06/09/2021

⚔️ Fort Triumph | Review | Xbox Series X/S | 7/10 | "When it's good, it's great" ⚔️ @AllinGamesPub #GameDev #IndieGames

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My first forays into Fort Triumph were initially a little frustrating. The story is well-formed, and the writing is funny, so I felt I knew the world and its inhabitants early on. However, you are thrown into the mix straight away, and there is a lot to take in with not a lot of explanation.

I lost a lot of early battles due to not being clear on what my priorities were (building up a potent party of warriors to go and explore or concentrating on base-building for example).

I appreciate that some will savour the discovery element and the difficulty arc (the Arc de Triomphe, if you will), but I felt like I was scrabbling around for information a bit when I wanted to be decapitating goblins with gusto.

It's easy to describe this game as a fantasy RPG X-Com. And I just have. And that is pretty fair (as well as a compliment if you love X-Com as much as I do) The key aspect of this game then, like X-Com, is the fighting. So, despite my niggles regarding the RPG elements, the battles were what sold me on this game and what I had really come for.

If you're new to turn-based battles, then essentially, your band of warriors have certain skills, be they with a sword, bow & arrow, mage's staff, or tactical (running and hiding), and are up against an evil horde (natch) who have their own set of nefarious abilities.

The sides take turns, using action points to try and outmanoeuvre one another on the battlefield by taking cover and sniping, or rushing in, axe spinning like a murderous helicopter.

The battles are nearly great. At their best, they’re a little like a mix of X-Com (detailed, data-driven) and Mario & Rabbids (fun and physics-based). You and your opponents can really wreck the procedurally generated landscape, knocking over trees and rock piles, squashing enemies as you do so, and that’s always fun.

The issue I took with the encounters is that the randomness (few hits are ever certain) meant that even the most well-planned flanking effort can be foiled by a couple of seemingly sure shots just unfathomably not coming off. And that happened more times than I’d expect it to. Throw in the permadeath of your bestest, most beefed-up soldiers, and there’s a recipe for potential frustration.

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