In Aarklash: Legacy take command of a mercenary squad in search of truth and guide it through countless battles. Welcome to Aarklash, a land of chaos where incessant battles between the forces of Light, Destiny and Darkness have lasted since the beginning of time.
User reviews: Very Positive (314 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 12, 2013

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Aarklash: Legacy


Recommended By Curators

"The tightest draw to the game, however, is impeccable strategy gameplay that will pull you in and keep you on your toes."
Read the full review here.


“Cyanide’s Aarklash: Legacy is a must for every fan of tactical party-based RPG”
8.5/10 – Softpedia

“I dare say Aarklash: Legacy is one of my favorite gameplay experiences of the year. For the price Cyanide Studio is asking, you’d be missing out on quite a game to pass this by.”
9/10 – Capsule Computers

“Aarklash's combat is some of the best I've seen in the genre”
8/10 – RTS Guru

About This Game

In Aarklash: Legacy take command of a mercenary squad in search of truth and guide it through countless battles.

Welcome to Aarklash, a land of chaos where incessant battles between the forces of Light, Destiny and Darkness have lasted since the beginning of time. At the heart of this conflict, a group of mercenaries, wrongly accused of crimes against the Lion of Alahan, is being hunted down. Convinced that they are in the right, and intent on fighting their enemies to the bitter end, they will set forth on an epic adventure where they will discover dark secrets. A path strewn with obstacles and many unfriendly characters awaits them. Go into battle and fight for your life! Your actions will determine the destiny of Aarklash…

Inspired by the Confrontation figurines universe, Aarklash: Legacy is a tactical adventure game. The player will find himself at the heart of the intrigue, controlling a group of 4 characters and leading them into battle across the lands of Alahan, Acheron, and the Behemoth. Final victory for the mercenaries is gained by the use of a wide range of powers which are enhanced through looting items and managed via skills trees which can be reset at will. Interaction between the heroes is also important and real bonds will be created between them as the game progress. Both fun and action await you in Aarklash: Legacy!

Key features:
  • Take part in an epic campaign, mixing adventure and tactical combat, following a rich storyline that will transport you into the fantasy world of Aarklash.
  • Thanks to the active pause system, choose the best tactics to succeed in battle.
  • At any time in the game, dissolve your team and then recombine it by choosing 4 characters from the available 8.
  • Through numerous and intense battles, make your heroes work together using group skills.
  • A skill tree will allow you to change the skills of each of your characters. Find the best combinations to take full advantage of the possibilities of your group as a whole.
  • Take on enemies and various organized groups, who also have their own skills!
  • Loot objects from your enemies and progress your group throughout the game.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP PC (32 ou 64 bit)
    • Processor: AMD/intel dual-core running at 1,8 GHz (AMD Athlon II and Intel Core2Duo are the oldest CPU architectures recommended)
    • Memory: 1,5 Go for windows XP / 2 Go for Vista, Seven or 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated or mobile graphic card, with at least 256MB of dedicated VRAM and with at least DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 4.0 support. ATI/AMD Radeon 3800 series and above and NVIDIA GeForce 8600 series are minimum required graphic cards
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Integrated or dedicated DirectX 9 compatible soundcard
    • OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP PC (32 ou 64 bit)
    • Processor: AMD/intel quad-core running at 2,2 GHz (Intel Core I 1st gen or AMD Phenom II x4 or newer architectures are recommended)
    • Memory: 2 Go for 32 bit windows (XP/Vista/7/8) / 3 Go for 64 bit windows (XP/Vista/7/8) GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI/Nvidia dedicated or mobile graphic card with at least 512MB of dedicated VRAM and with at least DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 4.0 support. ATI/AMD Radeon HD4800 series and NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 and above are recommended graphic cards
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Integrated or dedicated DirectX 9 compatible soundcard
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Nice little tactical rpg so far. Unique skills that have strengths and weaknesses that make you think not just click. Characters are interesting, skills are interesting. Pretty linear for an rpg. Story is generic, but the gameplay is solid. 6/10.

