Early game is best in the genre, but fades quickly.

User Rating: 7.5 | Elemental: Fallen Enchantress PC
Elemental: FE was a game I'd been waiting for since the initial Elemental release disaster last year-- one that I narrowly avoided thanks to the honesty of Stardock's own forumites (thank you, btw). As it turns out, Stardock learned its lesson and put some more effort into Fallen Enchantress. While it's got a bit further to go, it's certainly an immersive game experience that can stand alone with some of the other A-list 4x titles. When/if content is added, as Stardock tends to do with full expansions, this game may become as beloved as Gal Civ 2.

I don't think I've ever been so immersed in an early game 4x experience, when usually things don't start getting interesting until mid-game. There's just so much to explore, xp to obtain, characters to level, stuff to build that you are almost overwhelmed (in a good way). Unfortunately, very quickly quests get completed, monsters get killed, the land gets explored and you're left with the rather boring (and poor) AI players to duel. By this time, however, you're usually so advanced in tech and uber-experienced heroes that winning is all but guaranteed. It's this mid and late game failure that really keeps Fallen Enchantress from taking that crucial next step to infinite replayability for me. Something is... missing from Acts 2 and 3 of the game and I can't put my finger on it.

In addition, tactical battles need to be improved so that they're, well, tactical. Right now it's just die rolls with virtually no strategy involved. This, I feel, is where Stardock should focus first on any expansion efforts.

Despite the lessons learned by the original Elemental, there are still technical issues that need to be addressed. But unlike Elemental, these issues are few and they seem to be getting squashed with regularity.

The bar was set high with Galactic Civilizations 2, which remains one of the best games ever, and Stardock had a lot riding on their Elemental series. Fallen Enchantress is a decent edition that hopefully will get better with time.

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