I had the privilege to try out the beta for the Fallen Enchantress stand-alone expansion subtitled Legendary Heroes. The new expansion to the 4X game has players taking control of a founding empire with the leader expanding their boundaries, settling new territories, and completing quests in a magical, medieval setting.
Much like Civilization, creating a kingdom is just the beginning. Establishing a starting city and delegating the resource usage to build structures, moveable units, and researching different traits is where the bulk time will be spent. Later on, additional things will become available that will offer up more options for expansion and combat.
The management of cities is only one part of Legendary Heroes. The second part is exploration, quests and combat. To begin, players start out with only one hero, chosen when establishing kingdoms. When cites grow, more will join the kingdom and aide in the exploration. Creating new combat units will also help when going against other kingdoms and monsters.
Building an army and exploring the land is an experience in and of itself. When exploring, quests will become available. These can pit players against mobs of monsters, searching areas for special items, and many other objectives. Some may offer equipment such as armor and new weapons, which can then be equipped to heroes for better stats.
The combat in Legendary Heroes plays out in turn-based fashion. When initiating a battle, a quick stat screen shows the possible outcome of the battle, and the power of each side. In battle, it goes into a grid-based map where units and heroes take turns moving and attacking. Heroes are a bit stronger than standard pawns, and some have the ability to cast magic spells using a mana pool that can be added to through the city management. Those that are adjacent to ally units can attack together for bonus damage. The same goes for enemies as well. After a battle, they gain experience points and levels that increase stats.
Of course, this is only a taste of the experience, and when the full game is released, I hope to have an in depth review. Legendary Heroes is a rather large experience that has a ton to offer. It feels almost like two titles in one, with the city management and exploration combination. Of course, the beta is still in development, and not everything is completely polished, but the support from developer Stardock has been fantastic.
Legendary Heroes is a 4X game that I can easily sink hours into in one sitting. The quests and RPG elements of the game kept me coming back for just one more quest. Fans of both RPGs like Heroes of Might and Magic and similar 4X titles should keep an eye out for this stand-alone expansion later on in May.
Preview copy of game provided by publisher.