Lornsword Winter Chronicle – Review
Follow Genre: Action Strategy
Developer: Tower Five
Publisher: Tower Five
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested on: PS4

Lornsword Winter Chronicle – Review

Site Score
9.5
Good: Refreshing plot, Diverse gameplay
Bad: Hard to distinguish between ally and foe
User Score
10.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)

War never changes but video games do and while strategy games certainly still have a devoted audience, they aren’t quite as prominent as they used to be. But for those who still seek the thrill of commanding troops in large scale battles and managing resources that are always running low, Tower Five has you covered. Their first game, Lornsword Winter Chronicle, gives us not only a refreshing new angle to the genre, but it also has a surprising amount of story and world-building to add to the mix. Also, you can play with magic, and if that isn’t bound to amuse any gamer we don’t know what will.

Story

The game starts with a disjointed dream sequence on the battlefield, followed by a short cutscene introducing us to our main character, Corun Lan Ka. Corun is a Lornknight, sworn to the Empire and despite having a loving wife and two beautiful daughters, war is imminent when a group of rebels stirs up trouble. At first, assigned to merely defending a blockade, a position which wouldn’t see much action, Corun is unexpectedly promoted to captain and put in charge of a group of mercenaries for a battle. After showing talent at the strategic aspect of war, Corun finds himself getting involved much deeper into the skirmish than he expected, and as more responsibilities are put on his shoulders, so too deepens the complexity of the war Lorn faces.

Graphics

Lornsword uses a top-down view for the majority of the game, as you must have a good overview of the battlefield. The graphics are pretty and the various places you visit have enough diversity to stay interesting. A minor flaw here is the fact that the enemy troops and your own are not always as easily distinguishable as they should be, especially as the top-down view does end up minimizing the number of details you can see. The stills from the cutscenes are beautiful though and the almost stained glass look of the art style suits the world of Lorn perfectly.

Sound

As is expected from a game with a fantasy setting, the soundtrack of Lornsword has some intense music. If you’re marching into battle you have to do so in style of course. The game has a decent amount of sound effects too, some of them are quite important as they will alert you to things going on outside of your visible map. The cutscenes come with full voice acting as well.

Gameplay

Lornsword is an action strategy game with a large focus on story. Playing as Corun, it is your job to bring your military missions to a successful conclusion. These missions can range from anything between defending a position, destroying enemy camps or even laying siege. Regardless of your goal though, there are two main elements you will need to focus on: resource management and the combat itself. Every mission starts you off with a certain amount of gold, food and usually some buildings already on the map. Food determines how many men you can feed, so the amount of buildings you can build is already limited by this. Gold is what you spend on building, as well as on upgrading things. Taking strategy into account, you can build various structures to summon more men, gather extra resources or defensive towers that fire at the enemy.

With your new army, you can now jump into the fray. Corun is pretty well equipped to do some fighting of his own of course, cutting enemies down with his trusty Lornsword, but if he dies the mission is a failure. Your troops are way more expandable. Every barracks comes with a little flag that you can change the color of. The color dictates what your men do once they’re summoned. You can have them automatically start fighting the nearest enemy, or you can send them down the stone path you made in the direction they need to go. If you like to be very hands-on, you can always order them to follow you around and lead them right where you want them to be, but of course, you can’t be everywhere at once. Luckily you have Far Sight at your disposal, which allows you to scroll around the map without moving and survey the battlefield properly.

As for the magic we promised: after being promoted by the Empire, Corun also has the powers of the elements at his disposal. Every map comes with at least one altar, devoted to an element, where Corun can go to heal and regain stamina. This stamina is especially important as it ties into the other use of these altars: summoning elemental beings that can wreak some real havoc on your enemy’s troops. You can’t do this all the time, as there is a cooldown, but these powerful beings can be a real aid as the battles get tougher. How tough they get is completely up to you though, because as the story progresses you will often be able to make strategic choices that change which battles occur. In essence, this means you can change the difficulty whenever you want, or even skip certain battles altogether, which is definitely good for inexperienced players who might want a more forgiving experience. And should you need it, there is also a seamlessly integrated local co-op, allowing your friend to jump in and join you at any time during the campaign.

Conclusion

 

Overall Lornsword is an excellent new addition to the line-up of strategy games, one that should be enjoyable both to veterans of the genre as well as newcomers. A compelling storyline with some interesting lore ties the various battles together neatly, while the gameplay itself is suited for different playstyles. A minor flaw here or there is easily overlooked when the game just makes you want to keep playing.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Lornsword Winter Chronicle - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Jessica
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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