EDIT: While writing this review and my characters were standing still, Denzil says while waiting "So THIS is tactical in a tactical rpg?" 7/10 now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Aarklash: Legacy has some appeal and the gameplay is solid. This game offers a unique way to battle. If you are a tactical player, I would recommend this to you. However, before you splurge your money on this, know that what this game is missing is substance.

Think of it this way: an empty cup. There’s no water, juice, coffee, etc. All Aarklash Legacy has to offer is gameplay. Aside from the gameplay, the story gets dull really fast. At first, the story may seem appealing, but after a while, the boredom and annoyance will sweep in. Bundled with an underwhelming character cast and voices, Aarklash Legacy makes its a stressful effort to continue playing.

Luckily, Aarklash Legacy is able to slightly redeemed itself with an innovative skill system. Each character has a choice between 4 skills and these skills gets more interesting around late game. Even though, it would be a challenge to continue playing that long, every choice made in the skills and how the characters are maneuvered in gameplay is crucial in succeeding in the battles. The story, voices, characters, and overall repetitious environment of Aarklash Legacy gets itself a big no.

Rating: 5.2/10 (52%)
Achievements: 8/29 (28%)
Game Done.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Aarklash: Legacy is a fairly simple strategy RPG, but with no pretension to greatness, it offers a very satisfying, fast paced experience. The story, setting and characters aren't developed extremely well, but it's still interesting, despite the many typos, translation mistakes and predictability. The game offers you a good choice of character to use, and the battle system is centered around the 4 skills each characters can use. The key to mastering the battle system lies in the synergy between characters, your ability to time your skill usage properly and controlling the battlefield. It's fast paced, the challenge is generally high but fair and the game has no downtime. It's not fantastic, it doesn't offer a huge amount of depth, but it's still a really enjoyable game that is worth playing. Hopefully the devs come up with more and refine the formula.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 20
This is the only RTwP game I've ever played that had non-moronic, click-and-watch/wait combat. This game is linear and not a true RPG, but has rpg elements such as character building and a real inventory and loot/item upgrading. No chargen. This is more of a linear story driven squad TBS or Tactics game (like FF tactics) except with RTwP combat.

The strong point of this game is the combat. Even though it is RT you NEED to micromanage, and the game makes it easy and not frustrating like it is with the IE games, NWN 2, or Drakensang where micromanaging is an exercise in frustration and futility. A lot of bosses require a solid strategy to win. The combat is done surprisingly well and I don't know why this game wasn't more of a hit.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Aaklash : Legacy is a fun game. It's got that Diablo /Torchlight style to it.

If you like Diablo or Torchlight, then this would be the game to get.!

I would recommend it.

Rating 7/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
66 of 73 people (90%) found this review helpful
38.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 17, 2014
Great game. I give it 8/10.


-Puzzles to unlock goodies on about every level
-Awesome puzzles to complete storyline
-Good storyline
-Combat is intriguing and makes you think--must be very strategic.
-The number of companions that you can control and deck out with gear
-Pausing the game to plan out strategies
-Talent trees to cutomize for each companion; it adds a deeper level of gameplay
-Decent graphics


-Game has some bugs--sometimes the abilities for a companion will not show up. Or, when you click on a companion, another companion's abilities show up. When this happens, you have to restart the game to fix.
...So, because of this, you need to remember to save the game after every battle!!
-Gear is simplistic--it doesn't seem to have gear specific to any one character, it doesnt change the look of your character, and it does not change or add abilities to any character. Basically. gear just adds passive stats.
-No end game. When you beat it, that's it. No unlocking of ubber mode, or anything, to find better gear for your characters. So, you can't really do anything else with the characters you have leveled up and decked out...not even restart and play the game again with your decked out characters.

Pro or Con?

