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Ancestors Legacy is a historical RTS where you can play as one of four different factions from different locations in the world; Vikings, Slavs, Germans or Anglo-Saxons. For those of you who don’t know, RTS is short for real time strategy and usually sees you taking a management style position where you control squads of people and decide what things are built and how your little slice of civilisation progresses.
Ancestors Legacy is pretty straight forward to play, the first campaign acts as a tutorial and shows you what you need in order to understand the game. Each chapter of the first campaign introduces new elements so you can steadily get used to each of the game’s functionalities and by the end you know everything you need to, to be able to play well. I liked the way the game handled this because I’ve always felt that an RTS is a thinker’s game, mainly due to all the menus and the style of play. Thankfully, this teaches you in such a way that you’re not overwhelmed and by drip feeding you the information you’re not left scratching your head.
There’s a lot of content of offer here, there are four different factions to choose from and each one of them has two campaigns, both focusing on different characters with their own stories. That’s a massive amount of content any way you slice it, even if you were to deduct the first Viking chapter for being the tutorial, you still have a lot to play through. Each campaign has five chapters to it and for me at least, the levels lasted up to and over an hour. I think that the campaigns are the best part of the game given that you can do things you wouldn’t normally do in the rest of it, such as controlling a singular character and trying to sneak your way through groups of enemies or they will even have you do it things that don’t involve any fighting while you play out elements of the story.
Even if you’re not a fan of the stories you can still get a lot out of this thanks to its additional modes, you can either play with other people online or you can battle against the AI in a match with custom settings. When playing with other people it took a good amount of time to get into a match and it was all the human players versus a group of AI players, so I’m not sure if a game can be entirely populated with human players but I wouldn’t think it impossible. One thing I noticed about playing these other modes is that there’s a bit of a difficulty difference, in the story your troops and certainly your hero seem to have more health. In multiplayer and in the skirmishes you really have to pay attention to how you manage your squads, more so than in the story mode, I learned the hard way that if you try to expand too quickly instead of focusing on what you have, the AI will take advantage and destroy you. It does seem like they give up if you manage to overwhelm them though, and they will often retreat from a battle instead of fighting to the last.
Most of the game plays the same way, especially if you play the skirmishes or multiplayer, you get a set amount of troops to start and you have to advance your way around the map taking over villages so you can acquire more resources to feed your community which means you can have better buildings and more soldiers. Eventually you’ll get to a point when you can take on and defeat your enemies with enough planning and resource collecting.
You can select all of your people and direct them all at once or you can select each squad individually, of which you can have up to 10, including your hero character. Your hero character has the most effective abilities and will also provide morale to the surrounding troops, both of which you’ll probably miss if they happen to get defeated.
If you’ve been fighting for a while, you will undoubtedly take a lot of damage and even lose some people, in that case you can go somewhere safe and set up a healing camp to restore their health or if you go back to base you can replenish your troops. Each squad requires a house and they also consume food, if you have too many people but not enough food coming in you will run out and they’ll start to lose morale, meaning they can get defeated more easily. They also get affected by weather conditions, for example; when it rains it takes them longer to burn down buildings and it could be the difference between victory and defeat depending on how well prepared you are.
Like other RTS games you can build new types of buildings such as barracks and stables if you have enough resources which allow you access to new troops, there isn’t a lot of variety and the they have pre-designated places where they go so you can’t place them strategically. You can also control the villages you take over but you’re limited to building defensive towers and improving their defences and deciding where the villagers go for resources but there’s an option to assign them to all so I always used that. It’s pretty bare bones as far as RTS games go when it comes to the buildings and troops you can get and how far you can go with them technology wise.
One thing I liked that made the game easier to play was the fact that without any troops selected, you could control the goings on in your village and at the ones you can capture.
As someone unfamiliar with the RTS genre and my closest experience with them being something like Age of Empires, I can say that Ancestors Legacy is a great one to start with if you’re looking for a way to break into the genre. It’s very user friendly and easy to learn and there’s a lot to do with it, it could keep you entertained for a good chunk of time. It’s fairly simplistic given that there are not a lot of options that you might be accustomed to if you’re used to other RTS games, Ancestors Legacy very much feels like one for beginners.
The graphics aren’t the best, which is typical of an RTS since they use an overhead view so you don’t really notice unless you zoom in. One gripe I had with it, that’s not a big one by any means, was the truly terrible voice acting. The characters for the most part don’t sound like where they come from and it sounds as though the voice actors are just going through the motions, reading from a script.
So if you’re looking for a good entry level, easy to play hard to master RTS, this one could be for you. I’d definitely recommend giving it a go and at a price that’s lower than most new releases and for the amount of content you get, it really is too good to pass up on. At the time of writing it’s also discounted on PS4 for PlayStation Plus members.
If you want to learn more about Ancestors Legacy you can visit the official site here.