Once again, a look at the oldies. It is still my opinion that the newer games have great special effects, bangs, and booms, but lack character and plot. The comparison here is an example of that.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes was released by Stardock in 2012. It is based in the world of Elemental and is the war to see who can claim the spot of godhood (either through elemental mastery or by destroying all of the other factions), or who can unite the factions. There is also a special quest that can give you victory.
Sorcerer King: Rivals was released by Stardock in 2015. At this point, the players have lost the war. A single faction has achieved godhood and the players now have to keep him (the Sorcerer King) appeased long enough to gain enough power to overthrow him — a unique concept in gaming and very neat… for a minute.
Sorcerer King falls short of Fallen Enchantress in one crucial aspect, replayability. There are a limited number of side quests, and the battles that you do get into with the various creatures running around Elemental are just that, battles. Fallen Enchantress gave even the minor battles personality with the creatures threatening you and making bold statements when you approached their lairs. In addition to the minor side quests, Fallen Enchantress also has several major side quests where large, very dangerous territories have to be cleared of danger (and a super powerful opponent) before the riches in them can be claimed. As an added challenge, when a major threat is eliminated, and an area cleared, all of the other factions will rush to take advantage of the new opening before you can. Fallen Enchantress will occasionally have a popup that will tell you about a side quest that
Sorcerer King adds the ability to craft your equipment, unlike Fallen Enchantress where you had to buy premade equipment. But, the equipment in Sorcerer King can be added to any of your units, heroes aren’t special. In Fallen Enchantress units can be designed that will upgrade their armor and weapons, but they are not individuals, they are units, heroes are your focus. In Sorcerer King you lose that feeling of heroes being special because every unit can be upgraded in various ways. It just doesn’t feel right. I didn’t play D&D with my nerdy friends for years because I wanted to be a unit in an army, I wanted to be the hero, and heroes are special.
The heroes in Fallen Enchantress are one of five classes; Assassin, Defender, Commander, Mage, Warrior. Each of these classes gives bonuses that can be chosen as you gain levels, but they are only half the picture. Each hero also has base skills that can be learned just for being a hero. This gives some customization to each hero, and a good feel of, “Hey, I’m a hero, even if I’m a Mage I can still raise my attack score.” In Sorcerer King you get a list of abilities that are specific to each hero. In Fallen Enchantress there are over a dozen base abilities and over 25 specialized abilities that you can choose from as you advance. This gives a lot of variety and personality. One of your Defender heroes can specialize in protecting your troops from physical attacks while another specializes in protecting them from magic, for instance. In Sorcerer King each hero has 15 skills to choose from. I have maxed out on skills more than once with heroes in Sorcerer King, which always leaves me feeling like further advancement is anticlimactic. I have never learned all of the skills with one hero in Fallen Enchantress.
There is more, but the point is that better graphics and a more micromanaged interface doesn’t make for a better game if the depth isn’t there. Sorcerer King fails in replayability because by the time I’ve won a game, I’ve maxed out a hero, I’ve fought battles, I’ve built all of the different buildings and maxed out a couple of cities. A game should have goals that make other goals difficult or impossible to achieve so that you have to play again. Sorcerer King fails in that respect.
I’m going to go back to playing Fallen Enchantress now, it is my goal to win with every faction before summer. Play well everybody!