So this week I'm actually covering a game that isn't perhaps the most engrossing thing to come from the D&D license, but I still kind of dig it. I guess. Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance is (mostly) a war sim game where you control a fiefdom jostling for an empire while a giant rock monster prepares to take over the world in the midst of all the chaos. It's kind of like a 4X fantasy variant on a Koei sim, only instead of that ambitious scamp Nobunaga you're a half-elf duchess in a chainmail chemise. Which is pretty much in the same ballpark, really.
Birthright sets itself apart from all the many, many fantasy war sims that presumably exist but I can't quite seem to recall right now (heyhelp me out here. Besides the two fantasy war sims you gifted me that I ought to be playing instead; I know about those) with two additional gameplay modes that really do more to distract from the core wargaming than enhance it. The first is a real-time strategic battle simulator where you can move troops around a grid field and out-maneuver the enemy's forces with Sun Tzu-esque cunning and a keen knowledge of.. well, all right, you can win any battle in the game with just archers. Not even a lot of archers either. I'll explain later. The other mode is a 3D first-person RPG that superficially resembles Doom and, inexplicably, features turn- and dice roll-based D&D combat. More on that later too. And boy howdy do I have a lot to say about that trainwreck. Talking of which, let's get this rolling:
Is It a War Sim? Is it an RPG? You're Birth Right!
And that's Birthright in a nutshell. Or a Brief Jaunt. Whichever works (I should've called this feature "In a Nutshell", dammit). It's not quite Crusader Kings or anything as in-depth as any of Paradox's other joints, but it's an interesting game with an interesting setting that perhaps spreads itself too thin with its entirely superfluous adventures and war combat. An ambitious yet flawed title, I think would be a fair way of putting it. Check it out if you get the chance, though its current placing on GOG's community wishlist would seem to suggest that GOG might get around to adding it sometime next century. Look for it then, my future cyborg brothers and sisters!
And with that, I'm off to fill more monsters with dwarven crossbow bolts. It's about time that race got some payback after the dwarficidal bloodbaths of Dwarf Fortress. Today, vengeance rides a tiny pony!
|Other Brief Jaunts|
|Master of Magic - Parts 1 - 2 - 3|
|Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos - Parts 1 - 2|
|Dungeon Master - Parts 1 - 2|
|Captive - Parts 1 - 2|
|Might and Magic VII - Parts 1 - 2|