Legends of Ellaria – Review
Follow Genre: RTS, RPG, Strategy, Action, Adventure
Developer: Larkon Studio
Publisher: Larkon Studio
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Legends of Ellaria – Review

Site Score
5.8
Good: Original combination between RPG and RTS with a lot of potential
Bad: Uninspired game mechanics with performance issues, especially its clunky combat
User Score
4.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It is not every day that you find a game that sets itself up with the goal of defying game genres and producing a hybrid result. Legends of Ellaria, brought to us by Larkon Studio, does just that, by blending the classic sandbox RPG with some RTS action. But was it entirely successful?

Story

If you are accustomed to RPG titles, you know what to expect from Legends of Ellaria. The storyline takes place in a medieval-like land that is dying, prompting the need for your character, a local lord, to cross through a portal to another world (Ellaria) to try and save his dying subjects. Sadly, he is not the only one trying to conquer the new lands; and the most valuable resource available in it: the Riftstones.

The plotline is simple, but it will slowly develop as you progress your character in both the storyline and side quests, trying to restore your kingdom to its former glory and bring peace to the land. Since the game offers a lot of physical customization options for your character, and the opportunity to jump from real-time strategy view to first-person at will, it succeeds at giving you the feeling that you really are the one calling the shots and getting into the thick of it. You will not be living through a masterpiece of narration, but you were probably not really expecting it anyway, nor is it essential in this type of game.

Graphics

The graphics in Legends of Ellaria are generally good-looking and appealing. Even if they are not drop-dead gorgeous, you wouldn’t expect more from a small studio, and they fit the medieval fantasy genre very nicely. The game’s animations, however, leave a bit to be desired. NCPs will move their faces in such an overly expressive manner in every dialogue that you will creeped out rather than engaged. Also, entering some modes will make you go through long sequences of loading screens and slow-moving perspectives that take too long.

The sand-box aspect loses some of its charm because of these aspects. Fortunately, nothing that cannot be solved with a lit bit more work put into the game (which is already out of Early Access, which was perhaps too soon?).

Sound

Legends of Ellaria’s musical score is a bit like everything else in the game: it fits the theme and it is pleasant to the ear, even if it is not exactly epic. The NPCs also have their own voice-lines, but these do not add to the game’s experience, mostly because they all speak an imagined and incomprehensible language. That means you still have to read their lines, and your immersion can suffer in the process.

Gameplay

Legends of Ellaria is a sandbox action RPG and RTS with some city-building aspects. You can evolve your equipment and develop your skills in the typical RPG style, and while in the RTS mode, you can control your army through a hexagonal grid view. Like with every city-building game, you can also raise cities and fill them with buildings of your choice, keeping in mind the fine balance between quantity and resource expenditure. You can even decide if you want to approach the game from a more adventuring point of view, and spend most of the time exploring the procedurally generated world and its dungeons, or even take a diplomatic approach, forging relationships with neighbored kingdoms and invading them if they betray you.

Between all these options, there is a bit of everything to do in the lands of Ellaria. It can be especially fun to first look at the macro perspective and then feel like you are part of the action by looking through your own eyes on the battlefield. Larkon Studio is clearly on the right track with its original combination of modes. Unfortunately, the experience they offer is also marred by bugs and glitches throughout your gameplay (sometimes with dire consequences), and the game’s worst aspect: the clunky combat. Your character’s movements feel stiff and its fighting animations are out of sync with what you are trying to do or what actually happens to your enemies, so you will soon resort to magic to deal most of your damage, and lose interest in developing the classical sword and shield character, or even in fighting in the first person view altogether.

Between these combat issues and the long loading times when switching between modes or traversing areas, you can become too frustrated to care about the good remainder aspects of the game, and that is where Legends of Ellaria sadly falls short of being a well-rounded experience.

Conclusion

Legends of Ellaria is a very strange combination of game genres, making it a sort of “Civilization meets Mount and Blade” experience. It can be a lot of fun, especially for a niche audience that appreciates the blending of RTS and RPG. Sadly, it is also currently an unpolished and confusing experience that could shine with a bit of extra work put into it, and some rethinking on the game’s fundamental choices of how to handle combat, its NPCs and the transitions between the game’s modes. Overall, a unique take on a game with a lot of potential to improve.

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Rating: 4.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Legends of Ellaria – Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
ChiChi


Freelance writer and translator who likes to feed in her free time. If you'd like to chat, send me an e-mail to ritajbp@gmail.com!

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