Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Review — Third Time’s The Charm
In addition to diplomacy and combat, there are two other ways to win a game of Legendary Heroes: by completing a major quest or casting a game-winning spell. The latter, which involves a lot of waiting, isn’t particularly engaging, while the former takes away from the sense of competition — why even have opposing kingdoms if you will win by defeating a neutral party?
While there are multiple paths to victory, the end-game weakens significantly as you widen your lead over your opponents. At that point, the question is no longer if you will win, but how many more bloody turns will it take. Perhaps this is just the curse of the genre, but the later into a game I got, the more I found my excitement being replaced with tedium. Once victory was assured, I would simply start a new game.
Thankfully, “replay value” would be the two words that best describe Legendary Heroes. The degree of randomness that goes into every game, coupled with the variety of options at your disposal and a high degree of customizability ensure that no two playthroughs will ever be the same. There are so many variables interacting with each other that you’ll want to come back again and again to see how a different setting, a different selection, or a different tactic will play out.
Not only do players have a host of sovereign heroes and kingdoms to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, but they can also create their own from scratch, complete with customized appearances. Before starting a game, they can set a number of variables, such as world size, the abundance of resources, production pace, quest frequency, and more. An options menu stacked with selections regarding gameplay, graphics, and general ease-of-use reminds us that, yes, this game was designed for PC — and that’s the way we like it.
Once in-game, players can design their own units, choosing which weapons and armor with which to outfit them and even modifying their appearance. While appearance customization is a great feature, the various races look unfortunately similar, and the quality of the low-poly models — as well as the game’s graphics in general — feels like something born at the start of the last generation of graphics technology, not the cusp of a new generation. Cinematics taking the form of partially animated slideshow artwork are well-executed and overcome the technical and likely budgetary limitations faced, but overall, Legendary Heroes feels visually dated.
While I haven’t played Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, I’m given to understand that Legendary Heroes includes upgraded graphics, which I can’t comment on. Other improvements over the base game consist of two new factions, larger map sizes, a new scenario, as well as new monsters, items, spells, and quests. There’s word that Legendary Heroes was also meant to introduce bug fixes and performance optimizations, but I encountered a few crashes and clunky slowdowns during my play experience.
Despite the performance issues and the dated visuals, Legendary Heroes nonetheless remains a noteworthy entry in the 4X genre. The title’s unique and seamless blend of strategy and RPG elements is its greatest strength, with engaging tactical combat and nearly limitless replay value. The included modding tools further add to this replay value, and the only thing truly missing from this title is hot seat multiplayer, like in the good old days of 4X.
With its intuitive gameplay and in-game tutorials and hints, Legendary Heroes should be quick to pick up even for the 4X uninitiated. Owners of Elemental: Fallen Enchantress can upgrade to Legendary Heroes for $19.99, while others can buy it new for $39.99.
- Engaging tactical combat
- Well-implemented RPG system
- A wealth of customization
- Great replay value
- Visually dated
- Some instability/performance issues
- Lackluster end-game and diplomacy options
Final Score: 80/100
Game Front employs a 100-point scale when reviewing games to be as accurate about the experience as possible. Read the full rundown of what our review scores mean.