Posted: December 14
A very ambitious game with a lot of potential, hindered by weak AI. FE:LH is a 4X with combat elements similar to Heroes of Might and Magic. It's a very complex game with a lot for the player to learn, but unfortunately the AI just doesn't put up enough of a challenge to make the player learn more.
- Empire has many customizable elements, such as enchantments for cities and items/traits for units
- Decent random map generator
- Deep, complex game with a lot to experiment with and a lot to learn
- Very weak AI can't handle even the basics of the game
- Unit customization could have had more options
- Poor graphics relative to performance of the game
The big draw for FE:LH is how customizable everything is. You can create your own heroes and empires and even your own units. In many ways this is very fun; players can opt to create their own super-mage or their own highly specialized raiders and see them work to great effect. It's quite interesting compared to the generic units of most games of this genre.
Unfortunately, the options for customzation aren't incredibly varied; most empires have mostly the same options, with the unique ones being straight upgrades from the usual. The "traits" you can give to units are very straightforward and not balanced enough to encourage very much decision making. Every race's armor and weapons look the same.
The AI that comes with the base game is incredibly lacking and is easily the game's greatest weakness. I understand it's very difficult to create a good AI for this genre of game, but the one in FE:LH is simply pathetic. Opposing AI will constantly declare war on the player without any intention of actually attacking, or if they do attack, it will be a pitiful couple of units raiding resources rather than presenting an actual threat. The AI is also poor at managing its resources, opting to found cities and immediately train units rather than build some actual infrastructure.
Fortunately, there are mods available to help mitigate these issues, some of them very good. The developer is still continuing work with the game and a number of DLC have been released. Overall, the game doesn't present enough of a challenge to a power gamer to purchase at full price and may be too complex for the more casual type of gamer.