At the Czech and Poland border took place small but very friendly event where we were able together with other media test Ancestors Legacy game. It was quite hectic and time between playing games, talking with others, discussing next strategy for the tournament with a colleague from Hungarian GameStar magazine, eating and drinking from 4 pm till 4 am was really fun and well spent night.
You can read short introduction to the game in our another article. But I had the opportunity to play for several hours and find what's good, what's not and what is crazy. Just check the video of one of our winning match below. We finished second in the whole tournament because there was a former Starcraft 2 pro player against us, so it was almost impossible to see his fingers hitting buttons all the time :-).
You can find around some nice images; I saw some "real" Vikings and skirmish outside the main building and tried also bow shooting. However you must be curious about the game's quality, aren't you?
What is Ancesors Legacy?
It could seem very chaotic, but let's divide it into parts to make it understandable.
So after you choose the mode, all players are positioned on the map and do their best to win. Right now, every player gets a known position so you can see who is going to be at the target location and the nations. At the beginning, the control and all functions were not very clear, but there are not many icons or units to control. You can simply tell villagers to harvest food, wood or iron, defend the village or build some houses. Then you take care of maximum 10 units. Every unit can be upgraded and made better. That's still quite common.
You must consider that every nation has completely different units with completely different skills. For example, Germans at the beginning are weaker against Slaves who have spears and pierce them and crush them easily. Some nations are better at the beginning, others when you reach tier 2 or tier 3 of the tech tree. For example, well-positioned catapults can completely destroy your army. Even medium AI is like a killing machine. It makes units fast, knows where and how to use them – catapults are behind the river, horsemen just scout around, infantry holds the bridge, and you are done faster than you thought it's possible :-).
It is then very important what nation you choose, who is playing against you, who you are playing with, and then put it all together. You can choose random nation which would make it more difficult for the enemies to prepare against you. Well, it's a gamble, and you must really know everything and master all nations to be sure that this is the way to go.
After tens of matches you, will know quite well what to do and how to make it happen. But you must always watch what is happening around, if you should defend your positions, or go around and take others. Even though there are no peons to control, you must keep an eye on your resources to be able to build units, not to let them starve, and much more. Then, you must complete overview of the situation, bound units to keys to be able to control them fast, and of course, you must consider many other things. Like strengths and weaknesses of every unit, what are they good for, how to use them, how to protect them and simply find the best option for a lot of things happening at the same time on a practically very small map.
Someone can say that it is very easy and that there is nothing too complicated, like in Starcraft where every second counts, and you cannot be losing time with thinking and plan a lot for the future. Ancestors Legacy is not so complex, and it is just a skirmish, but even here with just 10 maximum units you will have full hands of everything and absolutely no time to rest.
The best thing is that after every lost game, you will find out new way of how to defeat the enemy and you won't be surprised next time. So the learning curve here is quite steep, and you learn fast a lot of things. But mastering them will be a different thing. But that is to be decided after the release because there is still time to patch, or fix bugs and exploits, or make some units stronger or weaker. I am sure that that is why the closed beta was launched, and now developers will have enough real data to see and analyze.
Graphics and sound
What's more, the game is possible to run on PS4 and Xbox One. So you can play it even with a controller. Of course, I wouldn't advise you to play PC vs PS4, but matches on the same platform could be interesting. It means that the game's management must be very simple to make it fun for non-PC players, but deep enough for the keyboard and mouse. I have not tried the controller, but others did, and it was quite easy.
But the main goal is to create a highly competitive multiplayer gameplay. And that in my opinion is more than possible. The game has a lot of potential to catch the attention of a lot of RTS fans, or even others who has no experience in this genre. I don't know why, but World of Tanks comes up to my mind. Maybe it is because of the map which reminds me of some locations in WOT. Hills on the sides, river in the middle, and fights over the positions. And that is not a bad idea; WOT is a game which proved to be very, very successful.
Of course, the biggest issues are with the learning curve, matchmaking, servers, difficulty and differences between the nations. It could all be patched and fixed, but the systems, weapons, skills, tech trees and all these core features are already there and could be hardly changed. So if one nation is much stronger than others, or the games to be seen will show that there are some winning strategies without any real defense, that could be a problem.
It is hard for me to tell you if this will happen or not. There are four nations, and I had just around 8 hours to play the game. I tried three nations. They are very different in terms of buildings, research, units and everything. During the tournament I learned new and new strategies, or mistakes we made. Every match enriched us with something new, gave us new thoughts what the enemies can use against us, and what we can use against them.
Is the game really balanced? Is there a counter move versus each move? Is there a tactic or units which we can change, choose from to turn the odds? You can answer these questions maybe after 30 or 50 matches, but not sooner. Let's hope that the developers will listen to the community, and that all the issues and bugs and exploits could be easily fixed before the release date.
But right now, for a closed beta, I must say that the game is a great fun and enjoyable. But you must have at least one or two other friends to play together and experience the adrenaline of this frenzy war. Right now, I can only wish the developers only the best, enough players reporting bugs and glitches, and time to fix everything before the release date.
Below you can browse through some pictures from the event and I must also confess that the winner of the bow shooting tournament is me and the real sword is my prize :-).