System requirements
• Elven Legacy
• System: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
• Processor: 1.5 GHz Pentium IV; AMD 2000+ 1.5Ghz (Single Core)
• RAM: 512 MB
• Graphics card: nVidia GeForce FX 5700 or ATI Radeon 9600 128 MB
• Sound card: DirectX-compatible
• Hard drive: 3 GB of free space
• DirectX 9.0c

Thank you GamersGate for sending us this game to review!

Elven Legacy: Ranger is an expansion for Elven Legacy that adds sixteen new missions, new units, maps, spells, and three new heroes. The main hero is a ranger named Cornelius who must prepare his world of Illis for the coming of the new order. There will be resistance; expect a long and dangerous journey ahead.

Just like Elven Legacy, the Ranger expansion is still a turn based strategy game with RPG elements. Your army will consist of heroes, knights, 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 the main hero dies, your mission will fail. If a not so important hero dies, they will be available in your next mission. When a unit levels up, you can choose some new skills or spells for them to learn. These new skills will usually increase attributes like defense and 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 counterattack for you).

Each mission will have an area or a destination that you are heading towards. There are three victory leves: gold, silver and bronze. Each level 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 or 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 outside 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 haven’t changed and are still 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 at 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, cyclopes, 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 background music is the same and is pleasant to listen to. My biggest complaint with this expansion is that they didn’t add any voice narration like the original game had. This expansion could have been much more immersive with some voices to go along with the hero conversations or story narration.

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; the males are, as usual, fully armored.

The expansion pack sells for $10 on GamersGate and is a good value given the amount of extended play time you’ll get. It’s still a very challenging strategy game and I entered a lot of cheat codes to give myself more gold. The only other complaints I have is the lack of voice acting and multiplayer servers to join. If you enjoyed Elven Legacy, this is definitely worth getting.

Final Score

Game Play 15/20
Graphics 9/10
Sound 6/10
Controls 4/5
Stability 4/5
Game Score: 38

Appropriateness 37.5/50
-3 for violence
-3.5 for revealing clothing
-3 for magic
-3 for occult references (hexers)


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Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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