Finally, the wait for fans of the mythical saga of strategy and magic is over. Spellforce Conquest of Eo is already here and with a most varied proposal, because the game of Owned by Gravity bet on a hybrid approach that combines details of such disparate genres within strategy such as 4X, turn-based tactical combat, and naturally supported by the saga’s own rich and fascinating narrative.
Gets it? Halfway: the proposal of the game that distributes THQ Nordic it is interesting and it is very well presentedbut it seems that by the way has been left some “notes” to cast your spell well. And I come to explain them in this analysis.
The search for power and the conquest of the Land of Eo
Spellforce Conquets of Eo puts us in the shoes of a wizard apprentice that we have to create by choosing one of the three archetypes available (alchemist, artificer or necromancer) or, as a novelty for the launch, being able to create one to our liking by selecting various types of magical knowledge that we can combine with some flexibility. Then we must select a place in the vast Land of Eo in which to begin our adventure. To say at this point that the map is so big as one that could be found or configured among the most relevant 4X of the moment, such as civilization either Stellaris (saving the distances and differences when moving through them and in appearance, obviously); there are several well-differentiated biomes and some will favor the style of play of one of the three types of magicians, apart from having different resources and enemies in each zone.
Broadly speaking, and in line with what I already told you in my first impressions of Spellforce Conquest of Eo -and I recommend that you read to better understand the combat and management system- this is in itself what the final version of Spellforce Conquest of Eo offers. Going a little deeper, the management of our spells, their development, research and the transfer of our Tower the rich in details map, are the strongest points of the game. In addition to the RPG sections of decision making and plot development typical of the saga.
The map is as big as one that could be found or configured among the most relevant 4X of the moment
Aside from the fact that the choice of one of the mage archetypes determines our spells, so does the type of resources that we will need collect to progress in alchemy or some narrative events, so it is also important to know how to select a starting biome, although the game encourages us to experiment with it. And of course the type of enemies that we will face at the beginning and the troop recruitment capabilities that we have based on the starting area.
Troops that we will later have to use in combat section and that it is a version of a TBCS (Turn Based Combat Strategy) game, fun, but something superficial. The grace of progress in this Spellforce lies in knowing how to position our tower (it doesn’t take long until we learn the spell that allows us to “move” to another place on the map), defend her -we can’t build another tower and if we lose it the game ends-, exploit the resources in the area and carry out missions for our main search, our apprentices or allied heroes, or to collect resources. All while we are getting more “All Fire”, the magical essence that we must control to mage and tower level upand get more gold, research points, mana for spells and contact the largest cities (either for research or trade).
Broadly speaking, the management, exploration and exploitation of the map is like a 4X, determining what do we want focus production, and using it to level up our base and access the most advanced rooms that we can build and that give access to the best troops of each wizard archetype. Add that the three share the same basic troops for the most part, except the necromancer who recruit more easily but he cannot heal them like the other two.
We also have to learn to use the own alchemy of our magical specialization: potions, runes, or necromancy spells. And it is something that is very fun to discover and forces us to think about how to take advantage of the resources of the area through which we are moving until the next chapter of the main story, whether or not to engage in combat with the rival wizards of the Land of Eo (which we will also have to do at some point), or the decisions to be made in some secondary missions that will give us resources or new allies or force us to engage in combat to get out of the encounter alive.
A somewhat green apprentice in his spells
So far everything sounds very sweet. Make no mistake, I don’t intend to start telling you the “buts” about the game now to discourage us, but as I said in December, the game seems to have problems to build well the different areas it wants to cover. Starting with the field of management, although the tutorials make everything very clear, the development of our tower and the spells or alchemy feels something touched in passing. In games like recent XCOM or even in King Arthur: Knight’s Tale, felt so much more progress in the development of the base or the Avenger, or in the castle of Camelot than here.
The investigation is no more than in other games, but most of the advances they are spells, and I would prefer them to be made of more permanent elements. Therefore the construction of the rooms, although useful, has no no compensation and makes it a “no brainer” to build according to the type of magician we are a given in abundance, at least in the early going. Later in the game, there is hardly any penalty to demolish one to free space for others, so I don’t feel like I’m facing a real management challenge like in the other games.