-Easy to cheat to get gear. Just stand in front of a treasure box before you open it and save. If you don't like what you get, just load that save point and try again. You can do this when creating loot, too.
-Right before you beat the game, the storyline takes a drastic turn and ends, leaving you hanging.

What I would like to see in DLC or part 2 if they choose to make it, which devs should:

-Instead of still pausing, make it to where everything is in slowmo when you hit what is now the pause key.
-better gear
-some end game
-more challenges and hidden treasure
-more bosses

Tips if you decide to buy:

-Save Frequently
-Wendaroo is freaking awesome, so learn how to use her.
-Save before opening chests so you can reload last save if you don't like what you get.
-When creating loot, the last item is the item you will create.. it could've been my imagination, though, but it usually also had the last attribute of that item put into it too.
-Go for one target at first--usually the squishy magic type, like priests or mages. If you can't demolish it in 5 seconds, split your damage amongst other targets.
..usually I tried demolishing one fast. But when that didn't work, I usually split dmg across two targets in two seperate areas until one or the other was very low hp and then switched to full focus dmg on that one. This also helped me metigate inc damage better because I could see everything that was going on better so I knew who to heal and dispel and such.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
50 of 53 people (94%) found this review helpful
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 9, 2014
Aarklash Legacy is a highly tactical RPG set in the world of Aarklash and based on the desktop miniature game Confrontation. While not a direct sequel by any means, it is set in the same world as the handily named Confrontation, a far inferior game, also from Cyanide Studios.

You play as a group of Wheelswords, the debt collectors of the Gold Mongers guild, the group that funds the armies of the ever warring races in Aarklash. Your initial 4 person group is quite the motley lot, a part mechanical lizard with self confidence issues, a dog-monster, a tiny rat-like man and the standard fantasy trope of a sorceress in skin tight revealing clothing. While the player doesn't have a customisable avatar of their own, it becomes clearer as the story goes that one of the starting four serves as the POV character. Over the course of the game you'll meet 4 more characters that can be swapped in at any time for a maximum of 4 in the party. All the characters are interesting and frequently talk among themselves and the game itself is fully voice acted very well.

Where the game really shines is the isometric real-time with pause combat. The standard MMO trinity applies here, with a tank to hold and collect as many mobs up as possible and hopefully orient them away from the squishier party members and 3 support or damage dealers. Each character is limited to only four abilities and an auto-attack. While this might seem limiting at first all the abilities can be significantly changed as you level up and with the ability to respec at will you can tailor your group to each individual fight. Positioning is vitally important here, many of your parties abilities are line of sight. There is nothing more annoying than firing off a healing disk and having an enemy walk in between and get healed instead!

All enemies and bosses have there own set of abilities that can be viewed at any time and you should ignore these at your peril. Enemies come in many types, tanks who self-heal and can resurrect themselves, healers, debuffers, melee, ranges, summoners and many more. While bosses come with own set of difficulties, many have insta-kill abilities like stay too close and you die, stay too far away and you die or don't stand here and you die. You'll die a lot but all these abilities are telegraphed well! Buffing and debuffing also plays a vital role in the game. A favourite trick of enemy casters is to immediately turn off your group members most vital abilities but luckily some of your other characters are able to strip debuffs off one member and apply them to themselves. Enemies will also constantly control your characters and many fights do degenerate into battling a series of buffs and debuffs with the first few seconds of any fight being the most important. Though one criticism might be once you break the back of an enemy group, it can become a bit of a grind to finish a group off with no real threat.

As opposed to the combat this is not a gear heavy game though, each character only has 4 slots, relic, ring, necklace and earring and you can't change armor or weapons or make any visual change to the characters. There are also no merchants in the game, just a recycling mechanic where once you put in enough items in you'll get a high quality item back.

The game also contains a heavy puzzle element outside of the combat. From the standard lights out puzzles, though on a grand scale, to match the floaty magic symbol with various parts made up from lever pulls to guide the light through a maze. At times the number of puzzles in a row can overwhelm, you can bypass some of them, but you might miss out on some of the best loot!

