The PC Gamer review of Fallen Enchantress: 85!

By on February 3, 2013 5:57:38 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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FE-13I must confess, I wasn’t expecting one of the best reviews of Fallen Enchantress to come from PC Gamer let alone Tom Francis.  Which isn’t to say I don’t think he’s a good reviewer, he is.  But PC Gamer’s Tom Francis was the avatar for those who were deeply disappointed in our first attempt at creating a fantasy strategy game back in 2010 (that game, Elemental: War of Magic).

Deep down, I had hoped PC Gamer would assign Tom to review Fallen Enchantress. I thought it would be inappropriate to explicitly ask PC Gamer to assign our biggest critic to review the game that represents Stardock’s revisit of this genre.  But they did and he did.

The result, I admit, is shock. Not only did PC Gamer give Fallen Enchantress a positive review, he gave it an very positive review. It’s not that I didn’t think we’d get a fair review, I just didn’t think Fallen Enchantress could overcome the negative impression War of Magic gave many people.

I agree with the review, even on the criticisms (I don’t generally like scenarios, they’re like a checkbox these days but Fallen Enchantress is designed to be played as a sandbox game).

Read the review here: http://www.pcgamer.com/review/fallen-enchantress-review/

Makes us very excited what comes next!

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February 3, 2013 6:24:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The original E:wom review, giving Fallen Enchantress' predecessor War of Magic a 70: http://www.pcgamer.com/review/elemental-war-of-magic-review/

Those pictures used in the FE review looks like the graphical settings are way off. At least the game doesn't look like that to me. Looks like the computer is on drugs.

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February 3, 2013 6:51:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, the story of War of Magic would make a tacky soap opera. I'm still having to deal with the crap from that year.

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February 3, 2013 7:31:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

85? Congratulations!

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February 3, 2013 9:22:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hopefully Metacritic can add this to their scoring soon. I wonder what version of FE he used to review it.

This is great news!

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February 3, 2013 10:43:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice, makes me happy.

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February 3, 2013 11:15:41 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Congrats, Brad!  Really glad all the hard work paid off.  Time to treat your team to some tasty food somewhere, right?  You guys should really celebrate any acclaim you get for your great work.

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February 3, 2013 11:27:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

First, congrats on the 85! If any game deserves it, it's FE for it's growing and ever increasing realized potential.

Not to split hairs here, but what version of the game did he review? I'm going to go out on a wing here and say that an 85 would not have been given if he was reviewing ver 1.0.

I don't want to sound mean....so let's look on the bright side of my statement: It means that FE has come a long way since 1.0 and continues to make huge progress with every update.

I would imagine that many (if not all) game developers are thankful that the gaming community is as forgiving as it currently is. While it can only be speculation, 10 years ago a release like that would have been met with a very cold and unendearing crowd.

I still consider the game to be in beta (but I'm really old fashioned....have to be to like MoM )....a REALLY good beta mind you. Eagerly awaiting ver 1.3 and MOST eagerly awaiting the expansion! Keep up the good work!

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February 4, 2013 6:44:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love FE but:

I would love a version of FE that captured 2 key things from MoM

1. Fantastic Unique Races (fly, generate mana, walk on water, regen etc) the races in FE suck

2. Character customization is less different places to make small changes. Instead make a few big changes. More like MoM, less like Galciv.

 

- A fan. 

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February 4, 2013 10:22:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting mdonais,
I love FE but:

I would love a version of FE that captured 2 key things from MoM

1. Fantastic Unique Races (fly, generate mana, walk on water, regen etc) the races in FE suck

2. Character customization is less different places to make small changes. Instead make a few big changes. More like MoM, less like Galciv.

 

- A fan. 

True.
I think that too, but we all have our own ideas, and the devs also have "hidden restraints" that fans never consider. Anyways...

~ Mr. K.

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February 4, 2013 12:25:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


This is great news!   I think 85 is about the right score for EFE at this stage in its development.

Now if this will just translate into additional game sales, that will help fund future expansions, etc.

