Lornsword Winter Chronicle Review
When I first set my eyes on video footage from Tower 5’s new game, Lornsword Winter Chronicle, I couldn’t exactly decide what it was. Its Steam profile has this blurb on it:
“Lornsword Winter Chronicle is a story-driven action strategy game. Be the general on the battlefield and take direct action to command your soldiers and set up your economy. The Lorn Empire counts on you, keep your mind pure and your Lornsword sharp!”
Befuddled, I dove into the game in order to find out what exactly was under the hood.
First, I must mention that Lornsword is definitely a gamepad-friendly endeavor since you control fast-moving units from a top-down perspective. You directly control your main hero unit who you move around like a cursor. On an Xbox controller, you can hold Y in order to quickly construct buildings which in turn produce your military units. Oh, and it’s one of those rare PC games that still comes packaged with local split-screen, which is pretty cool for co-op play.
Anyway, Lornsword is a game about mass production. Once you have a decent amount of buildings erected, you can begin to crack out your warriors, archers, and spell-casters en masse. From there, these blobs that represent your army will make a straight beeline for any enemies on the map.
What’s cool is that you can snatch up smaller blobs from your larger blobs and have them act as a sort of personal bodyguard regiment. You can also harness them as a real-time-like doom stack and have them power through your other forces that are fighting enemy bases. Once you arrive on scene you can have them wash over the more formidable defenses such as guard towers. If things get a little too dicey you can even summon giant stone golems to mangle enemy structures or ethereal beings that can immolate foes with flames.
You can also utilize your bodyguard contingents to do stuff such as mow down enemies that are attacking your border fringes, or utilize them for inner-base defense. The sheer numbers of friends and foes alike that can be rendered on-screen throughout a typical game or Lornsword, is quite impressive—it sort of reminds me of Stardock’s Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation—big ‘ol blobs smashing up against other big ‘ol blobs. At a basic level, it’s all quite fun.
Lornsword is kind of a combination of a tower defense game and a traditional real-time strategy game. It actually oscillates between the two depending on what you’re doing in-game. Sometimes I found myself hunkering down in my base and building up some stalwart defenses, while others I was out on the warpath with my armies.
Instead of utilizing the more traditional RTS buttons at the top of your UI, however, Lornsword uses on-map glyphs that your forces can capture, thereby granting your empire some hefty bonuses. It’s an unusual take on the standard formula and definitely takes some getting used to.
Lornsword Winter Chronicle is a very unique combination of both the tower defense and RTS genres. It may be a little too shallow for those used to more nuanced strategy games, but it can be a blast to play if you enjoy something that isn’t run of the mill.
Lornsword Winter Chronicle features some pretty nice looking graphics that make its RTS gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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