Rise of Legions is an early access deck building RTS developed by Broken Games, a small team of three indie developers. Released on Steam on the 21st of February, the game has come far and has a lot of potential to sell to a larger audience of RTS lovers. Right now the content is limited, but its community and development is both interactive and growing considerably.
Upon first playing the game I honestly had some doubts. Compared to other RTS like Starcraft or Age of Empires, Rise of Legions‘ mechanics had less control on movement and coordination and more on timing and deckbuilding.
At first I thought the deck system was unfair as you had to grind to unlock stronger cards in a skill tree. While the grind can be a tiny bit tedious, it honestly didn’t take that long to get legendary cards. Normally this would affect the PvP system, but in reality Broken Games developed the game to have a fair deck tier system. For example, new players that only have access to bronze tier cards can only versus players who had bronze tier decks.
You have a single lane instead of a whole map. Units spawned either by yourself or a spawner would automatically march down the lane to attack the enemy, and the only control you had was to use spells on your enemy or on your own units.
Despite the lack of control like most RTS games, Rise of Legions—as stated before—opts more on implementing timing in building your army through the deck building system. Because of this, it actually grew on me. This is a game more for the casual players. It makes the game easier for newcomers, while still leaving behind a satisfying growth for the player to become better as they learn more of the game.
As stated before, the gameplay has less control than other RTS titles like Starcraft and AOE. But because of this, it ensures a more casual and quick game for a larger audience of gamers as it makes the game simpler for the average gamer.
You start off the game with the deck system, where the players have to make an army using cards from four legions: Green, Blue, White, and Black. Each legion has their own play styles, strengths, and weaknesses that compliment and counter each other in a relatively balanced way. You can only control two legions in one deck at a time, leaving more room for lots of personalised play styles.
Within all the cards there are two variations; normal summons or spawners. Spawners are played in the spawner zone behind your nexus, and at random intervals will spawn the specific units placed there. Normal summons, as the name implies, can be summoned anywhere on the map that you currently have control over. This again leaves a lot of room for personalised play and is honestly more flexible than I originally thought it would be.
As for the actual gameplay, it is personally somewhat lacking. The aim is to summon an army in one lane to take down enemy structures/turrets and ultimately destroying their nexus. The game is very fun to kill time with, especially with friends, but I couldn’t bring myself to play for the whole day. Its lack of control for the army, and only focusing on summoning and spawning units, grew quite stale quite fast despite its interesting deck building.
Thankfully Broken Games is thinking of ranked and 2v2 play, which I believe is a must as it would incite players to play this game more by giving it a competitive nature. As it is currently in early access, the most fun I had was duo crystal mode, the PvE option of the game. It was the most strategic by playing around your coop partner. So I can only imagine how much fun 2v2 against real people would be.
So as I stated before there are currently four legions that you can choose your cards from.
White is the easiest legion and most straightforward deck. You have average human units and spells that generally revolve around preserving and buffing ally units.
The Black Legion in my opinion takes the most skill of all the legions, however the skill gap isn’t that far off from the others. Full of undead or dark units, the Black Legion is a very aggressive legion with no preserving abilities from spells; instead opting more to freeze the enemy units and to build your forces from there.
The Green Legion are nature units that boast the strongest stats. However they are pretty late game in that sense. While still having a weaker early game than most other decks, it can still be played around with a second legion in your deck.
The last of the legions, and currently still being completed, is the Blue Legion, the mechanical units. Right now they mainly consist of gatling drones and turrets, with still more cards to come out in the future. Right now they are arguably the strongest early game units as they boast a lost of DPS and sieging potential early on in the game.
While this game is still in early access, it is very promising. With future legions after the Blue Legion, ranked and 2v2 play, this game has a solid foundation that can only move towards the future. It’s a relatively balanced RTS with an outgoing community and developers. I recommend this game as a perfect way to get into RTS games, and also recommend it as a solid example of the RTS genre.
To check out the official roadmap for Rise of Legions, click here.
- THE GOOD
- Huge variety
- Personalised playstyles
- Relatively balanced
- Future potential
- Great community
- THE BAD
- Little content
- Gameplay can get stale
Rise of Legions is a casual RTS that you can enjoy with friends. Despite it’s simple mechanics; it is overall enjoyable and has future updates that are bound to improve the game tremendously. I truly recommend this game for anyone that wants to start RTS games, or just wants a nice casual gaming experience with friends.
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