This game is very demanding of the player, asking of exact positioning, use of all your various abilities and strategies and punishing of mistakes. The difficulty is also set very high, it's not easy, medium, hard, it's more on the Super Hexagon Scale, hard, harder and harderest! Though I think the latest patch may have toned the difficulty down a little bit. But, don't let that scare you off as you'll miss one of the best tactical RPGs in years!

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
46 of 48 people (96%) found this review helpful
17.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
Story is intriguing in the beginning, dulls after a while. Puzzles are kind of annoying in this game. Loot does not reflect on your characters looks, and loot is basically just stat upgrades.

HOWEVER, Gameplay is SOLID. Very fun. Very tactical. Has a tactical pause system and making a wrong decision in battle wether that be your positioning or focusing the wrong guy first or missing an ability timing... can kill you. The cons mentioned up above are annoying yeah, but overall in a game like this , the gameplay is the most important part to me. I bought it at full price and was pleased with my experience. If you're not sure, wait for a sale and then DEFINITELY pick it up.

Each character has 4 main abilities. As you level up characters in the game, you can allocate stat points into these abilities. Each ability has a tree that branches out into different paths. You can basically max two of any of the eight branches on each character, thus customizing their playstyle. You can have a mage healer, or they can be a damage dealer or a mix. You can implant a seed that will explode if you kill the enemy within x number of seconds, and the explosion can do a heal AOE to teammates caught within range of said explosion, or you can max a completely different ability.

There end up being eight playable characters, and you make a party of four. You choose the four. Seriously, the gameplay styles are really left in your hands with how you want to play the game. Very wise on the devs part. These are the reasons the gameplay is so satisfying. When all the abilities in your party go off just right and you completely wreck a mob... it feels pretty good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 55 people (89%) found this review helpful
39.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2013
One of the best games I have played in a long time. Challenging, engaging, beautiful and a little retro. And the best part.. cheap.

Aarklash isn't very deep in terms of RPG elements (though they are there, in a skill tree/limited inventory kind of way) but it is extremely deep in terms of gameplay. This is the first game in a long time where I relished the rematch after I was utterly destroyed. Battles take place in real time, but you can pause at any time to chain orders. You can also remap your skill tree before a battle at no cost, so if at first you don't obiliterate - recalibrate, recalibrate again.

The downside, and the reason I stopped playing in the end game, are the puzzles. At first the game reminded me of "The Summoning" where battles were intermixed with puzzles. But in the second act I was starting to get annoyed, and by the third act I had had enough. It just grinds the pace down to fight, puzzle, puzzle, fight, puzzle. And the puzzles aren't even interesting! They are rehashes of the earlier ones, with stupid terms and well...

The upside is the fist half of the game, the pacing is spot-on, the graphics are sweet and like i said, the battles are the kind of thing that you walk away from a loss intrigued and not frustrated. You can constantly employ different teams and different skill sets, which leads to a depth not really seen in many games. I just wish they had spent more time developing the puzzles, instead of copy-pasting them at greater frequency.

All scores out of 10, with 7 the highest:

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Depth: 7
Retro: 7
Puzzles: 1
End game: 4
RPG: 5
Strategy: 7
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 28 people (96%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 8, 2014
Tactical party-based rpg with heavy focus on combat

Good points:
Nice story
Interesting Characters
Challanging tactical combats
Well balanced combat system
Riddles lighten the gameplay up from time to time

Bad Points:
Very straight forward with little space to explore and no alternative solutions
Little point in replaying, else than doing the ragnarok achievments
Disappointing end
Riddles are too easy
No influence on character devlopment (in terms of roleplay, not in terms of skills! you have all freedom there)

I would recommend the game to everyone who misses Baldurs Gate /Icewind Dale or challanging combat rpgs in general.
Do not assume it to have the character or story depths of said games though, or you will be disappointed!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
I highly recommend this!

