When I loaded up Sunset for the first time, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I backed it on Kickstarter some time ago, and promptly forgot about it until I got an email that it had been released. I knew the concept - set in a South American country in 1972, play as the cleaner of a powerful man (Gabriel Ortega) and influence your relationship with him through how you approach your tasks, all in the days and months following a military coup. Having not finished the game yet, I wanted to note down some thoughts from my first play session while they're still fresh in my mind. I don't intend to go into much detail regarding the story or anything here - most of it would be spoilers anyway, given that your experiences, choices, and reactions to the events that happen is what the game is all about.
I've had Deathtrap on my Steam wishlist for a while, since I'm a sucker for Tower Defence games, and when it was on sale a few weeks back I finally bought it. I hadn't read anything about it beforehand, but thought it looked good and a little different in atmosphere to most TDs, being part of the Van Helsing universe (which I know nothing about). While most TDs tend towards a light-hearted, bright style, here was something a bit darker and advertising 'Knee-deep in blood' as a selling point. Would it prove to be any fun?
After going through the summary graphs, now is a good time to talk about how I felt while playing the game. You could be forgiven for thinking that I had to force myself through it, and at times (particularly early on) I would probably have quit if I hadn't committed to doing the AAR. The worlds of Endless Legend are full of unusual resources and ruins, but very little that really felt exciting to me. Too few of those resources really resonated as interesting or important - they provide extra bonuses when you're building or expanding cities, but there are so many I tend to just place cities where they'll catch the most special features in their area of influence without worrying too much about the details. While there were a few important mountain formations (like those near the coast where we fought an important early battle with the Broken Lords) I couldn't remember much else - the bottleneck piece of land we fought over in Saradh as well. Both areas defined by battles, which Endless Legend does very well. Depending on your army and faction, you'll be looking for different things. Playing as the Wild Walkers with a bonus in forests, I was keeping my armies to the woods, circling enemy cities to strike from a side with trees, and that was very cool. When you are moving an army or looking to start a fight, then I think the map becomes interesting. But in terms of general exploration, not so much.
My Endless Legend AAR (starts here) ended with a wonder victory as I constructed a huge temple after completing my faction quests. In the end I had no serious competitors, despite a few uncertain moments earlier on. I was classed as weak by the score charts, but felt fairly safe. Did I enjoy the game? Yes, though I wasn't fully enthused in the earlier stages, and I'm glad it didn't take much longer to earn my victory, to be honest. But that's a harsh summary, and there's far more contributing to those feelings than just the game itself. More below the line.
In the last entry I had fought my way to the Necrophage region of Saradh, destroyed the city there, and converted a local village to complete a stage of my faction quest. My armies were returning victorious. The next stage involved searching some ruins, which would be easy enough - but I need Palladian ore, a rare resource that I currently have no production in, even with my many converted villages. Time to head to the diplomacy screen to see if anyone has some they're willing to part with.
In my first attack on Glandeh, I'm a little cocky and just charge straight in, ignoring the fortification bonuses. The fortification level of a city can be reduced by a siege, but if you just attack then it provides an extra layer of armour on top of all defending units which must be cleared before you actually start dealing damage to the unit. In addition, I was a little surprised to see the Necrophage militia prove moderately effective against my units (in past experience city militia has been utterly useless, but maybe that's because I wasn't investing in city defence upgrades and neither were my opponents).
Considering that one of the first 'proper' games I made featured waves of pink/purple robots, and indeed given the name of the site, it would be remiss of me not to feature Chroma Squad just for the giant mecha you get to control and customize in some missions. Aside from that, it's a wonderfully fun little tactical RPG with a sense of fun and colour.
In the last entry I had explored more of the world and uncovered the region of Saradh, where I need to convert every minor faction village and destroy any city present. Unfortunately that region belongs to the Necrophages, currently the strongest players in the game. I have a peace treaty with their neighbours - the Vaulters - but they happen to be the weakest players in the game.
We closed the last entry at turn 70, with a Broken Lords invasion force preparing to cross the small sea between their land and my Citadel. My hero Andom the Seer is several regions away, and the only army I have needs to take a longer route around the water - I muster two units of Kazanjii daemons from the villages in the neighbouring region, but given the winter I'm not sure if they'll get to Citadel before the Broken Lords lay siege.
This will be my third game of Endless Legend. My faction of choice this time will be the Cultists, who only have one city and convert the minor faction villages to be more dedicated allies than for other factions. I enjoyed the Wild Walkers and their forest bonuses in my first game, but found the Drakken much less interesting in my second. Probably because I had a better grasp of the game mechanics and was still playing on a low difficulty I found it too easy, so I didn't have much call for the diplomatic special powers of the dragon people. If nothing else, having only one city should change the game substantially. I'm playing on a large map with six empires on Hard difficulty. The world gen options are fairly standard.
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.