IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Fantasy Kommander: Eukarion Wars
Remember Fantasy Kommander: Eukarion Wars? (I hope so–I just posted about it a few days ago!) The developers were kind enough to give me a copy of the game to look at–per tradition, I have done so, recording the affair and providing my thoughts in real-time as I go.
Without further ado! (Note: I recommend watching fullscreen in HD, as some details won’t be legible otherwise.)
All in all, Fantasy Kommander: Eukarion Wars strikes me as a reasonably competent fantasy strategy title. I quite like the game’s leveling and skill tree system–it’s pretty rare for a fantasy strategy title to give you that level of control over your units’ development.
There were a few rough edges in terms of the game’s presentation, but nothing too heinous. The game’s text would have benefited from proofreading by a good English-speaking editor, but the writing does what it needs to do: it establishes context and gives you the sense of fighting a campaign rather than a bunch of disconnected micro-battles. Likewise, although there were a few missteps in the way the game’s voice-overs were implemented, the voice acting itself is of high quality, and helps lend character to the game’s various NPCs.
The one thing that worries me about this game so far is the third battle; it’s very early into the campaign, and yet it’s hard as nails. I sat down this morning to try to finally beat it. I did so, twice. But it took a very specific strategy. And even then, if the enemy’s stronger attacking units get lucky hits on you, you’re done. I tried the battle three times; even knowing the correct strategy, I still ended up losing once when an enemy got a critical hit on my hero unit.
My feelings on games that rely heavily on randomized results are well-known, so I won’t rehash them here. Suffice it to say that by requiring the player to fight against an extremely narrow time window for victory, this particular battle brought three big design weaknesses right to the fore: the game uses highly randomized damage (which means that the same attack can have wildly differing results in any given playthrough); lack of clear information (I had no way of knowing for sure what direction enemies were facing, how far enemies could move, or how far their spells could reach); and the use of critical hits by enemies (which is one of the most maddeningly anachronistic and un-fun mechanics you can use in a game like this).
So basically: FK:EW has a lot of strengths, but it’s not without flaws. With all that said, this is still a first impressions piece–I really need to play through more of the game’s missions before I can reach any sort of final conclusion about whether it’s ultimately worth picking up.