Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is a unique game that tries to combine major elements from two of the biggest and best turn-based strategy series in history, namely Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic. Just like in Civilization, you start by founding a city, you improve it with new buildings, and then expand by founding other cities and/or conquering other factions. But taking a cue from Heroes of Might and Magic, you explore the fantasy world with your hero(es), the battles take place in a separate screen and you can do quests to earn loot for your hero.
It’s a very interesting mix of two familiar concepts carefully designed into a surprisingly unique whole. For example, between dealing with other factions (whether you’re in war or not), you can scour the gameworld seeking out and completing various quests available to you whereas in Civilization there is not much to do in these moments except building your empire. On the flipside, it makes you miss certain elements from both Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic. For example, even though you get to research civics, military improvements and magic just like you would research technology in Civilization, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes lacks the clear sense of progression. Or to use the city battles in this example, in Fallen Enchantress they are exactly the same as they are anywhere else on the map whereas Heroes of Might and Magic provides a compelling conquer/defend mechanic in its city battles.
It is perhaps unfair to compare this game so intensely to other games, but at the same time, there is no escaping the fact that these were very important and clear influences. The similarities aside, it needs to be pointed out that Fallen Enchantress totally nails the depth, scope and addictive nature that the genre absolutely requires. However, it does seem to favor the aggressive approach over the diplomatic one.
The production values are modest. The graphics are rather outdated, but this is offset to a point thanks to the truly wonderful and distinctive art-style. Unfortunately, there are no excuses for the sound design. The soundtrack consists of a scant few derivative fantasy melodies whereas the sound effects are just poor.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is a deep and addictive turn-based strategy game which doesn’t quite reach the very top the genre has to offer and as such won’t keep you playing for years to come, but it does offer a surprisingly unique mix of gameplay elements that will definitely delight any fan of the genre.
8 OUT OF 10 (GREAT)
Posted: November 25th, 2013