The Dark Legions PC CD-ROM
Published by Reef Entertainment
Developed by Mascot Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
The Dark Legions, an introduction.
Last year a $14.95 shareware title called The Dark Legions was (and still is) available for download. The game was a simplistic RTS in many ways, most of all in terms of graphics. Still despite a barebones appearance and features that had been available in RTS games since at least Warcraft II. However at a price that approximates to £8 you can't really complain. A year later, the program is put onto a disk and sold for £19.99 (close to $40) and at this point it's not so acceptable.
What's the game about?
The Dark Legions is a medieval/fantasy style RTS that plays like many RTS games you probably played in the 1990's. The game is a single player only experience and offers the choice of taking part in a campaign or random map skirmish battles against up to 7 AI opponents. The campaign isn't very memorable though and just feels like a collection of skirmish battles thrown together.
What's good about the game?
If you've played any RTS game since Warcraft II then what's here is going to seem very skimpy indeed. It's the same tried and test formula of collecting a few resources and building an economy to sustain an army that outnumbers the opposition. What the game does it does fairly well, which is a positive of course, but by the standards of the last 5 years or so, this can't really be considered enough.
What's not so good about the game?
The first thing that will hit you is that you have to do a manual installation by copying files over to your hard disk and running the game from there. We hope this is just an issue with our review code and not the final version but if it is, it's a shocking state of affairs. Secondly the game looks very basic but we'll touch on that in more detail in a moment. The game itself feels like the RTS games of the last 5 or so years never happened, and many of the refinements (such as formations for military units) that have graced the genre in that time are not present in The Dark Legions. Poor path finding is a real issue here but the game just feels so basic it doesn't stand out as much as it would in a 'modern' RTS. Finally the lack of a multiplayer mode kills any chance of replay value, which given the sparse nature of the single player game is a shame.
How does it look?
When I first saw The Dark Legions in action my first thought was a harsh one. By today's standards the graphics are unbelievably bad and when you compare this with the RTS games that are hitting the shelves this autumn/winter it's quite horrifying. The whole thing looks about 7 years or so out of date. The advantage of course is just about every PC out there should run the game absolutely fine as long has they have a basic 3D accelerator. To its credit the game supports a lot of screen resolutions but no matter what the resolution, it still looks shockingly poor.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
This is probably the one area of the game where we can be positive. All information in the game is displayed in text so you won't miss out on anything. Your units don't give out any verbal comments when you issue orders to them so you're not even missing out on this. Objectives can also be recalled, so you can always check what your goals are which is useful.
The Dark Legions is without doubt a simplistic RTS in just about every way possible. Yes it can be quite engaging for a while but for the asking price you can pick up a couple of RTS games on budget labels from the likes of Sold Out or Xplosiv. If you really fancy a go at the game then you'd silly to ignore the fact that it's available for less than half the price as a shareware download which makes this release look unwise to say the least.
Overall Game Rating: 3.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
No problems for deaf gamers but that's probably one of the few positives you can mention with this game. Even if you fancy some nostalgic RTS action you would be silly to pay nearly £20 when it can be bought online for just under $15.