As far as combat is concerned, it wants to be a Tactical Turn Based Combat entertaining and gets it. Artistically it looks good, and despite its technical simplicity, the game can be enjoyed in these sections. But those who are looking for somewhat elaborate combats or with a great tactical load will find themselves very disappointed after fighting in the first skirmishes. It all comes down to positioning the troops, attracting the enemy and disposing of him. At least the choice of one type of magician or another offers variety in this regard, and don’t fight the same way an artificer than a necromancer (one with runes to equip on troops, the other with spells or those carried by their troops). Yes, the AI of the enemy units has been improved, it is no longer so easy to attract them. But equally, the only usable part of the land is the height; the forests don’t offer much cover, and terrain features don’t affect unit movement much either.
As I progressed through his story and walked around the stage, the main task began to weigh on me.
As for the plot, it has its point of interest, but I have noticed a certain “repetition” of patterns. Apart from the fact that it can be very slow to progress through it (we are obliged to move the tower almost all the time), in three different games that I have started, I almost always found myself with the same events although it will lead to a different type of magician. Be careful, each one has its own missions and objectives, but others are repeated and many allies that join us in the story are almost always the same with the same missions. This is not the case with the random ones, which work like an RPG and depending on whether we want to be diplomatic or not, they will give one result or another. But another big problem is that the game It only comes in English and there is a lot of text what to read; interesting text and rich in details, everything is said, but a lot for the game that it is, and it is not narrated or consists of summaries like in Civilization when events occur.
With all this in mind, I must say that as I progressed through his story and through the setting, the main task began to become a bit heavy for me: defeating the other magicians and achieving Eo’s mastery. There are factors that try to spice up the development of a game (the weeks and days in the game can contain buffs for us and the treasures are not always the same), but that is another problem: the randomness of some. Sometimes the game will ask us for a resource to progress in the plot that is in the opposite direction of the current objective, or just to continue investigating. So sometimes we have to deviate quite a bit from our route to help one of our apprentices with their personal missions or to get that spell that catches our attention from the grimoire. That sounds to me like the game wants artificially lengthen its duration. And it is something that fans of the saga or the genre will not care about, but if the rest think like me, they will not find it acceptable that the game does not respect its time, despite the fact that its mechanics are simple and accessible to the general public. .
As for the technical section, it is a game very modest. Which I consider positive, since anyone who wants to enter it will not find any impediment; in all my hours of gaming, I have not experienced not a single bug or crash, something unusual in these times. And regarding the artistic part, it is one of the more beautiful and worked, although it does recycle units from previous games in the series a bit. The soundtrack, without being anything grand or epic, complies, and the illustrations and the “board” itself of the Land of Eo are beautiful, the most colorful and pleasant I’ve seen in a long time; with clear contrasts between settings and regions, and hundreds of small details that enrich resource identification and the variety of biomes. Undoubtedly, one of the best points and one that will make magical fantasy lovers enjoy the game and throughout the almost 45 hours that it can take to complete a game with one of the wizards if we stop to complete each task or mission that arises to us
Spellforce Conquest of Eo wants to put a lot of things on the table and it does so with a successful presentation that will attract first-time fans of 4X and turn-based tactical combat. However, it seems that he wants to touch so many things and offer so much at the same time that he doesn’t quite finish what he starts with what he proposes. To this we must add a somewhat slow progression and development of the plot (or plots of our apprentices) that unnecessarily lengthen its duration. Even so, due to its presentation, price, and accessibility for players who want to try their luck for the first time with the genres it contains, it is a good title and it complies. But I urge players who want a better challenge look elsewhere – it’s very flat in quite a few things it offers.
Beautiful presentation and interesting plot presented to the RPG.
Accessible to newbies with various combat and development options…
…but shallow for many seasoned 4X or TBCS players looking for a challenge.
Well optimized and with a reasonable price entry fee.
Development and progress somewhat slow; few variations on the plot no matter what wizard we are.
Language: Texts in English and Voices in English
Duration: 30-50 hours
See system requirements
See SpellForce: Conquest of Eo file