Developer: Snowbird Games
Publisher: Snowbird Games
Release Date: April 19, 2013
ESRB: N/A (T suggested)
A download code was provided by the publisher for this review
When seeking out strategy titles, the Eador name is one not likely recognized by many. All the same, Eador: Genesis was viewed as quite the modern classic when it launched in 2009. With a devoted following and great tactical control, Snowbird Games decided to remake it. That“s where Eador: Masters of the Broken World comes in. New life has been breathed into the title via updated graphics and control but is it still relevant?
Yes, Eador still provides a great experience, although not a perfect one. At the start of the game you“ll immediately see the differences between it and other Western real-time strategy titles. The game begins after you have selected your starting Hero and engage in a few conversations with your teacher. This intro sets up the idea that there are a few key different gameplay styles to engage in, which focus on being either more aggressive or more intelligent. Although the game does not inundate users with tutorials at the start, new elements are slowly rolled out for a good deal of hours.
Despite this choice, it is probably the only way in which it feels like the game holds your hand. In fact, players may be overwhelmed with the degree of choice opened up to them. After getting some back story and feel for the mechanics, players are set free to begin their fuzzily-defined journey. Basically, you have to collect various shards from different realms. Of course this means that others in the universe also want to keep control of their shards so you“re not going to get them easily.
The only way to get your shards and march toward victory is to fight, fight, and fight some more. Battles take place from a top down perspective and take place in typical RTS fashion. Troops are commanded to move across hexagonal floor tiles and can fight with long or close range melee attacks as well as magical skills. Players have full control over their army and the types of troops to be used. Archers, healers, and others are all vying to give their lives for the cause.
If you can keep your troops alive long enough, they are able to level up alongside Heroes. Once either levels up, players select what stat they“d like boosted. Of course, if any member of the posse dies then all of the time put into increasing their skills will have been for naught. Don“t get too attached as enemies dying in battle are a fairly common occurrence. Still, they have no story aspects applied to them so it doesn“t feel like much of a loss.
Battles are the highlight of the game, although they are far from the only aspect. Alongside destroying armies and monsters underfoot, players are also tasked with creating a capital city, exploring nations, and generally keeping the populous pleased. When defeating enemies, you claim it for your own. From there, it“s your job to make sure the controlled populous is happy, or at least not completely disheartened over the state of affairs. This is a bit confusing at first, but not nearly as much as the capital itself.
The capital serves as a home base for Heroes and their people. Stores for weapon repair, new troops, and items are available here. It also happens to be the location that development of various new buildings is started. Although the game has a small tutorial about it, figuring out how to create new buildings is very odd. Many buildings have other buildings as prerequisites but it“s hard to comprehend why. Then there are also other resources necessary to build that are not adequately discussed. As such, it“s a bit hard to discern what you need to build and when to keep your capital“s people happy, but to also keep a steady income going.
Thankfully you do not need to keep constant watch over a capital as it will mostly govern itself in your stead. With the player free to explore, they can discover new items in claimed regions as well as new wars to wage. Strangely, battles can come in many degrees of difficulty at any time. In just the first few hours, players can stumble upon a nest of vampires which are incredibly tough. Eador lets players know if a battle is going to be difficult but it still might catch players the first few times.
Returning to battles, there are unfortunately some problems to report. For some odd reason, battles move at a very slow pace. Characters walk from hexagon to hexagon like they“re wading through molasses. Similarly, attack animations seem to take needless amounts of time. Interestingly, hit points are taken from enemies before the animation occurs, which often leads to confusion as to whether a character will survive the enemy“s move or not. Those completely confident that they will win a fight can initiate an automatic battle, at least.
Many players have experienced a wealth of glitches and problems with Eador“s optimization on their computer. I did not experience these problems, although did notice that the program seemed to be using excessive resources during play. This may be a one-off issue, but is worth noting all the same. The developers have been updating the game and will probably continue to do so to patch existing issues in the near future.
For all the issues outlined, Eador still seems like a dream game for players who want a supremely deep RTS experience. There is so much to be done, so many systems to learn, and various Hero classes to experiment with. Battles are great fun, as is expanding your empire, and they are fairly addicting activities once you get accustomed to them. It“s hard to believe that Eador: Masters of the Broken World actually came through Steam Greenlight because it is such a massive experience. For that, it definitely deserves some attention.
+ Many hours of content
+ Wealth of powers, level ups, and weapons to use
+ Neat mix of RTS, exploration, and city building
- Great deal of reported bugs
- Confusing systems to discern
- Strangely slow battles
Overall Score: 7.0 (out of 10)
Eador: Masters of the Broken World is almost good enough to be a RTS fan“s favorite if its various bugs and issues can be ironed out first.