Even writing about this game has me taking deep breaths trying to keep calm and not flame. If I had to list the purchases I regret the most on Steam, this would probably be placed very high up on the list.
The developers clearly thought they couldn't mess up RPG and RTS, then learned the hard way that real-time strategy isn't an easy genre to develop for at all. The game is unfinished to a sometimes hilarious extent, and it ends in a cliffhanger that was never ever continued because losses were up the roof and the planned trilogy was dropped.
The first few chapters can fool you, but the truth is, there was never any planning done for chapters past four. Usually, you get swarmed by a horde of enemies right as the chapter starts, a battle in which you lose your pre-deployed army and have to spend the rest of the mission endlessly microing your hero back and forth trying to get somewhere. "Thousands-strong armies"? For your enemies, maybe. Not for you.
Speaking of the hero, Elhant is one of the most uncooperative, arrogant pricks I have ever seen in a protagonist role, and I spent the entire game wishing he'd die a horrible death. Not that I saw half of what you're supposed to see of him, because the movie cutscenes wouldn't load on my PC. For a while, I went into the game folder to watch them, but then I realized the loading bug was probably for the best.
And yes, to top it all off, the game is filled with bugs. It's funny when they allow you to kill a boss by shooting them from behind a wall - I did that several times while I grabbed a snack - but it's not so funny when the AI takes a ridiculous path or the game simply crashes mid-mission.
Never mind the massive feature list shown on the Steam Store Page, most of it is broken, unfinished, or simply not as good as you'd expect. Now, I've heard multiplayer used to be rather decent, but as expected from a 2006 game, it is now dead. Do yourself a favor, do not buy
HoAE. There are far, far better strategy games on Steam.
Posted: January 13th, 2014