The learning curve on this game, if you are not au fait with the series, is so steep it would bog down an off-road vehicle. The tutorial is basic at best and doesn’t tell anywhere near what you need to know to prevail even on the easiest setting. Despite the fact it is turn-based or because it so, mistakes are brutally crushed and it is hard to come back from them. Saving quite often is recommended to keep your sanity.
This is the sequel to Fallen Enchantress which was popular despite having its critics. I found several criticisms of this release saying it merely fixed the problems with the first game that should have been there in the first place. As I have not played the first game I cannot comment to that.
I suspect that those that liked this game’s predecessor and have pre-ordered this one do not care one iota. They revel in the anal retentive level of complexity and nuance this game requires to play well. For the rest of us it is an exercise in frustration until you get the hang of it (if at all) and only then will it be at all fun.
I am going to assume the crashes and game-killing bugs (like the one that punted my entire army off the map entirely) have been squashed in the final release. I would suggest checking the forums for this game if you want to know how to play it correctly (or the wiki) and to find out if the kinds have been worked out of it. Auto-resolve, is a time saver but can be frustrating with AI not resolving the battle satisfactorily.
Ultimately this is a fantasy strategy game where you try to expand your empire and crush your foes. This is done by building up your cities and your heroes (which you get for reaching various milestones) before being declared king or queen of all by either force or diplomacy. You can tweak your heroes to quite a great degree adding skills and equipment to make them unbeatable.
There are all sorts of maps you can chose from and all sorts of tweaks to the win conditions as well. There is quite a bit of choice in this game and that is to be welcomed.
Graphically it is not up to much and it should not tax your system too much. It is not a good looking game by any means. Then again this game does not need uber-graphics and machine crushing visuals. Sound assets are acceptable if nothing special.
However it has a workshop that will allow people to create things for the game which is always nice and gives it even more legs than it would normally. There is a lot to offer in this game of that there is no doubt. The only question is are you interested in what it has to offer.
Ultimately if minutiae level of complexity driven fantasy city/hero warfare is your thing then you might want to take a look at this. It requires skill and patience with attention to detail to become ruler of the entire map.
GameXYZ is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Content Descriptors..