Pointy-Ears And Click Interface: Elven Legacy Demo

By Kieron Gillen on April 23rd, 2009 at 9:37 am.

Look at them. Elves! Lined up with their shiny armour and pointy ears and their implicit fascism. I hate them! I hate them all!

Ino-co are currently at work on finishing Majesty 2, but it’s not all they’ve been up to. They’ve released a sequel to the generically-named yet lovely turn-based strategy game Fantasy Wars. And now they’ve only gone and released a bally 700Mb demo, containing the tutorial and the first campaign mission. And you can get it from here. Or even here. Or here. I had a play of some Beta code a few months ago, and it doesn’t seem to have lost any of the Fantasy Battle charm, despite the fact it’s about Elves. I hate Elves. If it takes your fancy, you can buy here. And you’ll find an official game-o-play video and a user-made game-o-play video below…

Bloody elves.

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62 Comments »

  1. Garg says:

    I love gamershell; I don’t understand why more game download sites don’t follow their lofty ideals of downloading stuff without having to register and sign in and dodge adverts demanding you subscribe.

    More on topic: do these games sell? Especially with a super generic fantasy name like that. I can’t help but think generic names kill games, like with that WW2 Men of War game.

  2. Eveningfall says:

    Looks interesting. Downloading the demo via Steam now.

  3. Bobsy says:

    I quite like elves in general, but a game completely about the pointy-eared slags would be a bit much.

  4. Dizet Sma says:

    Hex based? In the 21st Century?

  5. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    King’s Bounty was hex-based too.

  6. danielcardigan says:

    Most turn based games are hex-based, even if you don’t necessarily see the hexes.

  7. bansama says:

    King’s Bounty was hex-based too.

    Same people created that one didn’t they? Certainly the same publisher as Fantasy Wars.

  8. Malagate says:

    I hate elves. They’re just too much “Peter Perfect” for me, lots of advantages with very little in the way of flaws usually. Why aren’t there more games where we’re playing as some ugly Orcs or Trolls and spend most of the time pummeling all the thin pretty pointy-ears into a fine paste?

  9. Uglycat says:

    I’m somewhere around a 1/3 of the way through the original FW and it’s quite nice. The battle animations are fun for about 5 mins and after that you end up clicking to make them go faster as there’s no meaningful interaction at that level. As long as you save often, it’s quite good. Whether the PES will be worth another 24.99 I’m not ready to say.

  10. futage says:

    I don’t mind elves. So long as they’re not also wizards. I hate wizards.

  11. Darxide says:

    Malagate said:

    Why aren’t there more games where we’re playing as some ugly Orcs or Trolls and spend most of the time pummeling all the thin pretty pointy-ears into a fine paste?

    That was one thing I liked about Overlord. The elves were nearly all dead and you get to finish them off.

  12. Dizet Sma says:

    @DanielCardigan

    I must tell that to all of the wargaming companies who abandoned hexes, real or imagined, a while ago. Hexes are a hangover from board games and are surely redundant in a modern computer game – you don’t have to run a straight edge between dots in the middle of each hex to determine LOS, do you?

  13. PC Monster says:

    Elves: Aristocratic New Age Dandys of any Tolkeinoid universe. A pox on them all, I say. Who’s with me?

    WHO’S WITH ME??

  14. AndrewC says:

    People that don’t like Elves are homophobic.

  15. Kieron Gillen says:

    People who like Elves are basically Nazis.

    (Said it before: Elves are basically Aryans who happen to be right about being better than everyone else.)

    Fuckers!

    KG

  16. Bobsy says:

    I like how you rant about nazi elf-lovers… but subconciously still capitalise the word “elves”.

    You know you love ‘em. With their long flowing blond hair and their perfect complexion and those dreamy blue eyes and that graceful, dexterous goose-step.

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    And their +2 Dexterity! Bastards!

    KG

  18. AndrewC says:

    Yeah, they’re Aryans, but also hippies, grumpy grandads, snobby elitsts, simple country folk and a whole bunch else.

