as Skyships, Dragons and Eagles. Not all unit types are available right from the start. Some become available halfway through the game, either because you have reached a particular stage, or by unlocking them during a mission. Units can be bought or sold before a mission starts but you only have limited gold available. You will have to make a choice between a small, elite band that you will be forced to keep alive during the missions, or a large band of cannon fodder that is cheap to maintain. It is entirely up to you how wish to mix and match your party and I can easily see a party of say only ranged units do well on the field.