Posted: March 4
I wanted to recommend this game, really did, but I can't just give it a blanket recommendation, though for certain people out there this might be the game for them, but it's not for everyone.
The game is a mix of Strategy, RTS and Dragon flight/combat and I'm not sure that any one part is that great. All of the are good/okay, but if you are looking for a good RTS there are better, if you want a good strategy(4x) game there are again other options. And the Dragon flight/combat isn't all that great either, still satisfying, but it got stale somewhat quickly for me.
I'm going to focus on the single player because after finishing it I didn't really have the desire to try multiplayer, as some minor spoilers ahead.
For me there was just a lot of annoyances that just didn't make it as enjoyable as I was hoping it was going to be. For starters the difficulty caught me by surprise. When I first started playing I tried it on normal, this was a mistake for me. I'm not a good RTS/4x TBS player at the best of times and the way this game starts (enemy has a ton of territory and units, you have nothing) did not help matters. After getting my ♥♥♥ handed to me I gave it another shot on a lower setting (Casual makes the Dragon flying/combat part of the game incredibly satisfying).
As an extension to the last point, starting the game at a big deficit isn't a bad idea and can work but the biggest problem for me was that it happens 3 times. You start the story at a deficit and then get huge only to finish the first map/story arc and move into the second phase and start from nothing again against an enemy that holds a ton of units/territory. It was silly enough to happen one time BUT THEN it happens AGAIN after the second map/story arc. The third time you start with a few more territories/unit, but again you are at a huge deficit, it's okay that the game starts out that way, but to do it two more times feels lazy.
Another thing was that I got hit with more than a few crashes. But the biggest one for me was that I had finished the second arc of the game/story(With frequent saves along the way), started out the third arc and then saved/quit for the night. When I hit the continue button, it was like I had never did any of it, all my saves gone. I tried all the saves and found one auto save that thankfully brought me back to my most recent progress.
Lastly, in the story arc you are given series of moral choices by your council. While I enjoyed them for the most part, they didn't exactly add anything for me. Maybe in the harder difficulties a -3 gold/+2% luck would mean a lot but for the lower difficulties it didn't really matter. So I could easily juggle the choices and ended with all 5 factions at around 90% or above favorable making the choices feel more about math than the morals involved. I would have liked to see the choices mean more, even at lower difficulties, maybe with revolts in territories or additional units joining or something, but for me I just seen it as a background thing and added a light fun/humorous touch to the campaign. Also the Wife choosing thing felt unfinished. Picked wife, had two or three conversations and nothing ever happened after that, no side quests, no challenges she put forth, just hung out in her room and said had another boring/straight forward case before her. The generals were a nice though and added some flavor to the story, but for the most part on the lower difficulties I ignored them entirely, why would I want them commanding the army when I get to fly around as a Dragon? Or why give up gold when I can click on the Imperial Army tab to auto finish the battle when it's at 100% or close to 100%?
I think the game is an all-around good game, but if I give it my own recommendation I'd say no, because I didn't have much fun playing it. It started out quite fun, but reusing the same mechanic and other frustrations kind of took their toll on the fun I was having.