|Dev: StarDock Entertainment|
|Pub: StarDock Entertainment|
|Release: May 22, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Of course, if you do favor sandbox play, Fallen Enchantress opens up considerably. There are mod tools included, which are the same tools used by Stardock to build what is already there in the way of maps, heroes, and spells. You can also construct your own factions. This provides the opportunity for players to seriously fine-tune the game to their liking and to create a faction that best befits their playstyle.
What impresses most about Fallen Enchantress is how well everything just gels. This could easily have been a jumble of disparate parts struggling to create a compelling whole, but it definitely ends up being more than the sum of its parts, standing as a fulfilling and entertaining (perhaps even enthralling) entry in the 4X genre that brings high fantasy to the proceedings. It does so with colorful and appealing graphics, punchy combat animations, satisfying sound effects, and a user interface that is generally welcoming to the player and simple to control. And, while it doesn’t hold your hand, it definitely sets you up to succeed, rather than throwing you to the wolves (it’s also nice when a 4X game lets one feel like it’s okay to make mistakes).
If there’s one complaint to be had about Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, it’s on the technical side. Though it, by and large, isn’t a very demanding title to run, it does run into issues between turns. With each additional faction thrown into the mix, the pause as it resolves their action, during which everything on screen seems to freeze completely, grows exponentially. Since it doesn’t give an apparent indication of who’s acting at the time, it ends up feeling like lag rather than enemy turn resolution. It’s also surprising that there’s nothing in the way of multiplayer play, which would’ve been an absolute blast if included.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is the kind of 4X that brings my relationship with strategy games to a lofty peak. It is engaging and yet oddly meditative, almost relaxing to play rather than nerve-wracking and brain-frying. Even the combat, which could have been either clunky or dull, is smooth and engaging, with just enough strategic depth to make a win feel like an accomplishment and a loss a failure on the player’s part. These days, I rarely return to a title after I’ve reviewed it. Either there’s simply nothing left to be done or I’m burned out on it. With Fallen Enchantress, I think I’ll be breaking that pattern.
Date: June 27, 2013