Friday, 11 June 2010

Legio - Battles have never been so bland

Before the overlords in the Game-Debate tower handed me Legio to review, I'd never heard of it. The good news is that thanks to this review - and of course Plectrum's too - you, dear reader, know that this game exists. The bad news is that it's nothing special and in fact rather dull. We can make this into a good news sandwich by adding that now that you know Legio isn't very good, you don't have to waste your hard earned money on it.

So, once Legio was installed I set about playing it and discovered it's more or less a board game. You have 25 points to spend on various types of clich├ęd fantasy units - Warriors, Captains, Archers, Priests, Magicians, Giants and Warerabbits - which you place on a small grid. Each unit has various strengths and weaknesses and the aim of the game is to make all of your opponent's troops dead before they obliterate yours through turn based combat.

My whole army (i.e. all 7 of them) was destroyed in my first game. Why? Because there's no tutorial that tells you what troops do what. My priest seemed useless because he wouldn't heal anything, as I later discovered this was because he isn't a ranged unit, which seems strange when the offensive magician is.

The combat itself if a rather dull affair in which you tell your units to move to another square, watch them shuffle slowly across, then they'll attack an enemy unit if instructed. It doesn't help that the combat sounds and animations are extremely repetitive. Archers will make the same snigger before every arrow they fire, the assassin will say the same thing each time he cloaks and opposition units - no matter what class they are - will always say the same thing if he de-cloaks next to them.

So eventually, I won a couple of games of Legio. Then what happened? Nothing, it went back to the title screen. That's it. There isn't a story, you don't upgrade units or level up, you just play two rounds and you've won. But it wasn't a sense of achievement I felt, oh no. I was merely thinking ‘What? That's it?' The ten minutes of gameplay isn't exactly worth the £7.95 asking price. Sure, you can try it on harder difficulties if you wanted but it'd still just be the same old repetitive units, attacks and slow movement. Legio does come with an online play mode, but every time I tried to have a go at this there was no one online to play against.

So that's it really. You pay your money and get a rather dull turn based strategy game on a small grid. To be honest, the battle system in Kings Bounty: Armoured Princess is far better than this - and not only because the grid is hexagonal! There's more depth, more units, more levelling up. More everything!

However, if you want tactical turn based battle...well still don't buy Legio. Invest in a chess set and play with a friend. It'll last longer and it'll be a damn sight more fun than this!

4/10

(Originally written for Game-Debate)

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