Processor: 1.5 GHz Pentium IV; AMD 2000+ 1.5Ghz (Single Core)
RAM: 512 MB
Graphics card: nVidia GF FX 5700 or ATI Radeon 9600 128 MB
Sound card: DirectX-compatible Hard drive: 3 GB of free space; DirectX 9.0c
An evil mage has discovered some forbidden knowledge and magic from the ancients in elven history. If this powerful magic was to be used in the wrong way, there would be devastating results. The elves must come out of hiding after countless years to put an end to this mage\'s plan. Their time of neutrality has come to an end, there are many more foes out there than friends. Even though they don\'t want to hurt anyone, they have no choice.
Elven Legacy is a turn based strategy game with RPG elements. Your army will consist of heroes, archers, fencers, deer riders, dragons, air ships, orcs, elves with spears and big axes, and more. If you can keep your units alive long enough, they will level up, and if they die...all that experience will be gone. If a hero dies, your mission will fail. When a unit levels up, you can choose some new skills/spells for them to learn. These new skills will usually increase attributes like defense, armor, or there may be a trade off for a new ability like invisibility, healing, or allowing you to cross terrain that was previously inaccessible.
You move your characters in a hex-based pattern. Only one unit can occupy a hex space at a time. How many spaces, and how you can move them, varies by character. A unit typically has one movement and one attack per turn but some units can move a couple of times. There\'s a lot of strategy in unit placement; don\'t leave a unit unprotected, and if you do keep units together, they will attack whomever is attacking the unit next to them (basically a free attack for you).
Each mission will have an area or a destination that you are heading towards. There are three victory modes: gold, silver and bronze. Each mode is determined by how many turns you take. The better the trophy, the more gold you will get. Gold is used to buy more troops, and you\'ll need them! You can also earn gold and possible recruits if you take over villages. Once you capture a village you can deploy your reserve units there. Before beginning a mission you can choose your difficulty level (Easy, Medium, Hard). I found Easy to be very challenging, so I can\'t imagine what the other modes are like.
When a mission starts you have to deploy your units and then click that you\'re ready. Enemies are typically visible where you spawn. Sometimes you can sneak past and avoid unnecessary combat. There is a fog of war so you will not see the hordes of enemies waiting for you. You will see an arrow pointing at your objective/destination. Enemies tend to be in groups and after defeating an army many of your units can rest to heal, but this will cost a turn. They can only rest if there are no enemies nearby. I often found that after defeating a wave of enemies that there are more lurking just out of your line of vision.
Although there is multiplayer support, I did not see any active servers to join. There is a map editor available for those who are into that.
The graphics in this game are very detailed, colorful, and very pretty. The landscapes vary from green plains to snowy mountains. The enemy units are all nicely detailed and animate really nicely. Each unit typically represents an army. Sometimes battles will show two units fighting and other times it will zoom in and you can see the many units attacking each other close up. The enemies will vary as much as your army. You\'ll fight dragons, orcs, cyclops, titans, hexers, and various animals and beasts. The magic spells are very drawn out and fun to watch. There\'s plenty of eye candy to be seen here.
The sound effects are fitting, as you\'ll hear battle groans, screams, and weapons clanging. The character voice overs are nice. There\'s a bug where they left some of the tutorial in Russian. I was still able to get the gist of it. The background music is fitting and nice, but not memorable.
When it comes to appropriateness, there are battles, violence, and magic is used. All of which are pretty unavoidable. The battle sequences aren\'t gory; you\'ll see units attacking and reacting but it isn\'t a blood bath. Some of the female characters are lacking armor to protect their stomach. If I were an enemy unit, I\'d aim for that area. (Seriously, I never quite understood that.) The males are, as usual, fully armored.
Elven Legacy is rated Teen and I would recommend it for serious strategy gamers only. The learning curve isn\'t that bad but there are just way too many enemies for your limited number of units; it\'s just not fair. Graphically it\'s beautiful and has lots of eye candy and it has potential. Unfortunately, I find the single player campaign very difficult and there\'s nobody online to take my frustration out on.
Game Play 15/20
-3 for violence
-3.5 for revealing clothing
-3 for magic
-3 for occult references (hexers)
Overall Score 78%