    Mostly Elves are the representations of the redundancy of perfection – colourless, disconnected, doomed to obsolescance. They are the self-negation of transcendance and, as such, constitute a valuable argument against neo-platonic religious metaphysics. Cor!

    Mostly I’m OK with them if they wear tiny bras.

  19. marilena says:

    @Dizet Sma

    I think I’m failing to see your point. What would you like to replace hexes with?

  20. klei says:

    To you elf-haters – do not worry, the elves in this game are self-righteous, annoying, relatively evil bastards of suck. You’ll love them. Or love to hate them. Or something.

    I watched the second video, and zomg, that idiot allowed his archer squad to die in the first few turns. Okay, I’s a very hard game and you just DONT lose squads. They come with you on the next mission, you never ever gold to buy even one new squad, also there is a very demanding turn limit, and if you fail to stay within it, you dont get gold for completing the mission, so on the next one you are even more screwed and squadless. And if you somehow manage to beat it – do not worry, the next one you shall not. I consider myself veteran and it was unavoidable for me to replay each mission 5 freaking times to get all the gold on the map, to get all artifacts i want to keep, to avoid losing any units and to finish in time for the best reward. Yes, i know i am supposed to only do part of these things, but not according to the game designers – the next mission kinda expects you to have done all you could have done to stand any good chance.

    disclaimer – that’s the normal difficulty, easy gives much more gold and much less enemies. I didn’t have the balls for hard.

  21. Bobsy says:

    @marilena:

    A lack of hexes.

  22. Quirk says:

    Elves are pretty much always presented as immortals (as per Tolkien) or absurdly long-lived. This gives them a reason to be better at things than other people – lots and lots of practice.

    However, this is matched with appropriate ennui and breeding habits suitable for a population which lives a very long time. Their big disadvantage thus lies in being heavily outnumbered (and, one would assume, in being creatures of very long-standing habit).

    If klei tells the truth, it sounds like the game’s doing its bit on the heavily outnumbered front…

  23. RussianDude says:

    Well, Elven Legacy’s elves are, in fact, snobby and highly shovinistic to other races, what makes them nazis of fantasy world of Illis.

    By the way, did you people know, that original russian title of Elven Legacy is The Supreme Race (Высшая Раса)?

  24. Severian says:

    Can we at least say that female elves are hot & sexy Nazis?

  25. Severian says:

    On another note, I love me some turn-based strategy and am wondering whether this is the game to tide me over until Elemental. I’ve read some pretty mixed reviews about Fantasy Wars – I guess I’d like to know how well this one compares to the “old-school”: Disciples, Age of Wonders, etc. Or instead of following the herd, I suppose I can just download the demo… [shuffles away]

  26. groovychainsaw says:

    I’ve been thoroughly hooked on fantasy wars – nice to see there’s a follow up for me to graduate on to. Only thing thats strange – it’s hard, and in a slightly unfair way. You level your units and take them through the campaign. If you are rubbish (which i was, at first), the campaign basically becomes impossible and you have to start again and be more careful about keeping units alive. Also, you only get extra money, items etc. if you complete missions quickly. So if you are good at the game, the game gets conitinually easier, if you are bad at it it gets progressively harder.
    Is it just me, or is that sort of the wrong way round somehow? I’m not suggesting it needs to be ‘accessible’ (a hex based strat game is hardly casual), but from a game design point of view, it comes across as a bit odd. Anyway, this (and its prequel) = good. Buy them.

  27. marilena says:

    @Bobsy

    That really doesn’t help, does it? I would have liked some explanations before going into the discussion, because otherwise I might argue against something else than the guy’s point.

    You can’t have nothing. You need to split the map into discrete positions in order to know where units can be. You also need tools that can work and that can be understood by the player.

    Hexes do allow you to understand directions and distances fast and well. Squares or circles or whatever also generally work, but I find that in HOMM 5 squares have some drawbacks in terms of judging direction. It’s true that they also made it more difficult for themselves by having creatures of varying sizes (some are 1 square, some are 4 squares).

