A tactical RPG, set in ancient England, drawing from Arthurian legend, created by a small indie studio in Brazil. Firecast Studio’s Sword Legacy: Omen follows Uther, the vengeful knight who is driven by his need to avenge the assassination of the king, whilst also rescuing his kidnapped love. The game starts with a castle siege, or rather the end of one. Uther, and your wizard companion Merlin have arrived too late to help, and as such are forced to retreat and rebuild with a view to enacting your revenge on those who have wronged you.
First impressions are good. The game eases you through a short tutorial which introduces you to the basic concepts of the game. During non-combat sequences, you are free to explore the world, rummage through items of search for little bits of lore that help to establish more background to the games story. Encounter a group of enemies however, and the game transitions to a turn-based combat system. What immediately catches your attention is the game’s art style, which draws a lot of inspiration from comic books. Conversations between characters for the most part take place as comic style text balloons, and the colour palette and animation give the game a very cartoony yet gritty appearance. Gore is gratuitous, not quite on 300 levels, but the slow motion executions convey that this is far from a family friendly adventure.
The bulk of the game is in the turn-based tactical combat. Combat lacks the tactical depth and detail of the XCOM series, but it’s far from being overly simple. Willpower points dictate how much you can do with each party member, where for example 1 point buys you one square of movement or 3-4 points buys you a basic attack. Banked points can be used in an ‘overwatch’ fashion, allowing your characters to interrupt outside of their normal activation window to for example attack a passing enemy. You can chain actions in any order, and switch between characters in any order which affords you a lot more tactical freedom than I’ve been used to in this genre of game. Be careful however, as running out of Willpower leaves you party member vulnerable to panic, and so there are plenty of systems you need to be aware of to get the maximum from spending your points.
There is a decent amount of variety to party members. You have your typical tanks, healers and mages. But each character’s unique abilities open up the strategic options further, for example Duanne can use his lance to push enemies away, or to strikethrough a line of enemies once you unlock the relevant skill. Merlin can teleport, which is great for getting behind enemies and breaking defensive lines. Powers have cool-downs however, and like any other game in the genre you need to choose carefully what order you’re going to do things in.
Each character has a set of combat skills and passive bonuses to unlock, and new weapons, armour and equipment can be purchased and equipped to further improve your damage output. XP, used to unlock new abilities, once earned is pooled between all party members, which I’ve not yet worked out if it is a good thing or not. One the one hand, it’s easier to switch in and upgrade party members that you would normally just leave behind. But then your not spending the points on the members you use the most.
Overall, my time with Sword Omen: Legacy was positive. The game has been lavished in polish, and looks and feels excellent for it. The game’s narrative is also well constructed, an artefact of the developers partnering up with a narrative specialist. The game does however suffer from showing it’s hand a little too early, and the tactical aspects of the game although deep enough don’t develop much after the first few hours of gameplay. I get that’s not going to be a negative for everyone, but for me I found myself mostly sticking to the same party once i’d found my comfort zone and rarely did a situation require me to try anything else to succeed. That’s just me though, and despite this I still really enjoyed the game.
To conclude, Sword Omen: Legacy is a decent tactical RPG that’s well presented and has enough depth to scratch that itch to ‘play the perfect game’. It’s not to long, nor too short and for the asking price represents decent value.
Sword Legacy: Omen was provided to us by Team 17 for PC.