From start to finish the combat is very engaging and has a great level of difficulty in terms of challenge and balancing from normal to hard difficulties.
There is a good range of different combinations with party members and talent trees so don't get too distracted by the equipment load out which is not as extensive as other RPG's, this game is honestly just very solid gameplay wise.
The visuals are lovely, there is a decent single player story to go through and then throw in a bunch of hidden areas with some puzzle sections and you may experience one of the more satisfying games in a while!

I also recommend checking out a YouTube channel by Force Strategy Gaming for a nice overview of the game in action.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 40 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
Aarklash: Legacy is a great game. When I first bought it, the voice acting, dialogue, and poorly written skill descriptions (there are a lot of them) scared me away. Everything else about this game brought me back in.

During the first few fights of the game the pause function seems really gimicky. But it quickly makes this game playable, and interesting. Because you can take your time, learning everything about a fight and making the best reactions, the games dificulty rapidly increases, making some fights brutal, but ultimately fair.

If you like killing stuff just cause, learing and adapting, character advancement and sweet, sweet loot, then ready your credit card. Be prepared to skip some awkward cutscenes and disable the onscreen tutorials.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014

Fun game with significant flaws. A lot of people compare it with Baldur's Gate but it has more in common with Freedom Force and other tactical games with "less RPG" and more "tactics" due a heavy emphasis on micromanagement and less so on itemization and characterization. Character customization is fun but fairly linear and you can respec your characters outside of combat at any time. Battles can be fun and difficulty is somewhat high by today's standards. Graphics are pretty good.

Some may enjoy the puzzles in this game and range from condescendingly easy to slightly annoying but solvable. I feel that they are a detriment because they're too easy for fans of puzzle solving and annoying to fans of pure micromanagement. The story is largely ignorable and the voice acting is mostly very bad. There's a lot of poor grammar within the tooltips and the dialogue.

The item system is one of the worst I've seen in a game. You can outfit your characters with various trinkets and jewelery for small stat increases, but progression is mostly very flat. It's fun in games like Baldur's Gate to find various weapons with neat mods but in this game it begins to feel like a chore to make sure your healer upgrades his "+5% healing done" trinket to "7% healing done." There's certainly no meaningful customization to be done with the items either because the mods are so linear, so they would have been better off not having items in the first place a la Freedom Force.

The game is pretty short, but if it were any longer it would get repetitive. I wouldn't pay full price for it.

In short:

-Challenging tactical "RPG" that demeands significant micromanagement
-Simple, but effective customization of character trees allows for a decent variety of gameplay options
-The game knows its audience and doesn't cram storyline down your throat

-Tooltips and dialogue lack polish
-Poor storyline, weak voice acting
-Itemization is weak
-Relatively short game
-Puzzles often feel more annoying than thought provoking

Overall, it's a decent game for the right gamer, but I wouldn't pay full price for it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 29 people (79%) found this review helpful
30.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2013
Bought it , played it, beat it. Increasingly rare for me to say this these days, but this was a hidden gem that many will sleep on. Most will probably try to compare it to something like Balder's Gate/Dragon Age but it's more like Diablo where you control 4 people and can control then entire party. You can pause it and q up a whole string of commands and you will have to. This game is about combat and puzzles, more than NPC blah blah and that was a welcome mat for me, though the story wasn't terrible and the ending wasn't half bad. Only gripe is the game started out hard as nails and around the middle of the second Act it seemed impossible at times, then Act3 got steamrolled and I one shot the final boss... still though for 20 bucks or even waiting for a sale, is a steal for something like this. Was a really high quality game despite one crash, and a few ♥♥♥♥les with pathfinding here and there. Given there's just not enough games like this, very easy to overlook. Hope for an expansion or even a sequel.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2013
Highly tactical singleplayer squad management fantasy RPG with an active pause system. Blends elements from Diablo (isometric view, realistic cartoon art style) with Dragon Age (tactical combat system) in an awesome way!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2014
Cyanide doesn't have the best track record when it comes to games, on this one though they have managed to pull ahead of the pack in some areas while falling far behind in others. With Aarklash Legacy they manage to provide an amazing tactical rpg experience at pretty much the cost of all other areas of the game. Real Time w/ Pause (RTwP) combat is where it shines and it is certainly the best isometric rtwp we've had recently.

