Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away. Oh, forget it: “Fallen Enchantress, Legendary Heroes” is the third game in Stardocks line of Elemental games. As you probably know, ELemental’s release was a total disaster: For most people FE was the actual Elemental game. On top of that, just a couple of months ago, Stardock released “Legendary Heroes”, which is (surprisingly) a standalone game for the full price. I was among the people expecting to see this released as a DLC or even as a patch.

Legendary Heroes, as its predecessors is a 4X game in a magical world/fantasy setting with a slight city management background: Additionally, having played some 80 hours on this game the focus is on battle as well. You guide your champion (or sovereign) thru time, enhance your troops thru research and then try to win the game. There are 5 or so winning conditions, ranging from Diplomacy to Domination. Games can take fairly long if you choose the random huge map: anything from 4 to 10 hours for a single game. Without a doubt, graphically the game looks really good and performs very good as well. There are several things in the game that show the attention to detail, from the cloth-style map (zoomed out) to the fine-grained bubbly city views (zoomed in).

There are plenty of things that spoil the fun. The game’s stability (for one) is questionable. It appears to me that most crashes will frequently happen during the beginning stages. Additionally, the AI is very (lets say it) simple. It’s capable, but at times the AI doesn’t act decisively when it should. Often, further in the game, FE/LH can feel unmanageable, mainly because it’s hard to track all your individual champions and cities. Too many random events can also hamper your progress and gaming experience. And last but not least, while (turn-based) combat is fun, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variation in combat maps. Hopefully mods might take care of this.

Generally, the game allows for extremely detailed management and for plenty of experimentation albeit, against a not very strong AI. If you like a 4X/strategic turn-based combat game, FE/LH will probably fit your boots. If you’re a Civ 5 fan, there’s nothing wrong with trying FE/LH. On my legendary “Frustration” rating, it’s a 6: Things are manageable during the starting phase of the game and before you know it, you’re at the end of your turn because you either lost or you gave up because of some random event spoiled the fun for you. Slightly recommended.

Gallery follows: