Over the weekend, I started writing a homage to the late Mike Singleton's singular achievement, The Lords of Midnight. Released thirty years ago, the game and its sequel were first-person strategy-RPG hybrids before the foundation of either genre had been laid. A rare sunny day rudely interrupted my efforts to complete the article and I hadn't even opened Word this morning before a reminder of the game slid into my browser. Legions Of Ashworld is the closest thing to Lords of Midnight that I've seen since Doomdark's Revenge, the sequel to Lords of Midnight. Quite how I've managed to miss out on the entire four-year development process of Ashworld is a mystery but the game is out now and I'm keen to see more. Trailer below.
The developer has acknowledged the Lords of Midnight influence in a blog post, highlighting the most important differences between the two games:
In case you are a fan of The Lords of Midnight (or just played it), here are some of the biggest differences related to gameplay mechanics:
- Battles occur in the in-game time like other actions. In other words, a turn does not necessarily end upon entering a battle as it can finish before the night.
- Standard system of items with inventory and transferring.
- Item based food supplies with influence per “person” (not per “lord”) – bigger armies need more supplies.
- Animals move over the night. Beast can attack anyone they think can (b)eat not only the lords without armies. Join previous two sentences and you know what can happen over the night with your lone scouts :) .
- Wizards use the Lore powers (will write a post about that stuff in future)
For those who haven't played The Lords of Midnight, the trailer gives a fairly good impression of what to expect. The world is divided into tiles and leaders navigate from a first-person perspective, moving armies into strong strategic positions, attempting to conquer, defend and intercept. Midnight is rich with its own lore, as is Ashworld, but I've always thought that the war that forms the backdrop to Frodo's ring-bearing would be ideally suited to a game of this sort. Large, scattered groups on both sides of the war, high stakes and recognisable leaders in a complex world.
I'm tempted by Ashworld but I also want to spend a few days with the remake of Lords of Midnight. Dilemma. Ashworld is seeking votes on Greenlight. The game can be purchased direct from the developer for €9.99.