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Game Info:

Legends of Eisenwald
Released: Month day, year
Developed by: Aterdux Entertainment
Published by: Aterdux Entertainment
Release Date: July 2, 2015
Available on: PC
Genre: RPG
Number of Players: One
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $19.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Aterdux Entertainment for sending us a review code for this game!

In May of 2012 Legends of Eisenwald was successfully funded on Kickstarter with nearly $84,000 raised.  Since its funding, it has been beta tested by the backers and greenlit on Steam.   Nearly three years later it's now available for everyone to enjoy.  Gamers who like 3D RPG tactical strategy games like King's Bounty will find much to like in this title.

Legends of Eisenwald begins with a choice of a character to play.  There's a slightly different story for a sword wielding knight, a cunning baroness that is good with a bow, or a mystic who is an expert in alchemy.  The mystic is the hardest class to play and is recommended for seasoned gamers.  

No matter what class you play, you will be at a disadvantage in each of the eight chapters in this game.  You'll only have a couple of soldiers, if any, at the beginning of each chapter.  Most of the inventory gets reset too.  The number of soldiers in your army maxes out at twelve, but in order to have that many soldiers, you need to have a couple of castles under your control.  Before you can besiege a castle, you'll need to have a decent army at your command.

Most towns have villagers willing to join your cause for a meager fee.   They're inexperienced, but trainable to become powerful knights and archers.  Healers and priests can be hired at Christian churches and pagan temples.  If you have money to spare,  experienced mercenaries can be hired for a daily fee at taverns and mercenary camps.  

 

Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting lore and characters; fun RPG and strategy gameplay mechanics
Weak Points: Stability issues; missing and un-translated text in dialogue boxes; some pixel hunting quests
Moral Warnings: Violence; language; sexual dialogue; magic use;  gambling; alcohol, undead and pagan references

 

Money in this game can be earned by completing side quests, collecting taxes from property under your control, or defeating and looting the local enemy armies.  Each area has its own local lore and  rumors that can be learned by stopping at taverns and talking to people.    Many treasures are waiting to be claimed by brave soldiers willing to search for them.  They are often guarded by protective spirits though.

The battles are turn based and the units are placed in hexagons and can attack nearby opponents if they are melee fighters or longer ranged if using archery or magic-based attacks.   The battles can be fought manually or auto-resolved if you're in a hurry or lazy like me.   Armies with undead spirits need to be defeated by magic users who can harm them since physical attacks against them are useless.

Many, but not all of the side quests have unlockable Steam achievements for completing them.  There are other Steam benefits including cloud saves, trading cards, and Steam workshop contributions.  Not all of the contributions are fully translated into English though. 

The development team, Aterdux, is located in Belarus and I have noticed that some of the text was still in Russian.  Some of the dialogue boxes, especially during a gambling card game, were completely blank.  Unfortunately, there isn't any voice acting so text is crucial to understanding what is going on.  The background music is top notch and worth the extra money for the soundtrack and art book.       

Graphically, Legends of Eisenwald is very pretty.  The characters and army units are nicely detailed, but are noticeably recycled throughout the game.  I was taken aback when I was conversing with a female thief who was identical to a castle baroness I was talking with a few minutes prior.   At the very least they should be wearing different clothes!    

 

Legends of Eisenwald
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 78%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 45%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 1.5/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

There's a wide variety of terrain and your army will often stay on the paths, but there are many instances where you'll have to stay off of them.  When walking around mountains and forests, the cross-able terrain is not very obvious.  To make matters worse, there are some quests that require traveling to a specific pixel in order to progress.  These quests can be frustrating, but fortunately they are few and far between the in-depth story arcs.

The lore in the game is well written and it's fun to gain power throughout the land while fleeing from enemies who can easily defeat you.  Alliances will be made and broken and there are multiple paths available to achieve the same goal.    The Catholic church has a lot of power in this game and I often visited their chapels for healing my wounded army units.

Sadly, the Catholic church is depicted as greedy and power hungry.  Other religions including pagans and devil worshipers are also represented and required to interact with to progress the story.  Since there are battles with the undead,  violence is a given and necromancy is unavoidable.   Taverns are the place to go for alcohol and rumors.  Some of the rumors discuss incestuous relationships and other adult situations.  Last but not least, there is some language and blasphemy.  While Legends of Eisenwald hasn't been rated by ESRB, I would only recommend it teens or older.

Despite the rough edges and objectionable content, Legends of Eisenwald is a great game that mature gamers should look into if they like tactical role playing games.  The entry fee of $29.99 is reasonable considering that there is fifty plus hours of gameplay to enjoy.  Those who have pre-ordered or kickstarted the game, not only got it for a better price, they were also given a free copy of Discord Times which was the developer's first game.  I'll definitely be keeping Arterdux Entertainment on my radar and look forward to more games from them.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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