I have read some stuff about people not liking the puzzles in the game, I found them fine. I enjoyed most of them and it was a nice change of flow to the endless barrage of fights.

The characters have lots of interesting attributes, E.G. the healer not able to regen mana, she has to feast on allies' hp to gain mana back. This skill can be upgraded so that the ally has buffs when feasted upon and even regenerates more than was feasted. Lots of tactical combat, having to carefully position your characters to avoid friendly fire and it manages it well. Rarely did I have an ally running into friendly fire unintentionally.

What it sacrifices is pretty much everything else, lackluster story, mediocre progression, (You max out your chars about halfway through the game,) sub-par to average voice acting, An item system that just seems tagged on, and very little immersion.

The game itself is pretty much a series of combats, you know that around every corner will be assorted bad guys and the plot comes up with a decent explanation for having skeletons fighting alongside humans, demons, angels, elementals, etc. If you enjoy RTwP tactical rpgs, then this shouldn't be a drag considering how well done it is. I was totally fine with it until about 3/4ths through the game, when there was no more character progression, all chars maxed out in levels, pretty much nowhere to go there. Just keep killing monsters at every bend in the path.

tl;dr Buy it on sale if you're a fan of the RTwP tactical rpg genre
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
36.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2013
If i told you i know of an RPG that is not open world, has minimal customization, no quests page, no point distribution, and a limited skill tree would you be intrested? If you said no then you may be missing out one of the best tactical RPGs of the last couple of years. Aaklash Legacy is abut one thing and one thing only, combat. You can set it up as you like(Pause anytime, or RTS), but in order to survive you will have to plan every encounter perfectly becasue the game is brutal even on normal difficulty. What a huge gamble by Cyandie stuidos to basically strip away what you think an RPG NEEDS to be successfull and focusing their time on perfecting a rewarding battle system.

Rewarding balanced Tactical combat
Simple and Easy UI
8 unique chacters
Enviroments are common but looks good
Reset skill points anytime
Inventory system

Too much filler combat and puzzles
Bosses are very easy
Some charcters not having any heal or shield make them difficult to use
Voice acting and writing can be hit or miss
Limit of 4 skills per charcter
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2013
Very solid squad based RPG... The story is half decent, the background locations are gorgeous, and the fighting is pretty good. Also it is more or less indie game and the price tag is a comfortably low and likely to get lower during specials. Can't lose if you get this if you are an RPG fan, especially if it is on sale...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
Aarklash is a combination of contemporary gameplay concepts packaged in a thoroughly enjoyable original game world. The real-time tactical gameplay may be paused for strategy and intelligent action queuing at any time, akin to Bioware's Mass Effect or Dragon Age series. This does a fine job of straddling the line between overwhelmingly reactionary (hardcore RTS) and drudgingly micromanagey (omg stahp, Sid Meier) to land in a comfortable sweet spot.

Core character roles are all familiar and easy to spot, ie DPS, Tank, Support, and perhaps overly so. While you can re-spec skill points any time you aren't in combat and sans penalty, nothing will change the pigeonholed duties of any single character. Different characters do, however, provide equally different approaches to those roles. Your high-armor taunty starting tank feels utterly different from the high-HP drainy tank introduced later. Your AoE stun battlefield mage DPS is wholly unique from the fear kiting AoE burst damage lich DPS. Skill points can dramatically change the implementation of a skill. One skill tree path alters a targeted taunt into an aggro-stacking aura, as an example. Balance is maintained well enough that I never found myself forced into a specific team for pure efficacy, and I appreciated that, too.