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February 4, 2013 12:27:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is great news, Froggy!

I think that we should get the full expansion reveal TODAY to celebrate!

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February 4, 2013 2:10:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting xaltotun,

This is great news!   I think 85 is about the right score for EFE at this stage in its development.

Now if this will just translate into additional game sales, that will help fund future expansions, etc.

Hah! well probably true.

FE is a good game compared to many other games out there...
Compared to the stuff I WANT it to be though... MOAR! (typical consumers always want more... )

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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February 4, 2013 3:47:40 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GFireflyE,
I would imagine that many (if not all) game developers are thankful that the gaming community is as forgiving as it currently is. While it can only be speculation, 10 years ago a release like that would have been met with a very cold and unendearing crowd.

 

I tend to disagree.... imho the majority of the online crowd is even less forviving nowadays. The more and more connected ways of worldwide communications allow word to spread quickly across the web..... which can be both a blessing and a curse.

 

A blessing as it allows even small companies to have a huge marketing impact.... something nearly impossible with classical methods.

 

But may god show mercy upon you if it is not praise but hate that you triggered..... expect the legions of hell being unleashed onto you. Until people have cooled down or found another worthy target they will do about everything in their power to make your life miserable. They will nuke your amazon/any other webshop rating into oblivion, they will post in every forum they know just how shitty your product is and they will not be above putting considerable effort into making sure really everyone gets the message. 

Beware of the internet....

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February 4, 2013 3:58:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea, gaming communities are usually pretty vile places.  Stardock forums are an oasis in a vast and deadly desert of raging nerd hyperbole and entitlement. .

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February 4, 2013 4:01:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GFireflyE,


I would imagine that many (if not all) game developers are thankful that the gaming community is as forgiving as it currently is. While it can only be speculation, 10 years ago a release like that would have been met with a very cold and unendearing crowd.

Sorry, this line made me really laugh out loud.

Yes, the Internet of today is certainly a cheerful, forgiving crowd compared to 10 years ago... 

I wonder how many people actually PLAYED Master of Magic when it first came out.  

A lot of game developers are leaving because of the toxicity of game communities.  Talk to people who know the Dr's from Bioware about why they decided to retire.  

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February 4, 2013 5:13:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd just like to say: Tom's initial review of Elemental is what caused me to give it a pass.  His review of Enchantress just inspired me to drop $45 on it (counting the DLC).  I was pretty enthusiastic about the original when I first heard of it, and I'm glad to see it seems to have improved so much.

Annnd the download just finished.  Away!

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February 4, 2013 5:14:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Too true. I am consistently amazed by the level of vitriol that comes from gaming communities. People are so dramatically self entitled these days I find it rather disturbing and the gaming community seems to be a high point in that trend. Combined with the relative anonymity of the internet and the results are not pretty. A perfect example was the new XCom which was in a mind-blowingly amazing game and yet if you went on their forums you wouldn't know it. You have my sympathies as do most game developers. I hope you guys do keep on doing what you love and know that many people love your product as well.

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February 4, 2013 5:36:24 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Simtex doesn't exist anymore either.  Neither does Microprose.

 

I don't like being lied to, and the general unfinished state of releases these days amounts to just that.  When I buy something at the store, I can expect it to work out of the box.  When I buy a newly released game, I can't.

 

Games that get shipped broken, whether intentionally or not, are cause for a lot of grief.  The only difference I see is that twits in companies are being as silly as the twits buying the games.  If you're hanging around on twitter, facebook, any of this social media nonsense where any ol' idiot with a stick up his ass can send you a nasty message, you're going to get one.

 

I can't see Steve Barcia surviving that release with his skin still intact if he'd gone out into the masses of pissed of buyers talking about how innovative his new game was.  His actually was innovative, bugged to hell and back was it's only problem.  That people are getting flack over the latest generic addition to an increasingly overhyped and underdone genre is a matter of course.  Especially when they pull asshole stunts with crippling DRM that keeps people from using their shiny new coaster at all.