    It’s also important to note that this is very much a nice game. It has an audience that wants hexes and not something else and it makes sense that they pander to the audience.

  28. Markoff Chaney says:

    Fantasy Wars (like an updated Fantasy General) is a really enjoyable game. I haven’t picked this one up yet due to my obsession with King’s Bounty and I’m enjoying not having a turn limit when I’m strategerizing. Having the whole world be Hex and Turn based can lead to some really nice synergies with different units. The turn limit is the only thing about FW I didn’t really like, but it is necessary (and a long term time honored part of TBS) to keep people from making it too easy. Good to see they made a follow up to it as the first one was really good stuff. I hope to get it one day on a good sale.

    People like elves? Good for them, I guess. I’m a live and let live kinda guy, but I really think the only good elf is a dead ‘un.

    -EDIT- As to Hexes. I can’t hardly think of a better way to set up a Turn Based System. I as well was greatly disappointed in HOMMVs square system. It makes for much less interesting synergies and fewer ways to surround and easier ways to hobble some enemies. The only other way I can see Turn Based working is like the WarHammers Tabletops do it with each squad having movement limitations and the like, but, even then you have to consider units taking up space and how to keep track of said space. The hexes keep us in board game mode which isn’t always a bad thing.

  29. Kieron Gillen says:

    RussianDude: If that’s true, man, that’s amazing.

    KG

  30. Unlucky Irish says:

    Can’t stand Elves; they’re either weird race metaphors as had been said, ennui ridden bores (friendly vampires basically) or annoying idealizations of traditional “Englishness” ( or more accurately a modern take on it). No one, bar Tolkien him self, has ever portrayed them with any sort of believability.

    Dwarves, on the other hand, much more interesting. Usually portrayed with a bit more “balance” as well.

  31. Kieron Gillen says:

    If dwarfs are so balanced, how come Gimli keeps on falling over?

    KG

  32. DMJ says:

    Because dwarfs make the finest beer.

  33. Markoff Chaney says:

    Aye. It’s the stout that makes their stout natures roll and tumble. I’m a dwarf lover as well. Long beards, live in the basement, get all jacked up on war or alcohol or whatnot. Good Times.

  34. Malagate says:

    Poor Gimli, the hairy angry comic relief tool that he was, a buffoon to Legolas’ Spider-Man-with-a-bow routine. Damn that Elf sympathiser Peter Jackson!

    To be honest, I didn’t really like Dwarves either, until I read some more Terry Pratchett and played a lot of Dwarf Fortress. Now I do like Dwarves, but I’ve never found anything to make me feel sympathetic towards elves, no matter how many plunging cleavages they may have.

  35. danielcardigan says:

    Dizet Sma says:” @DanielCardigan
    I must tell that to all of the wargaming companies who abandoned hexes, real or imagined, a while ago. Hexes are a hangover from board games and are surely redundant in a modern computer game – you don’t have to run a straight edge between dots in the middle of each hex to determine LOS, do you?”

    Which turn based wargaming companies abandoned hexes? I’m sceptical, though to be fair I haven’t really looked at any tactical turn-based wargames for a while. Certainly a lot of the strategic level ones never used hexes, because they were concentrating on territories. I still reckon a lot of those tactical turn based games still have hexes running underneath even if you can’t see them. BUT THEY’RE THERE, you just need to ask Cthulhu to move over to catch a glimpse of them.

  36. Finn says:

    I can see this being awesome IF and only IF there is mod support; I can imagine lots of tabletop gaming fans would be happy to have a easily moddable game with this look and feel. I would. :)

  37. Jeremy says:

    For all the elf haters here, Dragon Age makes them look pretty awesome. They’re basically the crap of existence and lesser beings according to the website, and the dwarf and human races are the poncy high born. Also, I liked Legolas… until they made Orlando Bloom play him in the movie.

