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Elven Legacy: Ranger on Game and Player

Elven Legacy: Ranger

Jessica Johnson  //  November 16, 2009

An interactive chess battle, if you will.


erhaps I am not the best person to turn to when it comes to fantasy games, but from the moment I first witness a cliché, no matter how minute, it is difficult for me to stop rolling my eyes as the story progresses. For a turn-based strategy/RPG game like Elven Legacy, the story is one half of the experience, the other the battles.

The first Elven Legacy's story unfolded rather awkwardly. You were abruptly shoved into a group chosen to find a very bad human mage that learned a very bad Elven secret putting the whole world in danger. Despite an initial delivery that was clumsy at best, the storytelling improved as battles were won. Thank goodness, because my eyes can only roll so much for so often.

In Ranger, the learning curve isn't as steep. And suddenly the game is a lot more fun.
The battles in the original game, even on easy mode, were quite overwhelming and despite the difficulty setting, so very hard. It was then that I was forced to come to terms with my stubbornness against game tutorials. At least in the expansion, Ranger, the game starts you off slowly with a single character to control instead of ten. And suddenly the game is a lot more fun, too.

As the title states, the focus of this game is a ranger. His name is Cornelius and he is the greatest ranger in all the land. He has been sent out to find an appropriate place for the Order of Marcus to make their new home, and considering all the disputes going on about new kings and various pillaging exploits, this is quite an undertaking.

The mechanics and style of the game have not changed in the expansion. The controls still feel shoddy to me. For example, selecting a unit on the map requires me to click once with all my might. Now, I am certain my rinky-dink mouse is not supposed to interpret it this way, so I have resorted to clicking the icon at the bottom of the menu instead. It may sound like a small thing, but when you have fifteen units on a map, and they are all mixed up, it's a little difficult to tell which unit of scouts is the one you want. But, it's turn-based, so I have all the time in the world.

And that really is the beauty of this genre. Feel free to save in the middle of your turn and then come back when you have more time. Sometimes it is best to so this when an ineffective strategy needs rethinking. It might sound boring, but these battles can be just as intense as any other, but the difference is that these require patience and thought. An interactive chess battle, if you will.

Battles can be just as intense as in any other genre.
Elven Legacy is both a turn-based strategy game and an RPG. A unit is leveled individually during each battle, and with each level comes a new ability or skill bonus. However, if that unit is lost in battle, they are gone forever. Thank goodness for the Undo button. As you progress from battle to battle, the variety of unit types increases and after several there are enough at your disposal that you can keep some in reserve — a very handy thing if you can't handle battles in Easy mode, like me.

I think the best part of the entire game is the fact that there are so many paths to take in the story line. The replay value is this game's strongest selling point, and if you are at least familiar enough with turn-based war games, then this is definitely worth a look. I am afraid that the steep difficulty of the original game is enough of an incline to scare off newcomers to the genre. While Ranger does a better job at increasing the difficulty, technically you still have to play through the first game for anything to make sense.

And that is why I would only recommend this game to those who really get this genre and how much of a challenge lies ahead. The fun factor — for me, who can hardly play on Easy mode — dropped sharply after twenty minutes in a battle after which I would fail some objective and then start over. So to those new to this game type, good luck!

Elven Legacy: Ranger



1C Company


Paradox Interactive

NA Release

October 21, 2009


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • High replay value
  • Improved storytelling, therefore less eye-rolling
  • Viewpoint controls are especially nice


  • Battles are very challenging, even on Easy
  • Some control scheme issues

G&P Rating

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