 

It would be nice if the population were a little less completely fucking retarded of course, but expecting a crowd heavy with prepubescent little shits from junior high to keep a mature and well reasoned outlook on things is even more optimistic than expecting every pc game to work when you buy it.

 

No offense to all the kiddies with brain to mouth filters, I still don't have one in my thirties.

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February 4, 2013 5:52:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@psychoak

Amen.  

I love Master of Magic more than most.  But I don't kid myself about the shape it was in when it shipped. Luckily, it was a very FUN game. But it was, by today's standards, completely broken.  If it came out today in the shape it was then, you'd be talking 50 metacritic. Even back at the time, it got panned for being so buggy. There's a reason there was no MOM 2.

People have this really odd idealized memory of games back in the DOS era. It's almost like people forget why there was an Ultima VII part 2 in the first place (Ultima VII shipped where saved games didn't save any keys you found during the game). 

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February 4, 2013 6:22:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@Frog

My old dosgames have no bugs whatsoever..... (now where is that pokerface emoticon? )

~ King-Dough

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February 4, 2013 6:36:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

MoM also had serious, serious balance issues. Now actually I found it somewhat fun and endearing, you could go and do OP strategies and completely crush the computer players. However it was not something with a lot of good play testing and balancing. There were things that just WTFpwned in that game.

People always tend to remember the past with rose coloured glasses. They remember the good moments of gaming, forget the bad ones. As an example I remember FF2 (the US version, FF4 in reality) as being hard. My friends and I would get together and play the game collectively. It took forever for us to beat it. I replayed it a couple years ago on an emulator and man, talk about easy. I speed ran it in like 11 hours of game time, far less realtime of course owing to acceleration. It was not at all the epic challenge I remembered  the mechanics were so dead simple I could win fights first time, every time.

Now a large part of that is when I first played it I was like 10. I've gotten a little better at strategy since then, and played a whole lot of games. Another part of it is just skewed memory. I am not really sure how accurate my memory of when I was that age is. It has been quite a while.

I loved a lot of old games, and still love them and replay them, but I don't kid myself about them being objectively better. There are a lot of things old games did wrong, including some of my favourites.

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February 4, 2013 8:43:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sycraft,
MoM also had serious, serious balance issues. Now actually I found it somewhat fun and endearing, you could go and do OP strategies and completely crush the computer players. However it was not something with a lot of good play testing and balancing. There were things that just WTFpwned in that game.

People always tend to remember the past with rose coloured glasses. They remember the good moments of gaming, forget the bad ones. As an example I remember FF2 (the US version, FF4 in reality) as being hard. My friends and I would get together and play the game collectively. It took forever for us to beat it. I replayed it a couple years ago on an emulator and man, talk about easy. I speed ran it in like 11 hours of game time, far less realtime of course owing to acceleration. It was not at all the epic challenge I remembered  the mechanics were so dead simple I could win fights first time, every time.

Now a large part of that is when I first played it I was like 10. I've gotten a little better at strategy since then, and played a whole lot of games. Another part of it is just skewed memory. I am not really sure how accurate my memory of when I was that age is. It has been quite a while.

I loved a lot of old games, and still love them and replay them, but I don't kid myself about them being objectively better. There are a lot of things old games did wrong, including some of my favourites.

Yea, and in the case of MOM, virtually all the people who played it played a version that had been patched many many many times (and in many cases, they were fan patches).  It was a brilliant game design though.

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February 4, 2013 11:00:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Congrats on the 85!

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February 5, 2013 12:54:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
@psychoak

Amen.  

I love Master of Magic more than most.  But I don't kid myself about the shape it was in when it shipped. Luckily, it was a very FUN game. But it was, by today's standards, completely broken.  If it came out today in the shape it was then, you'd be talking 50 metacritic. Even back at the time, it got panned for being so buggy. There's a reason there was no MOM 2.

