by Sergio Brinkhuis
reviewed on PC
In with the new (cntd)
This new freedom to craft your heroes into what – you – want them to be already makes a big difference in combat dynamics, but there are other additions that add yet another layer to the tactical battles. Quite a few of the new magic spells and special skills have a profound impact on how battles are played. The Command ability quickly became a favourite. While it causes the caster to pass up his turn, it allows you to get that heavy hitter that was way down the initiative list to hit again straight away. Another fun ability was Riptide which allows the caster to switch places with any friendly unit on the field. Quite useful to take a badly damaged unit out of the frontline.
But the best new addition, perhaps of the entire game, is Swarm. This simple mechanic changes how the tactical battles should be played and using it to your full advantage can mean defeating much stronger enemies. Swarm has little to do with wasps or locusts, but the latter do give you an idea of what Swarm is all about. The idea is to line up your units in such a way that they can all reach an enemy unit. Each unit that is in melee range of the enemy unit will join in when another of your units attack. Not all the attacking units will do damage every time, but the chance that they might makes Swarm a well worth maneuver to try to pull off.
Some of my original niggles remain and that’s not surprisingly since I dedicated an entire page in my Fallen Enchantress review to everything that was wrong with the game. It would be too much to hope for that all of them would be fixed. The interface still does everything in its power to overwhelm you but a number of other issues have been fixed. The arrow keys now work during combat sessions and when you take an enemy town, you’re not being warped all over the map to the next available unit *sigh of relief*. On larger maps, the game can still get sluggish but nowhere near as much as was the case in Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and pushing the turn button won’t crash the game anymore either. Quite a few other small bugs have been fixed as well though the game is still not completely bug free (resolve a battle on the map and the chances are that the game takes 30 seconds to realize that you’ve won).
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is without a doubt the best Elemental game to date. The new features add even more depth to an already deep game and the technical optimizations pull the game out of the “are you sure this is not a beta” corner and put it firmly into the “this is a perfectly playable game” one. All these refinements work together to actually keep in you the game rather than give you continuous nudges to look around you to see if there is something more interesting in the real world. In short, Legendary Heroes has become an immersive experience, and one that I am glad to finally be able to recommend.
Swarm adds new tactical options that change how you play.
Interface still cluttered.