Elven Legacy: Magic PC
Published by: 1C Company
Developed by: 1C: Ino-Co.
Elven Legacy: Magic is the third and final expansion for Elven Legacy, the fantasy turn-based strategy game. We've already looked at the previous expansions, Ranger and Siege, and whilst they were both solid and enjoyable expansions, neither did much to change the core Elven Legacy experience to any great extent. Elven Legacy: Magic doesn't do anything to really shake up the Elven Legacy formula but there's enough here to make it worthwhile for those who enjoyed Elven Legacy and the first two expansions.
Priced at just under £8, Elven Legacy: Magic offers a fifteen mission campaign, new heroes: Gilven and Master Brennock, new tactical skills, new spells, new summons and Dwarven runes. There's even a bonus mission including some of the heroes from both Elven Legacy and Fantasy Wars. A relentless wave of demonic magical energy, caused by the death of the demon Farrakh, has swept the world and has now reached Sylent. The corrupted magical energy has been driving mages insane, even the Masters of the Academy of Magic are being affected, and The Holy Inquisition have gone about the process of stripping all magic users of their powers, although they couldn't do anything for their insanity. At the beginning of the campaign you can either choose to play as Master Brennock or a Dwarf named Khrand who specialises in rune magic.
The game-play in Elven Legacy: Magic doesn't differ much from the core Elven Legacy experience although the new spells and summons help to make things a little more interesting. Unfortunately the problems that have been present since the release of the original game still remain. The difficulty level is just as punishing in Magic as it has been in the original game and the second expansion Elven Legacy: Siege (Ranger did ease up a little). Even on easy level the game isn't what most would regard as accessible. Seasoned strategy gamers won't mind the challenge (after all it makes victory all the more satisfying) but there should be an easier difficulty setting to open up the game to those who don't want to spend hours replaying missions over and over again. Another problem, for the most part, with the Elven Legacy games has been the sloppy translation to English. It wouldn't have taken much to have had all of the English dialogue and storyline proof read by native English speakers. Some of the mistakes are just silly and they could have been easily avoided.
As with the Siege and Ranger expansions, there's absolutely no difference in regards to the game's presentation. Aside from effects for the new spells and summons, there's no real difference graphically speaking. The user interface also remains the same. Deaf gamer friendliness remains the same. Large portions of the tutorials still remain without subtitles meaning they are of little value for deaf gamers. However, in other respects there are no real problems. The dialogue is accompanied by character portraits and names (for the main characters) so you'll be aware of who is speaking. Briefings and objectives are shown in text and can be recalled at any time. You're notified of how many turns you have left to win specific awards. Text and numbers will also inform you of unit damage and status during battles.
Having played Elven Legacy and all of its three expansions I can honestly say that the games will appeal to anyone who has a liking for fantasy turn-based strategy games. They aren't games which are trying to be accessible. In fact, the difficulty level found here is definitely pitched at seasoned strategy gamers. Elven Legacy: Magic can be just as punishing as the other Elven Legacy titles but as we said earlier this does have the bonus of making all of your victories all the more sweeter. 1C definitely needs to improve the quality of their English translations however because at times it's really clumsy. Problems aside however, Elven Legacy and its expansions are all enjoyable. It's just a shame that Elven Legacy: Magic, like the other expansions, didn't do anything to really shake up the formula of the original game.