Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – Preview
Follow Genre: Turn-based strategy
Developers: Membraine Studios
Publisher: Membraine Studios
Platform: PC
Release date: Early-access available, full version tba

Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire – Preview

Good: Interesting unique turn system, great art style, stands out between other turn-based strategy games
Bad: Steep learning curve, lack of some more in-depth story
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It’s not easy to stand out as an indie game. Certainly not when trying to do so in a genre that is already quite populated and has seen very different kinds of games. Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire however accepted that challenge. What it brings to the table is an advanced system of turns, movement and a unique art style. Let’s see if this game has what it takes to stand out between the other icons of the genre.


What makes Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire special is its fighting system. This new style of tactical combat is both welcoming and daunting. Welcoming because it’s a fresh take on a genre that has seen quite some entries already. Daunting because it’s a lot to take in and jumping into a skirmish straight away will be frustrating because the game mechanics are different than games you might be used to. Thankfully the game offers a bunch of tutorials, right now just videos sadly but hopefully more is to come. They explain the basic principles of the game and give you an insight on how the mechanics work.


Movement and actions within Fractured Wars are based on momentum. While each turn is limited to a number a moves, you can choose to keep your momentum and thus get another move or stop your turn right there. Most things within the game are also based on a random number generator. When you select a unit and give it an action, there’s a chance the unit won’t actually fulfil your selected action with the added effect that you lose your momentum and with it lose the rest of your turn. Luckily the same applies to the opponent. This results in some interesting situations where the one time you might be able to do a lot in a single turn when a moment later turns are rapidly swapping between you and your opponent. The things you can do with a single unit in a single turn are also quite extensive. Units can simply move but also regroup after dealing with losses. They can also move and shoot or stand their ground and shoot. Each option of course has an effect on the amount of damage a unit can deal. The distance, the stats of the unit and a random number will decide how much damage you’ll deal when choosing to attack, if any. Also important is the placement of your troops with flanking being one of the most important combat tactics.

One of the most fun things within Exodus Wars has to be setting up your own army. A system similar to the one of the Wargame franchise is used. You get a certain amount of points with which you can pick from an array of units. Units can vary from various types of foot soldiers to big tanks and even special monolithic units, unique to each faction, which are extremely large machines that dominate the battleground but also requite a lot of points. The units themselves are nicely detailed and you’ll be able to easily spot the difference between the different kinds of units. In fact, the whole map looks rather nice. Exodus Wars has a unique art style concerning the surroundings and areas. While maybe not being the most technically advanced kid on the block, it does stand on its own between heavy competition within the turn-based strategy genre.


Currently available in the early access version of the game are a skirmish mode and a campaign mode. In the latter, you get to choose a side to fight on: The Guild or R.E.M.. The campaign will take you to different battles to fight out the brutal civil war that’s going on. The first battle, you have to make due with what you get but after you’ll be able to set up your own army using the mechanics described above. Before each battle you’ll get a briefing giving you some background on the matter. It would be nice to see some more expansion on those story elements though with maybe some trailers in the game and some deeper background. The skirmish mode is a single battle where you’ll get to pick your side as well and put together an army to fight on the map of your choosing of which 3 are currently available.


Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire is well on its way to become a fresh take on one of the perhaps oldest genres out there: turn-based strategy. Besides some flaws that are common to early access games, it would be nice to see some more in-depth story, further expansion on all assets and more detailed tutorials. The core mechanics of the game however already feel solid enough to be able to recommend this game in its current state when willing to overcome the steep learning curve.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Exodus Wars: Fractured Empire - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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