Legends of Eisenwald is said to be a Medieval Strategy RPG. On the surface it looks even better than I expected it to be. I mean, we are starting to see a lot of good-looking Early Access games, but still it surprises me. I do like myself a good tactics game as most of you well know, so I wasn’t about to pass this opportunity up.
The main pull for myself to Legends of Eisenwald was the combat. That’s also the first disappointment as well. It’s on a hex system, but with no real depth. You’ve got rear healers and buffs, then your ranged and then your “tanks”. I use air-quotes because as of writing this, really only my main dude is a tank. Everyone else is more like a meat-shield. You can either start to attack the top half or the bottom half with your main character if he’s in the middle as is the default, but everyone else just kind of moves forward to the guy closest to him. This is the fight. You can’t have everyone just jump to one guy at the beginning of the fight, but rather you are forced to fight the closest opponent. If realism was the intention, they got because that does make the most logical sense. Tactics-wise… you can’t change the positioning of your guys before the fight, but rather before you even enter the fight and see how they are aligned and then it’s too late. There are no obstacles, just people and it feels like a different combat system would have worked better here. Maybe a 2.5D isometric combat system?
The story is that you leave your home to go off somewhere and fight only to come back home and find that there is infighting at home. Lame, but dems the brakes. The writing and story in Legends of Eisenwald is pretty solid. I’ve enjoyed most of if not all that I’ve encountered so far. It’s both interesting and intriguing but it seems to be held back by the game proper. The quest log is somewhat useful, but not very. I was once told to go to the southern bridge near a watch tower… there wasn’t one. It will guide you to some places, but not all (which is fine, I can read, but still). You also don’t have too much money, but you’re told to go and hire people to help you out. They cost money per day, but that didn’t come off as obvious to me and I still don’t really see it anywhere listed. The button just says hire not pay this amount each day. (Goodbye money.)
Legends of Eisenwald doesn’t feel too much like your traditional RPG either where you can go off and explore, killing bad guys for loot and money and generally getting the lay of the land. You need more money and I’m believing that is only going to happen while following the story. There is nothing wrong with a linear game, but Legend of Eisenwald doesn’t feel like it was intended to be that way. It gives the feeling like it was supposed to be more open. Maybe you just have to pay your dues and follow the story for it to open up to you later, but that’s not really how I play RPG’s. I wonder off and kill bad-guys and take their money… but the bad guys are mostly broke here.