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Overview

Etherlords 2 is a fantasy card-based dueling game by the Russian developer Nival Interactive.  The main bulk of the game is based on the concept of heroes dueling one another using spells.  Battles are turn based and are similar to other collectible card games with a player "drawing" spells from a "deck" and then expending resources to activate spells from thier "hand."


Story

In Etherlords 2, the various factions (Vitals, Kinets , Synthets, Chaots) are once again battling to determine who will become the white lord, master of all ether.  However this time around a mysterious plauge which drains creatures of thier life energies is being spread by a strange new advesary.  Play as a hero of one of the four factions and uncover the truth behind the pale plauge and its bearer.


Gameplay

There are two primary modes in which to play Etherlords 2.

  • Story (Campaign) Mode
  • Duel Mode: Online or Versus AI


Campaign

The  single player mode features 5 different mini campaigns that focus on the different races in the Etherlord's universe. Each mini campaign features 4 missions. During those missions, the player controls a single hero that can, after achieving enough experience points (gained by defeating enemy heroes) level up, increasing his life points and traits.  The hero traverses a map completing quests, gaining new spells (from shops or npcs) and battling opponents on the battle map.

Battle Map/Duel Mode

The bulk of the game is centered on duels.  The gameplay here is similar to the collectible card game Magic: The Gattering.  Before the battle, the player selects 16 diffrent spells that they will use in battle. Each spell can be either an enchantment, sorcery or a summon spell.

  • Enchantments: Provide constant effects either to the creature on which they are cast, or on the entire battlefield.
  • Sorceries: Provide a one time effect like damaging the enemy hero or destroying a creature.
  • Creature Summon spells: Summons a creature that is able to attack the enemy hero or block an attacking creature.  Each creature has two stats, power or the damage they inflict, and toughness or the amount of damage they can sustain before dying.

Once in combat,  The two opposing heroes take turns, summoning creatures and casting various offensive or defensive spells.  Spells cost ether which is generated by ether channels, these channels automatically increment up during the course of a battle, but can also be affected by spells.  Each turn, the player first draws a card (spell) and then can use as many spells as they wish, assuming they have enough ether to cover the cost.  If a player has any summoned creatures that are not resting (summoned this turn), they can choose to attack with them.  If  creatures are not blocked by enemy creatures, they dmage the opponent.  The goal of the battle is reduce the opponents life points to zero.

Factions

There are four playable factions (races) in Etherlords 2. Each one features a different set of spells that effect the way the game is played.

Chaots

The Chaots are a tribal race with a strong focus on fire and lightning spells. Their sorceries allow them to destroy enemy creatures as well as cause direct damage to the enemy hero.
 Common Chaot creatures include Kobolds, Orcs and Bats.

Vitals

Vitals are a race of people who possess an affinity for plants and insects. Their combat spells mostly focus around healing.
Common Vital creatures include Treants, Bees and Ticks.

Kinets

The Kinets are a winged race with an association to air and water. The Kinets possess an arsenal of spells that delay enemy actions.
Common Kinet creatures include Spirits, Aviaks (birdman) and Lamias (nagas).

Synthets

The Synthets are a cyborg race that focuses on machines and technology. Their spells can cause damage over time, as well as decrease effectiveness of the enemy creatures.
Common Synthet creatures include mechanical Worms, Mechs, and varios other machines.


Critical Reception

The game was generaly well recived by critics, scoring a rating of 78 on Metacritic. Most critics praised the core gameplay model as well as the graphics, but criticized the voice acting, plot and the uneven difficulty.



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