Aarklash's (Aardvarks?) visuals and style are also quite original. The graphics avoid eye bleedingly generic, but never so artsy or stylized that anything becomes abstract. The audio always feels appropriate and organic, managing to be pleasant without standing out in most cases. I never had any "just walked into Gestahl's Magitech facility" moments, here.

Most characters deserve genuine emotional investment. Dialog (with decent voice acting) and individual foibles are believable as well as interesting. The giant, ruthless, kangaroo/lizard-booty'd, test-tube grown, magical cyborg miner-slave-become-indentured-bounty-hunter, armored tank girl just happens to also be everyone's sweet, caring, occasionally naive, gentle voiced, younger "sister" stand-in and I never questioned it once. The people on both sides of the over-arching power struggle had no clear moral high ground. Your heros and their guildmates are emphatically not "good" people but neither are they evil. Their motives are usually easily understood but subjective morality is a significant factor for precisely nobody. Both protagonists and antagonists are driven by a combination of geas'd contracts, pseudofamilial loyalties, and outright selfishness.

The story was quirky, unless the last paragraph didn't make that obvious, but ultimately disposable. The developer did a great deal of world building and complex background development... then slapped a generic "run from the crooked law and find the macguffin" Hollywood plot on top. There was not a great deal of character growth either, which I felt was a real shame.

I had a lot of fun playing the game and would cheerfully play it again were an iota of reason to do so present. The downside from the flexibility of free skill respecs lies in there being no real point to starting over to see how a totally different build would handle the game's events. Equipment is just random stacks of minor stat boosts, rarer items simply having more picks from the general pool of boosts and higher levels providing slightly less minor boosts. There's no real grinding, collecting, or optimization to be had here by the hardcore gamer.

Aarklash: Legacy seems to have suffered from a lot of player butt-hurt stemming from a steep difficulty curve. The game is challenging in the classic sense. That said, nearly every party wipe I experienced was perfectly preventable without any foreknowledge if I'd more closely observed enemy stat boxes and spell countdowns. The gameplay tutorial even stresses that the player must be attentive to these resources. I felt combat was entirely fair with reasonable demands on my decidedly average skill level. The game is first and foremost a squad-based strategy RPG. If you go into it expecting a pick-up-and-master casual or arcade game you're going to be brutallized, and deserve it. I felt it was slightly more forgiving than Final Fantasy Tictacs (PSX), if simply for the fact that the most devastating boss actions are interruptable or redirectable while mid-cast.

Overall, I'd have to give the game a 7.5 out of 10. The minimal replay value and disappointing story were the only serious downsides. The musical score, while inoffensive, was also inconsequential. Where Aarklash really shines is in the moment; during a dicy moment in combat or affectionate banter between morally ambiguous guildmates, the time just flies by.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
52 of 86 people (60%) found this review helpful
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 15, 2014
After completing this game on the highest difficulty setting, I can't really recommend Aarklash. Yeah, I've completed it and it ain't really that bad. But there are too many things wrong with the game for me to recommend it.

The bad:
- The puzzles are stupid and unnecessary. I like puzzle games, but not the way Aarklash did it.
- The final fight is boring, easy, uninspiring and unfinished. It just ends without explaining anything. Maybe a buildup for a sequel?
- The path finding is abysmal. A personal annoyance... Your party is running into each other or getting stuck around corners.
- The equipment is limited and doesn't really add much to the game.
- The skills are unbalanced from underpowered to overpowered.
- BUGS: spells not casting or not working properly, the party leader suddenly switching, etc...

Not necessarily a bad thing, but just to note:
- The game is extremely linear; no exploration.
- There is only fighting and more fighting with a (horrible) puzzle thrown into the mix.

A few good things:
- I did like the different personalities of the party and the voice acting was decent.
- The graphics and atmosphere are okay.
- The game was somewhat challenging (on the highest difficulty, at least).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny