Aarklash Legacy
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Aarklash Legacy

Sitio Web Oficial


  • estrategia
  • táctico
  • rol
  • fantasía
  • magia
  • steampunk

Fecha

12/08/2013

Autor

Webmaster


A First Preview of Aarklash Legacy In Action

Story wise there is no denying that to truly understand the context in which Aarklash Legacy occurs one needs to be familiar with the Confrontation Universe in which it is based (the miniature tabletop game). Otherwise the faction names, the political problems and many other specifics have little to no meaning, although they do sound intriguing and the essence of what is going on is understood eventually.

The game starts with a group of four Wheel Swords, mercenaries working for the Guild of Goldmongers, in the process of recovering a debt from Lord Mornstar. As far as Nella, Denzil, Wendaroo and Knokka is concerned it is a routine job where they go, get the debt settled, one way or the other, and then return to their Patron Lockshy with their prize. But as they move toward their destination they are suddently attacked by The Lion, a private army of the Lord, who don´t care whether their job is sanctioned or not.

Visually Aarklash Legacy is great, at its highest settings everything looks just wonderful. I would have asked for a little more zoom out but, if I am honest, not that that would have added much to the overall impression of the world. Everything looks nice, the water effects are great, the combat pyrotechnics good, the animations and the surrounding areas become eye catchers. There is even some fog and wind and dust effects to add a little extra here and there.

Presentation of Nella the Magician in Aarklash Legacy

Where I would say the game shines is in its combat dynamics and how the unobtrusive interface becomes the right tool for it. We have our characters portraits at the bottom with their possible actions and attacks on top of them. Everything we need to know about them is right in front of us. We can control everything through active pause so the action and strategy part of things depend on the player not the designer.

Clicking on an enemy unit provides with all the information we need to think of a strategy and figure out who is the more dangerous opponent, who the weakest, who a first target. We can see their main attributes, how strong their attack is, how good their armours are (magic and physical) and what special actions and spells they have. During combat we can see who is getting ready to cast a spell (which usually means it is dangerous) to attempt to interrupt it, or react properly to it. Sometimes we can even manage to avoid directed attacks by moving out of the way or blocking a weaker unit with a stronger one (like the one time I managed to save Nella by having Wendaroo block a missile).

The part I played is the beginning of the game and obviously it acts as a Tutorial, so everything happens slowly. We are introduced to each of the interface elements one by one, same with the combat possibilities that our team has. All of our characters start with one special ability/action and grow to have four. Once they have reached that limit we can access the Skill Tree where we decide how to specialize each of those four skills through branching options that make them stronger, or change how they behave and what effects they have altogether.

Aarklash Legacy can boast having one of the most effective systems for stacking actions during combat. It reminds me of what one can see in the Neverwinter Nights saga but in a much friendlier way, and just as efficient. It doesn´t take long for this method of fighting to become very important in order to face more numerous attackers. More so when we have to deal with Healers, Magicians and Priests that can cause more than one trouble.

I also like very much the way one can upgrade units in a passive way through various kinds of jewels that provide different bonuses to the many attributes our characters have. Rings, earrings, amulets and relics help our Wheel Swords gain that edge that becomes so important when in combat. Since there is no selling of whatever we don´t like or have no use for --that I have seen yet--, we have the chance to destroy said item in order to increase a recycle gauge to obtain an Epic item out of it, which is just fantastic. I haven´t missed a shop yet and I am one of those individuals who won't leave a single item behind if he can help it.

Beyond the fact that the implementation of combat is fantastic (although a couple of fights felt like the still require a little balancing) there isn´t a single one where proper strategy hasn´t shown to be much more interesting, effective and quick than just some crude (pseudo)hack-n-slashing. We even reach a point where we can choose our squad members from a pool (the final game will have up to eight, I got to meet six of them; those named plus Leck Lorus, a Spectre of sorts, and Frinz a Dwarf) and define what role, or what place, they have in our team --Tank, Fighter, Support.

From the extra detail that the tutorial part of the game shows it is clear that Aarklash Legacy presents itself with much more depth than a regular player will understand directly from it. There are many categories for different Effects that can hinder or help our characters during a fight. I imagine that a Confrontation player will grasp the implications of what they do faster and better than someone like me, who isn´t familiar with the miniature figures game. I don´t mean that we miss something, just that our understanding of it comes from hindsight not in advance (practice makes perfect, of course).

Characters are also very nicely thought out. Wendaroo is probably the most intriguing and original support unit I have seen in a long time. The way her abilities are used and how we can make them evolve really require a different thought process than the ones we are accustumed to. Suffice it to say that she uses Mana for her spells but she can´t regenerate it, in order to recover it she needs to absorb life (hit points) from an ally, this requires quite a bit of neuron bumping during the tougher battles.

The enemies we face are quite common in fantasy and mythological contexts but they are well made, well presented. And to those familiar with the minifigures it is probably even more interesting to see them alive and in action.

As we move through the maps and explore we find a few treasure chests, some with little puzzles to activate them, that offer interesting surprises, including the guardians of said prize. Rotating a few of our characters so they too gain experience becomes necessary for whenever a big battle or Epic enemy appears, one never knows when their skills will be the ones needed to tip off the balance in our favour.

All in all I have enjoyed my time in Aarklash Legacy. Visually it is great, the combat system is excelent, the interface and how it handles visual cues needs nothing else, and the practically flawless implementation of a stacking/chaining system for the actions and spells only adds to its list of things done well. The latter being a great feature for truly tactical fighting and for learning to use each character´s advantages while making sure their weaknesses don´t bring everything down. Nothing to complain in Cyanide Studio´s most recent visit to the Confrontation Universe, and a lot to look forward to.

 


Teclado EZ-Reach 2030 por TypeMatrix.

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