I’ve been squeezing in some time for a grand looking turn-based with RPG-features strategy game. Not a Heroes of Might and Magic game, but Eador: Master’s of the Broken World. I’ll simply refer to it as Eador from now on while I talk about some of my early impressions of this title which came from Steam Greenlight.
The campaign starts off with a lovely twist on the classic tutorial you see in these type of games with your advisor poisoning you…only to reveal that you are a mighty being and he was doing your bidding of introducing you to the best ways of attacking a human planet. I found it a welcome change in pace to the usual tutorials which either have nothing to do with the story or just lead you into it without the twist found in Eador.
I got to grips with the basics in the tutorial fairly quickly, move your Hero around the map through the various hexes and take residence in a mighty castle to hire troops and learn spells. Exploring locations within provinces seemed like a novel idea to me and a simple way to add things to do and create mini-quests. Being limited to only four unit producing buildings from each of the four levels also poses a new question. Save up for the more skilled troops in each level or quickly fill your armies with the riff-raff.
I was having fun with the tutorial and actual battles were decent enough as well. Again, a hex-based grid with action taking place turn by turn. The mix of magic, ranged and melee combat along with other considerations of the various obstacles reminded me of Heroes of Might and Magic. After a handful of battles though I decided that at times it better to auto-resolve the fight.
You could definitely describe me as being interested after completing the tutorial, especially when informed about the idea of conquering various shards (mini-planets) bit by bit to build up the power to, I can only assume, take over the universe. I didn’t pay too much attention initially to what was being spouted by your traitorous advisor from the tutorial.
Things took a turn for the worse when I started to invade the various shards having chosen to play on the Competent difficulty level. The tutorial had been pleasant just being able to get to grips with the basics, but without any AI on the offensive. When I got things started myself…I was entirely unprepared for how much more challenging things became. Any small battle seemed to lead to defeat and within a handful of turns I was finding myself broke and under attack from the enemy. I was frustrated and felt like packing the whole thing in.
I gathered myself together though and went back once more. I did the tutorial again with the other Hero types to get a feel for how they all behaved and started the campaign proper on the Beginner difficulty. Finally, things started to fall into place and I was able to get to grips with the basics. I’m disappointed that I had to start things again to find my feet, but from what I have started to see develop with Hero progression and such like, I am pleased I gave it another shot.
Eador isn’t forgiving then to start, but it might just be worth it. I’ll have to play more before I can even think about giving my Verdict. But things are looking brighter than they did when I started the campaign proper first time around.