I like Fallen Enchantress. It’s the closest anyone has come to producing the game I’ve been dreaming about since I was an adolescent with visions of wizards carving fantastical empires out of a hostile world. But as much as I feel like I should be head-over-heels in love with it, my 50-plus hours with the game leave me satisfied rather than ecstatic. Maybe some enterprising modder will use the included tools to expand on the base game’s good parts while mitigating its issues and add a little soul to the mix. I’ll gladly dump another 50 hours into Fallen Enchantress on that blessed day.
There are also many quests to undertake, but they lack variety and usually involve defeating some powerful enemy. You will also encounter other champions you can recruit (for a price); all heroes level up with combat experience (unlocking a choice of skills) and suffer injuries when defeated in battle. Improved equipment can be purchased for your heroes once researched, increasing their stats. Fallen Enchantress also has many more default units to choose from, so you don’t feel like you have to customize a new soldier every time research is completed. Tactical combat is improved because of more interesting spells and unit abilities, but still a little bland. The multithreaded AI is strong and efficient and provides a capable foe. Though still complex and requiring trail-and-error to discover optimal strategies, Fallen Enchantress is much improved over its predecessor War of Magic and features a pleasant combination of role-playing and 4X conventions with enough variety to keep the game fresh.
The takeaway? If you like strategy games, you’ll like Fallen Enchantress. If you like RPG games and fantasy settings, you’ll like Fallen Enchantress. If you like the kind of game where you say to yourself, “I’ll just play this for fifteen minutes or so,” and then all of a sudden it’s 4:00 in the morning, then you can add Fallen Enchantress to the list of games that seem to warp time. And if you like games that are designed by people who care about giving gamers a great experience, then you should pick up Elemental: Fallen Enchantress and then work your way through the rest of the Stardock catalog.
Fallen Enchantress is the type of game that most people have a good idea about whether or not they’ll enjoy it before they even play it. For fans of turn based strategy and 4X games, this game sticks close enough to the common tropes of the genre while also adding in some fairly significant elements of other genres to make this an interesting game, if nothing else. In my opinion, the RPG elements are an excellent addition to the game, and really help set the game apart from others in the genre. If you’ve never tried this kind of turn based strategy game before, this is probably a good place to start, though don’t come in expecting a strategy RPG like Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics, this is still a strategy game at its core. If you find yourself having a good time, you can easily lose dozens of hours in the sandbox mode alone, so their is certainly value here if this type of game interests you. If you purchased War of Magic in 2010, you can get this game for free, but for everyone else Fallen Enchantress is available now on Steam for $39.99.