People have this really odd idealized memory of games back in the DOS era. It's almost like people forget why there was an Ultima VII part 2 in the first place (Ultima VII shipped where saved games didn't save any keys you found during the game). 

I don't recall that at all about MOM? Maybe I bought it too late because I recall them "shipping" me a PATCH floppy disk almost immediately after I bought it. Bringing it up to like 1.31x or soomething like that but SHIPPED me that PATCH......you won't find companies SHIPPING YOU A PATCH these days. You are FORCED to have an INTERNET connection for SUPPORT anymore. That's just plain wrong right there compared to yesteryear when publishers and developers REALLY CARED about their customers. I remember ORIGINS support for ULTIMA II when I couldn't get it to run and they TALKED ME THROUGH a BOOT DISK over the PHONE and PAID for that call. Now THAT's support in the BEST way. You won't find that anymore today either. I remember the days when SSI gave us LAMINATED MAPS of games in the boxes like Gettysburg, Carrier Force (with grease pencils), Antietam. Plus I remember REAL PRINTED COLORFUL MANUALS but do you get that TODAY? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO lol you don't. Cheapscape publishers and developers want to save every little penny they can at the expense of the customer.

Mom is the greatest fantasy game I ever played and War of the Lance comes in a close 2nd. I don't care what the haters say it had much more than you get today in COLORFUL map, uplifting music, to interesting units to immersive play and you could make the game as challenging as you wanted and you didn't have to play the overpowering strategies. That's what makes MOM great is there's so many different types of races and strategies there's no way you couldn't find a challening and fun an immersive game out of it. I always did and I came away from each and every one of them feeling fulfilled on an exciting and challenging game. Once I learned to not use Lycanthrophy, Paladins and Sky Drakes of course hehe ))))

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February 5, 2013 9:59:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,



Quoting GFireflyE,
reply 8


I would imagine that many (if not all) game developers are thankful that the gaming community is as forgiving as it currently is. While it can only be speculation, 10 years ago a release like that would have been met with a very cold and unendearing crowd.



Sorry, this line made me really laugh out loud. 
Yes, the Internet of today is certainly a cheerful, forgiving crowd compared to 10 years ago... 

I wonder how many people actually PLAYED Master of Magic when it first came out.  

A lot of game developers are leaving because of the toxicity of game communities.  Talk to people who know the Dr's from Bioware about why they decided to retire.  

Well, at least I brought you a chuckle. 

Naturally, I only spoke out of experiance, and that 15yrs is from a simple gamer with peers. I would have only invested in a game if it was on a top 10 list and gave promise of excellance. A miss after playing and the company would be forever marred. Word of mouth still travelled pretty fast...and I did have things like telnet and BBS's. Patches also didn't come around often so if there was a problem with the game, that problem wasn't going away anytime soon. This impacted reviews of the product in a negative fashion and drove off customers. Never in a review would you of had: "there are problems now...but buy the game anyways cause those problems will be fixed later" However, you're seeing that now in many reviews (I paraphrase of course): "This game has potential and with a few more updates will be a very good game".

We could take FE as the counter example....there are others of course, but FE is at the tip of my brain at the moment (and I'm sure it has nothing to do with my playing it constantly.  ) When Elemental first came out and ... didn't meet expectations; 10 years ago, that would have been it. Pack bags. Start new company. But SD continued to release games after and people bought them, realizing that they were in fact good games to play. Even with the release of FE, as many have contested over these past monthes, the game is still riddled with little bugs and imbalances, etc....and maybe you would not have released it yet if you knew you couldn't not update...but the very fact that you could update and have a committed group of beta testers to help out has been a real boon. Players are willing to look past the problems in light of the fact that they know SD is working at fixing them.

Anyways, those were the thoughts that were running through my head when I made my first post. Maybe I'm way of the mark when it comes to practical thinking for the gaming market. I'm not part of the gaming market. (other than the consumer part). And even there...haven't bought anything new since FE. (well...I did buy galcivII...but that's cause I read a review on TofA and decided that the game would be good enough to play now...and I was right.)

 

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