Average User Score: 7.3Nov 10, 2012Fallen Enchantress has the potential to be one of the best games not only of the year, but of its kind. Unfortunately, that potential has notFallen Enchantress has the potential to be one of the best games not only of the year, but of its kind. Unfortunately, that potential has not yet been met. Players who are familiar with the Civilization IV mods Fall From Heaven and Fall From Heaven II will recognize the influence of Kael / Derek Paxton, the lead designer on this project. It is obvious to any fan that he was trying to realize his creative vision in terms of a standalone game -- an idea that should excite anyone, but that isn't "there" yet.
Fallen Enchantress is also a great heir to the classic Master of Magic formula: It plays like a highly intuitive version of Civilization with magic and fantastic units included. When you first begin the game, you can easily find yourself pulled into the atmosphere and excited to see what your heroes, monsters, and beasts can do. For a while, it feels like you are playing both a great RPG and a great strategy game, as you build up cities from tons of building and strategy choices -- all while your customized sovereign explores the landscape, collects treasure, vanquishes monsters, and completes quests.
However, there are a number of problems keeping Fallen Enchantress from becoming truly great:
1) The graphics, although passable, are flat and do not create either compelling characters or landscapes.
2) The RPG and strategy elements do not always work together effectively, leaving you quickly feeling that you have exhausted your options on the RPG side. To be fair, this is often very true with other, more highly regarded games, such as Age of Wonders.
3) The mythology is usually very flat. While there are some fantastic late-level quests (the one related to the darklings and the Pit of Lost Voices stands out) most of the writing and flavor text is so-so. This is a result of Kael having to work with the frankly boring Elemental mythos. As we know from seeing his mods, he is great at creating an environment on his own -- but it doesn't translate well here.
If you can look beyond these issues, you'll find that there is a great, engaging game that's already very playable and enjoyable. It looks some of its impact in comparison to what it could have been, but I for one intend to stick with the community through all the amazing modding (which has already started) and expansions that are sure to become available.
Fallen Enchantress is a very ambitious project and a worthy successor to the games it's inspired by. When a few minor issues are worked out, it's sure to be a ten. If you're a big fan of 4X, buy it now -- otherwise, give it a few months to cook with the wider gamer feedback it's sure to get.… Expand