Fallen Enchantress (Review) PC

Fallen Enchantress (Review) PC
Review Score:

Fallen Enchantress is a turn-based strategy game that has you traveling the world in search of riches and power. There really isn’t much available in the single-player campaign; every game you play is configured like skirmish. There are starter scenarios; these are used to help you become familiar with the in-game mechanics and understand how things work. The bulk of Fallen Enchantress is played in an open sandbox world.  The scenarios are very enjoyable to play and they cater to gamers of all skill levels.

The world of Fallen Enchantress is enormous thanks to its open sandbox world. No matter how many times you create a new game, you will never have the same experience twice. Everything is randomized; it keeps the game from going stale when you decide to play it again.

You can setup how many NPC players will populate the world and how large the environment should be before you play the game. Smaller environments will lead to quicker games. They also make it more difficult to find resources since it becomes a power struggle to secure what little there is. You can modify more than just the game environment. The game allows you to change in-game difficulty, Pacing, Magic Strength, Resource Frequency, Wildland and Champion Frequency, among others. You are given complete control over every aspect of the game.

You have the option to create a character. The character creation process allows you to choose your character’s hairstyle, facial features as well as skills and talents. If you prefer a default character, you can choose from a handful of preset adventurers with their own back stories and special abilities. If you’re just starting the game for the first time, choosing one of the pre-designed characters will give you an advantage during combat.

Fallen Enchantress plays a lot like Elemental: War of Magic and Sid Mieier’s Civilization. Gamers familiar with these games will know what to expect when they play Fallen Enchantress for the first time.

There is more than one way to play Fallen Enchantress. You can view the world from a 3D perspective with remarkably stunning graphics or you can view things from a parchment map for a more tactical view. Playing the game from the parchment map limits you to seeing your cities, enemies, units and resources.

From the parchment map, things move as little cutouts with very little animation like pieces on a chess board. The 3D perspective is beautiful with gorgeous landscapes. The parchment map (or tactical view) is more suited for moving large amounts of units in less amount of time. The longer you play Fallen Enchantress, the more you will find yourself using the parchment map (or tactical view). I prefer the 3D perspective since it offers a far more engaging experience.

You begin the game by building the foundation to your kingdom. You are allowed to settle just about anywhere in the game world, but bear in mind that not every location is ideal for developing a settlement. The land is not divided equally and sometimes certain segments are not as good as others. Every piece of land that is suitable to build on has three different property elements: Grain, Materials and Essence.

The land you build on determines the outcome of your city. A low grain count means there will not be enough food resources available for the inhabitants, while low materials means your city will have a lower production rate. Finding a good balance between all three elements can be challenging. It’s important to never settle on the first piece of land you encounter. Taking too long to build your empire will place you at a disadvantage. This will give your opponents the upper hand on developing technology and weapons. When this happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to defeat them.

Since Fallen Enchantress is turn-based, every move you make (or turn you pass) counts as days or even months, so keep this in mind when planning your next move. Time will stand still until you make a move, but once a decision is made, it can have a positive or negative effect on your kingdom.

Expanding your kingdom is the key to success. You can do this in one of two ways -  train scout units that will scavenge the world in search of locations worth ceasing (including riches) or you can search the land yourself. No matter how you complete this task, you will always need pioneers that can build outposts such as ore mines and other means of harvesting. Pioneers are the only units you can train that can build new cities throughout the land.

Fallen Enchantress is about finding the right balance. This includes the expansion of cities, building new ones, and training more units. Since everything you do is based on time, you never want to focus on one task for too long. The bad thing is, you can’t expand a city and train units at the same time. When you start expanding a city and training units, your actions are added to a queue of requests. These requests complete in the order selected.

As your cities grow and your solvent (hero) levels, you will be given access to more talents. Like your character, your cities will also level. A selection of skills are available to better your city. These skills range from adding magic to building up your city’s defense, among others.

Fallen Enchantress allows the player to be as friendly or as ruthless as they like. You can build alliances or be a nemesis; there are no guidelines to follow. The combat system is turn-based and relies heavily on strategy. Each unit has a ‘Move’ and an ‘Attack turn. Unlike some games where you can only choose one function at a time,  Fallen Enchantress gives you the flexibility to attack and then move, for example. Your units will move in a randomized sequence that is determined at the beginning of each battle. When using magic during combat, some spells require multiple turns before they can cast.

There is an option in the upper-right corner of the screen that will either speed up combat or allow the computer to finish the battle for you. You don’t always have to enter combat to resolve an issue with an enemy. Each time you encounter an enemy, you are given an option to have the computer fight for you. But be forewarned -  you are not guaranteed a victory when the computer takes over.

One of my favorite features is the death system and how forgiving it can be. Unlike other strategy games where you can die in combat and the game is over, Fallen Enchantress is not like this. You will sustain injury, but the game will not end. Injuries include a twisted ankle, losing an eye or hand, and even (possibly) going blind. These injuries are not only random, but they can affect your companions as well as your solvent (hero).

Fallen Enchantress is a very engrossing strategy game that will have you engaged for hours at a time. It’s a well-balanced strategy game that is not only a pleasure to play, but to look at. The graphics are pure eye candy with stunning 3D landscapes and beautiful art. All strategy games to follow will be held to a much higher standard now that Fallen Enchantress has pushed the envelop.

Fallen Enchantress comes complete with modding tools to make custom maps, scenarios, and even complete adventures. These mods can be shared with other gamers. And with the help of Steam Workshop and a thriving online community, sharing your creations is easy.

Fallen Enchantress offers everything a strategy gamer could ever want. From creating custom maps to making your own adventure, Fallen Enchantress goes above and beyond your standard strategy game. It’s a must-have for any serious strategy gamer.

James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform:
PC

System Requirements:
OS:
Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
Processor :2.4 GHz Processor
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: 128 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card w/Pixel Shader 2.0 (Radeon x1600 / GeForce 6800)
DirectX :9.0c
Hard Drive: 5 GB HD space
Sound: DirectX  9.0c Compatible Sound Card

Developer: Stardock Entertainment
Publisher: Stardock Entertainment
ESRB: N/A
Price: $39.99

Fallen Enchantress’ Official Website

Review Score
Graphics
Breathtakingly beautiful environments.
Sound
Enchanting music that draws you into the universe.
Gameplay
Phenomenal turn-based gameplay that gives you complete control.
Overall
Fallen Enchantress is one of the best fantasy turn-based strategy games available today. It takes everything you know about strategy games and makes it better.
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