At the early access stage, some compared empire of ember with mount & blade – here, after all, there is a roughly similar inter-genre cocktail, including role-playing, strategy, battles with a view from the eyes, the ability to manage a large army, and conduct sieges. Why did this project never reach mount & blade?
At first, the empire of ember is not exactly happy, but intriguing in a good way. We play as an apprentice (or apprentice) of a powerful magician, whom he was preparing to become a new light-bringer – this is the name of sorcerers who can not only throw fireballs but also be real rulers, rebuild and capture cities and lead entire armies into battle. Almost immediately after the start of the game, the mage-teacher is killed by a crowd of goblins who burst into the city – it is clear that we now have to take his place, restore the settlement and start searching for those who were behind the attack of vile creatures.
Answering the wizard’s questions, we determine some starting characteristics.
In the process, we clean up bandit camps and dungeons, free the occupied villages from some plague warriors, zombies, evil wizards, and even Minotaur’s. And we also decipher strange notes, trying to understand in the abracadabra of words where to send scouts to get on the trail of villains.
What is intriguing about this situation is that we have to act on several fronts at once, just in the spirit of the aforementioned mount & blade. We make decisions when we participate in a meeting of the council of our city – they can raise our karma and influence further events.
These meetings take place almost every day.
And we are rebuilding our city ourselves. We determine where to put various buildings, where there will be protective walls, how to decorate all this. Buildings are generally familiar – they give an increase to the regular influx of one or another resource (for example, the market adds gold to the treasury daily, and the sawmill increases the supply of lumber), but you will also have to spend money on their maintenance. The library unlocks new units and gives you the spell books you need to learn enchantments. And, for example, without a forge, it will not be possible to raise the level of your initially weak and cowardly peasants to turn them into trained warriors.
At first, there are many more decorative objects than available buildings.
Building walls is useful: our possessions will be attacked by enemies, just as we are by the enemy. And when using siege weapons, the same walls and buildings are destroyed for themselves – this is one of the chips that the developers put on.
As you already understood, we also need to regularly recruit new units of one or another specialization – different types of archers, warriors with shields, and so on. Gradually they are pumped. And the cooler the fighters, the more expensive their maintenance. And directly in the battle, either they will obediently follow us, attacking those who meet on the way, or we are free to give them orders – for this you can switch to the tactical map to select everyone and give instructions.
Even peasants with pitchforks are extremely useful at first.
The Light bringer himself takes part in battles like in shooters in the spirit of Hexane. You can use a sword, magic wand, or bow, as well as cast spells. We learn those in our tower for crystals of the title ember – classic fireballs, lightning, summoning the undead, increasing damage from the elements, teleports. Plus, you can separately learn the skills associated with the use of one of the three types of weapons. And the hero himself also pumps his characteristics with getting levels. Finally, another layer of gameplay is the classic movement of the hero figure across hexes on the global map, where you can find villages, bandit camps, and dungeons.
The classic “fog of war” is also in place, hiding what is there on neighboring hexes.
Already going to buy empire of ember? Do not hurry. Yes, everything described is formally there, but the main thing is how it is implemented. And implemented, frankly, crooked, cheap, and boring. First of all, I will note a bunch of bugs and technical problems – the game can “hang” the system, throw the character under the textures. Or, for example, I somehow equipped a character with one weapon, and he came on a mission with another.
Textures, as you can see, are not so hot either.
In addition, there is a crooked animation and a completely miserable ai. I thought that situations where you can just stand and shoot the enemy with a bow, while he also tries to hit you and does not maneuver, remained in pg slot games from the early zero. Especially often this happens during the clearing of dungeons, where the hero acts alone. In general, Hexane from the empire of ember is frankly so-so. I recently went through another magical shooter – ziggurat 2. And after that, it was almost physically painful to play it. For example, it is inconvenient to use spells.
Underground is prettier than on the surface.
During team battles, there are more dynamics, but even there everything is implemented and looks wretched, and it is again inconvenient to give orders and use the tactical view to control squads.