Ancestor’s Legacy released on May 22, 2018, for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. In an industry with few new real-time strategy releases, the game found some acclaim early on. It was developed by Destructive Creations and then published by the 1C Company. It takes place during medieval times and walks the players through different areas of Europe, as well as exploring the many different power dynamics of the time period. Ancestor’s Legacy itself will run you $34.99 USD, and the Saladin’s Conquest DLC will cost $10.99 USD.

Ancestor's Legacy
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Branching Out From Europe

Saladin’s Conquest is the first storyline to break away from Europe. It takes place in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. You play as the Saracen warriors under the Great Sultan Salah ad-Din. In your conflicts with the Crusaders, you will capture strong points on your way to laying siege to Jerusalem itself. The story is told in the same manner as the previous chapters. Because of this, it does have a slow start. When it does manage to pick up the pace it doesn’t hold back from throwing you into uncomfortable situations, such as massacring unarmed peasantry.

Saladin's Conquest
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Now as a whole it may tell an interesting story that most people may not be aware of but it fails to do anything to really rise above or stand out from the base game. The new units are all unique and function in interesting ways, however at the same time every nation has unique units. This expansion fails to meet some of the standards held by later base game chapters, and instead falls more in line with the tutorial story due to its slow start.

Saladin's Conquest
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Real-Time Gameplay

The expansion offers about five or six extra hours of story, adds a few more unique unit types, and adds the Saracen Nation to multiplayer. As a real-time strategy game, it has a lot going on at once. You control entire units at once, sometimes nearly a dozen units even. At the same time, you have to upgrade your abilities, your outposts, and watch for ambushes or assaults from the enemies all across the map.

Ancestor's Legacy
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Strategy games aren’t for everyone, but fans of the RTS genre will enjoy Ancestor’s Legacy. It’s a very loyal entry to the genre. Unfortunately I often found myself wishing the game would take more risks to standout from its predecessors. It falls into the trope of being repetitive, then ending as soon as events become more interesting. Causing you to have to start from scratch all over again just so you can have a few minutes where the full gameplay potential is realized.

Saladin's Conquest
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

That perfect medium where the gameplay is as it should be, is when you’ve built up enough troops that your slots are all the way or nearly all the way full for the majority of the time left. It’s when you’re constantly having to recruit new units and complete upgrades to your technologies. While this period of time does manage to last longer in skirmish or multiplayer, story wise every section ends right when you get to this point. Then you have to start rebuilding in the exact same ways in the next. It can become a bit dull after awhile.

Multiplayer Action

Multiplayer is where Ancestor’s Legacy hits its peak. In modes like domination you have more one on one action with a real thinking being. The matches are longer and don’t interrupt the flow of play with story details. It’s an actual challenge and shows off how truly balanced the nations are. Due to the nature of multiplayer, that perfect area in the gameplay where everything is where it should be for the maximum enjoyment manages to last a lot longer as well.

Ancestor's Legacy
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Medieval Artwork

The artwork attacks many different styles and nails each of them on the head. The loading screens are gorgeous realistic art pieces that I would love to use on as a wallpaper. The in game cut scenes are either a series of images with rougher artwork that manages to elevate the scenes they are showing or are closer shots of the actual unit models, which shows the amount of detail that went into creating each of the characters. The settings used are also beautifully crafted and elevate the need of strategy, while also being incredibly diverse from one another.

Ancestor's Legacy
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot.

The music is also crafted in a way that properly represents the period in which the stories take place. The Northmen have very strong Nordic music that embodies what the player thinks of when they imagine Vikings. Every nation shares a similar music track but manages to make it more accurately represent them.

The Verdict

Ancestor’s Legacy is a good RTS that may not manage to rise above its competitors, but it still manages to have a worthwhile single player experience, and a thrilling multiplayer set up. Likewise, Saladin’s Conquest fails to differentiate itself from the base game, and instead serves as an addition that feels as though it should have already been added. Regardless, it does add new unit types, a new story line, and a new nation to multiplayer. Overall for more serious fans it’s a worthy addition to the game.

Ancestor's Legacy
Source: Mike Szoke, In-Game Screenshot

Interested in more reviews? Then check out Open Critic for some more!

THE GOOD
Great Art
Thrilling Multiplayer
Decent Single-player Experience
Great Music
THE BAD
Repetitive
Fails to Stand Out
7
Good

Review Summary

Ancestor’s Legacy is an interesting real time strategy due to its usage of real life events from medieval times.It just fails at standing out from the rest of the RTS genre, despite a fun multiplayer experience.

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