  38. Unlucky Irish says:

    @Kieron Gillen: It’s an inner ear thing…..

  39. PleasingFungus says:

    @Gillen: A quick google finds Высшая Раса (Elven Legacy as the top result. Google Translate turns it into “Top Race”; which, of course, is exactly what you’d get even if the real meaning was closer to “Supreme Race”. (Machine translators being what they are.) The truth cannot be hidden any longer!

  40. Tei says:

    Hexes where somewhat usefull (has been described to me like that) in games about mechs*. On these games the hex provide different values for cover, and where mosly a world withouth ambiguity. Easier to plan and strategize.

    But this game don’t seems to use cover or stuff like that. Is hexes for the sake of it.

    *Battlemech?

  41. Nick says:

    “No one, bar Tolkien him self, has ever portrayed them with any sort of believability.”

    Terry Pratchette’s elves were well realised, I thought.

  42. marilena says:

    What the Hell have hexes to do with cover?

    Hexes are a way to divide the map into discrete parts. Which is something you always need. Of course, you can do it in other ways (squares, territories etc.), but none of these has any attribute that makes it inherently better than hexes. It’s all about what the developer wants to use.

  43. Okami says:

    I know this has absolutely nothing to do with the game, but this needs to be said:

    Skaven!

  44. Serondal says:

    I really likes the dwarf. We whom play Dwarf Fortress have been fighting the elves all along you just didn’t realize it. We built complex traps for when the elves come with their caravans full of wood crap and animals, then when they’re ontop of our trade deopts we make giant rocks fall on their heads or cause the ground to fall away under them sending them down into a magma chamber Muwahahahaha! join us won’t you?!

    Dwarfs is better in every way shape and form to an elf. A dwarf will help you even if he knows it is hopeless, an elf will fly across the sea and leave you to die. A dwarf will drink with you and help you drown your sorrows and he won’t try to pyscho analize you while you’re doing it! A dwarf will help you move, elves pretend they alreay have other stuff planned every EVERY TIME.

    BTW I can’t even think of a war game that doesn’t use either hex based or square based movement when they are turn based. You got those Heart of Iron type games but they’re not turn based war games they are real time and you can’t really change France into a bunch of hexes :P

    I believe those total War Games use a kind of hex-based system for their turn based phase. Steel Panthers, King’s Bounty, this game, Westnoth, Fire Emblem, FFtactics. They all use some kind of hex based or square based movement system. It is just the better ones that go with hex based because they know it gives you more options on how to move your units and how to put them into a formation. Even Dwarf Fortress is hex based you just can’t see it.

  45. Malagate says:

    @Serondal, one time in my fortress, I managed to launch an elf merchant off a bridge, all the way across a room, and into a lava pit. I couldn’t stop laughing for 5 minutes afterwards.

    Hex does seem to be everywhere, I for one don’t mind it.

  46. clive dunn says:

    hmmm, i’m sensing a conspiracy of some sort. Hitler was into the I-ching which is of course a hex-based oracler system. Hexes…elves….hitler…..Supreme race….
    Anyway, i’m trying to cook scrambled eggs for the kids, got no time for this malarky

  47. Serondal says:

    If you add the number value for the letters in the name hitler I-ching and Hex-based and Elves you get the Long and Lattitude of the hidden Nazi base tucked away under the south pole durning the last days of ww2.

  48. jalf says:

    Oooh, more Fantasy Wars! Count me in!
    Although I’m going to miss the awesomely generic name. Who cares about elven legacies? I’m in it for the fantasy wars!

    On that note, I don’t think I ever finished the third campaign in Fantasy Wars. If only I had time, I’d go do it now, but there are so MANY games to play!

  49. Dizet Sma says:

    Computer games don’t need hexes to show distance, cover, facing or anything at all, really. Hexes were used for board games to codify things like that in an easy to record system.

    Now the computer does the recording and can show that information to you, hexes are redundant. The Close Combat series, for example, gives you all of the info you want without overlaying a grid on the screen.

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