Elemental: War of Magic - First Shot
I load up Elemental: War of Magic not really knowing what to expect. I actually heard about the game through a friend and together we pieced through the tidbits of pre-release information, slowly growing more excited. It's been a busy month but I was finally able to sit down and starting playing this game (sorry Civ 5, I'll get back to you as soon as I can!).
You start out by creating a "Sovereign", who acts as your nation's leader and hero. The character creator is adequate on visual customization, if not robust. The stats are a bit of a guessing game at first, but then that's the case with most RPGs that require you to build a character from scratch. One feature I do like is that you can spend your initial points on various things, from specific magic focuses to big-bonus traits to starting equipment. That alone makes the character creator quite versatile and I could already tell that I would have great fun just coming up with different personalities for different playthroughs.
Once I settled on a build and a race (the humble swamp folk, Tarth) I was dropping into a very barren, desolate world. The interface seems a bit unwieldy and it took a little hunting to figure out how to found a city, how to check out my guy's inventory, etc. But being the gaming genius that I am, I managed to figure it out without destroying my nation in the process.
After a few turns something pretty cool started to happen. My city actually started to bring color to the dead soil, growing grass all around. It's a very neat visual, like a scene out of Pleasantville.
Look for the full review soon!