Developer: Tower Five
Genre: Action / RTS / Early Access / Tower Defense (Offense)
Lornsword Winter Chronicle is an action strategy game, with elements of RTS and a little bit of Tower Defense. You are the General of your army and have total control over your forces. You can choose to lead them yourself, or you can allow them to attack by themselves whilst you manage other areas of your army such as your base.
The interesting thing about Lornsword is that whilst it has it’s RTS elements of building a base, capturing and controlling resources like farms and gold mines that will help you build bigger armies it actually plays a lot like a Tower Defense game too. However, defense is probably the wrong word, because you’re almost constantly on the offense, so maybe it’s Tower Offense? As you construct buildings, those buildings will automatically generate troops to fight – providing it’s a building that allows that and not a defense tower, once a certain number of troops have spawned they will set off on a pre-determined path, they will follow this path until they find something to fight. This process repeats basically until you win. The idea is that you keep constructing buildings – with the maximum being determined by how many farms you have as they each provide a certain amount of food, this will increase the number of troops that will spawn and thus set off together. Eventually you will have large armies almost constantly making their way towards the enemy which will slowly whittle them down leading to eventual defeat.
Obviously, this can also happen the other way around and the enemy can send armies to attack you, but if you plan your base well enough you will usually have sufficient troops spawning to intercept the enemy. To be honest, I didn’t really have any issues with defending, sure there would be the odd enemy who popped up, but it was never really any huge forces that would cause me trouble.
Your character also has the ability to attack and they can also summon special elemental allies that can help you in battles like archers that shoot flaming arrows, or big stone golem type creatures. You’re also able to summon a number of troops to follow where you go, what I like about this tactic is that you can gather up a number of soldiers to follow you and as your character can run faster than all the others you’re able to pretty much taxi those with you to the front of the fight. You may have an instance where one line of your armies has just reached the enemy base, meaning you can quickly gather up the next ‘batch’ and sprint forward to meet with the other army so that they can hit the base all as one.
The progress of each level creates this incremental force that slowly chips away at the enemy forces and bases it becomes a battle of attrition and whilst it’s kind of satisfying to watch your army slowly win it can at times make the fighting feel like a bit of an inevitable slog. You know you’re going to win and you’re basically just waiting for it to happen as the enemy clings on to the last few buildings, but doesn’t really have any way of fighting back.
Whislt Lornsword WInter Chronicle is billed as an action RTS to me it doesn’t feel like you really get too stuck in to the action, I spent more time managing my troops, maneuvering them to the front lines or taking them to different areas, which in itself I found to be good fun, but if you’re looking for something where you’re heading huge battles and swinging away a loads of enemies, I don’t think this really allows for that type of play.
You also have the option of drop in and out co-op which is a really nice feature, although I didn’t get to try that side of it out. But you can do split screen and the game basically plays in the same manner.
The game is currently in early access so you can expect it to change and evolve over time, but what you have on offer already is good start and gives you some fun gameplay to get stuck in to.