Even with the trend of instant gratification in games these days, there are still developers who are more interested in long-term gameplay experiences that stick with their players for a good amount of time. One of those genres that is all about thinking of the long term, it’s the stretegy genre. Now, from the makers of Sins of a Solar Empire, the grand sci-fi 4X strategy game, comes another 4X strategy game with more of a fantasy twist.
Stardock Entertainment is perhaps one of those video game companies that stays true to its roots and remains consistent with its vision and philosophy. This is seen in their games like Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire, strategy games that are grand in scope and worth a lot more than what gamers pay for. Before Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, they came up with its predecessor Elemental: War of Magic, which showed the world that a 4X game is possible without having to be so sci-fi.
It was a turn-based 4X game that was similar to Sid Meier’s Civilization series, but set in a fantasy world. It does feel a bit like Heroes of Might and Magic, but much bigger in scale. However, that game was quite buggy and full of technical problems. While it had potential, it ultimately bombed because of these flaws. Stardock bound their wounds and went back to the drawing board to come up with Elemental: Fallen Enchantress to vindicate themselves of that wasted opportunity to impress gamers once again.
Visually, the game doesn’t look as good as other Stardock games. In fact, it can be rather unappealing in certain parts. However, as a strategy game, Stardock finally hit the nail on the head with this one as far as fantasy strategy games go. You play in a square grid system, somewhat like older Civilization games, and you must make the most of your turn to make your moves and aim to take out your opponent. Movement and actions are simple enough to understand once players are given a once-over on what they do.
Attacking and defending are both simple in concept and satisfying to watch, letting you either limited control of the battle or just have the game auto-resolve them if you’re confident enough with your chances. The differences between melee, ranged, and siege combat are easy to understand and lets you take advantage of them if you know how to use them in various situations. You can even create your own units, right down to customization options. The variety of units you can control, their unique abilities and strengths, and how they can support each other to take down the enemy forces is something that strategy gamers get excited about in playing these games. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is no different.
Different factions have their own strengths and weaknesses, some being better at magic while others at upfront combat. Choosing a faction is all about personal preference and playing style, whether you’re more comfortable with hardy melee combat units or vulnerable but powerful magic units. You can even use magical creatures to aid in your battles, which is always a cool sight to behold. The game does have some balance issues in some areas, but that’s not something that patches and certain strategies can’t fix. At least it’s much better than Elemental: War of Magic was.
Strategy fans should give Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, along with RPG and fantasy fans as well. This game does cross multiple genres at once and pulls off its concepts quite solidly, even if it does have some flaws. This game is one of those “time killers” that you’d play one morning and the next time you look at the clock, you’ll be shocked that it’s already sunset. Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is now available on Steam.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7.5/10