Fantasy Wars Review
Man and Orc do battle in the this fantasy based strategy title.
Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 4th April 2008
- Developer: Ino-Co
- Publisher: Ascaron
- Release Date: 15th March 2008
Turn based strategy games may have been superseded by the real time counterparts, yet it seems that some developers are reverting back to this classic style of play and this is exactly what the developers of Fantasy Wars have done, for their Orc versus human strategy title.
The story of Fantasy Wars focuses on the struggle for domination in the fantasy world of Eolia between the Orcs and humans. The Orc chief Ugram Grableg has united the feuding Orc factions and is set on taking the lands and treasures of man for the orcs. However, the human armies lead by the brave and noble Derrick Pfeil stand in his way and once again war between man and orc has broken out.
Fantasy Wars features a pretty extensive campaign that can be played from either the human or orc side. You will also get the chance to play as the elves once you have completed either the human or orc campaign. Missions in the campaign usually consist of defeating various enemies and taking control of villages, garrisons and forts. You are given a briefing of your exact objectives before each mission, however many missions in the game add new tasks which you will need to complete in order to progress.
The game offers a pretty good array of units covering everything from light infantry to cavalry and archers to siege weapons and even air based units that include airships and tamed eagles. As you would expect each unit has there own unique strengths and weaknesses, with some units being more effective against certain enemies then others. For instance, on the human side swordsmen are good at attacking and defending cities.
As you play through the campaign more units become available however, to add these units to your army costs money, which is handled in the game in the form of gold. Gold is collected in Fantasy Wars by taking control of towns or garrisons. You will also often come across intelligence of where vast amounts of treasure have been hidden, so completing a secondary objective may not be as pointless as it first appears.
As well as buying new units you are often awarded them, for completing secondary objectives, these can be things such as capturing a town or stopping an attack on a castle.
At the beginning of each mission you have to decide which units to take into battle, units are squads rather than single soldiers, and have a cap on how many units can be used in the mission. One thing I did like is that you can put units in reserve to be called on later if you get into trouble, once your current number of units drops below the mission cap.
During battles units gain experience and level up, giving them access to new abilities improving their effectiveness in battle. Also if units take a lot of damage you can rest them at any turn in order to regain health this is vital if the unit becomes “broken” as once a unit enters this stage they become ineffective in battle. Resting a unit will only replenish hit points to a certain level, however to get a unit back to full health you can add new men to the squad, which costs money so you will have to mange your army fairly effectively. This may sound a little daunting and it probably would be if the game was a real-time strategy title but the games turned based approach gives you plenty of opportunity to effectively manage your army.
Overall the game offers a pretty good challenge so much so, I was actually surprised how often I failed a mission because of one wrong decision that turned a battle in favour of the enemy. Whilst this may sound a little off putting to the more casual strategy gamer it really isn’t as it makes you rethink your strategy and adds depth to the game and makes it more appealing to play.
As well as the campaign mode, Fantasy Wars also allows you to play a single mission and features several multiplayer options, although they can only be played on the same PC, over a LAN or direct connection which is a little disappointing.
Graphically Fantasy Wars looks ok it’s not the most modern looking game, units are fairly varied with good animation and the world of Eolia is very bright and colourful. However I would say it’s a little to colourful for my taste, but I guess it does add to the “fantasy” setting of the game.
Sound in Fantasy Wars is a little absent, but most sound effects serve there purpose, however as with a lot of fantasy based games voice acting is pretty poor and sounds very unnatural.
Fantasy Wars offers a pretty good playing experience with three campaigns to play through which should provide a fairly enjoyable experience. However, I do feel the game could have benefited from better multiplayer support that would have brought a lot of replay value then that featured in the game. Overall a decent strategy game, that’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses.
Review Score: 7/10
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