Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars

Review

On the main menu screen, you’ll find Tutorial, Campaign Menu, Sandbox, Load Sandbox, Skirmish, Options, Credits and Quit. Selecting the Tutorial, it will then welcome you to Immortal Realms and explains that the tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to play and explore in the world of Nemire.

There are three campaigns:  Dracul, Nosfernus and Moroia, each with four chapters. To begin with there is only the Dracul campaign; you’ll have to unlock the others. The first Act in the Dracul campaign is A Night to Remember. “A storm is brewing in the northeastern reaches of Warmont, and the night sky is tainted blood-red by flames on the horizon. Whispered rumours have reached the rulers of the Dracul clan, Vlad and Cecilia, that something strange is happening at the border of their realm. They have sent out one of their minions to investigate...”

The tutorial hints are displayed in the top left corner along with the Win Conditions, Quests and Event Cards. The top right corner displays a mini map of your current area and those areas under your control. There are also icons on the map indicating your armies and the enemies., These will detail some information on the current army selected, such as Threat level, Army Size, Mana and Action Points. Above the mini map there’s Toggle Full Screen Map, Toggle Game Speed, Toggle Army Overview, Toggle Mini Map and Main Menu.

Looking down on the world, your controlled areas are outlined in red while other areas not under your control are outlined in white. You start with your first area which contains your Keep and your current army indicated by a banner above the army. Your Keep is your base, and should your Keep fall, it will be game over; the same goes if all your armies are defeated. Selecting your Keep will detail some information about it and your units in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Blood is your main resource in the game, without it you won’t be able to recruit new units, upgrade buildings or playing cards. Your armies will also start to lose health if you run out of blood. You can top up your blood stocks by claiming villages and cities which will give you varying amounts of blood each turn. In the top centre of the screen is your Blood Pool, which will tell you how much blood you currently have along with the amount of blood you’ll gain each turn.  

Clicking on a village or city on the world map will give you some information on it such as Growth, Population and Income. Growth will increase your population per year. Population provides one blood income per turn, and the size of the village or city will determine the maximum size of the population. Income is the amount of blood per turn that you’ll receive. Sending your army into a province which isn’t under your control will allow you to Claim that area using the Claim Army Action button. Any resources from this province will then be applied to your overall resources on your next turn. Using the Claim Army Action will require one action point.



Once you have a province under your control, you’ll have some options available to you, such as Feed, Split and Construction. Feed will allow you to consume all available populations for extra Blood points. This will give you three Blood Points per population, and if you consume all the population this will cost you One Action point. Split allows you to split your army into two armies, which also costs One Action point. Construction allows you to upgrade the province to increase its effectiveness. After you’ve used up your action points the next thing to do is to end your current turn. This will then replenish your action points and give you any blood resources from provinces under your control.

Every four turns, you’ll draw some Action cards, which will cost you Blood Points to activate. You can collect new cards through unique clan actions or buy them from the Library build. Playing as the Dracul clan will grant you new cards after you’ve spanked some botty in combat. These cards can give you bonuses, such as Sacrifice, which will give you Gain +15 Blood Points, or Target Village or City Gains +2 Population.

You’ll be able to recruit new units to your army by visiting the province with Dracul’s Keep or other recruitment buildings. Upon arriving at the Keep, selecting the Recruit Army Action will display the recruits that you can add to your army. There are different Classes for the army units that will determine the base stats of the units. Tanks have high health and armour, but don’t hit very hard. Assassins deal high damage but their health and armour stats are low. Warriors are a good balance between the Tanks and Assassins.

Some units will have extra bonuses that give them extra effects like Ranged Attacks, so pay attention to your units and use their bonuses to your advantage. Another way you can recruit units is to play a Recruit Action card on any recruitment building under your control. This will show you the available units you can choose from, although not all units are available to you so you’ll have to unlock them as you progress. Not only will these units cost more to unlock and add to your army, but their upkeep will cost more. There are other places in which you can recruit units to your army so keep a mince pie out for them.

You can move across multiple provinces, however you can’t take control of a province if it doesn’t share a border with the provinces under your control. If there is a Keep, then you can claim that province even if it doesn’t border with your provinces. Some provinces are hidden under Fog of War and won’t reveal themselves until you visit that province. You will also find Special Buildings such as Wishing Stones or Library; Wishing Stones allows you to draw a card which can grant your army more Action Points, or they can gain +1 Veterancy Rank or replenish your Lords’ mana or other bonuses. At the Library, you’ll be able to purchase new cards for blood.

Like the Action Cards which are drawn every four turns, you can choose one of three Rulings. The Ruling can offer your clan powerful boosts depending on how you proceed over your next turns. If your intention is to conquer everything in the near future, then you may be best to choose the Ruling Elites Focus, which will offer you a reduced cost in new units and gain blood after combat. Take Up Arms will offer you reduced Blacksmith card costs, although Library cards will cost 100% more. You will have the choice of three Rulings each four turns.

As your clan gains experience, they’ll level up and they’ll receive One Legacy Point. This can be used in the Legacy Tree where you upgrade your clan. These will give you bonuses to your Buildings, Units and Lords, as well as unlocking new building upgrades.

Sooner or later you’ll end up in battle where you’ll want to spank the botty of the enemy before they spank you, with the winner being the last one standing on the battlefield. At the start of each battle are the Aspirations of each of the Lords, which will give you bonuses if you unlock them by completing the level-up requirement. Each Aspiration is randomly chosen at the start of battle.

You can place your units starting positions on the battlefield, just remember to place them where you can make the most of your unit's abilities. How far your unit can move on the battlefield will depend on the unit stats. Select the unit and right click where you would like them to go. If you move within range of the enemy, they will attack you. You can gain a bonus in your attacks if you can have a friendly unit across or next to one of your other units. This will give your units a Flanking Attack where a Half Flank will deal 10% more damage and a Full Flank attack will deal 25% more damage from your units. There are different types of attacks, such as Ranged attacks, which can only be used before they move but they won’t suffer from retaliation attacks.  Units with Magic attacks will ignore an enemy’s armour.

Also, on the battlefield you may find Shrines; if you stand on one of the shrines tiles then you’ll gain some sort of buff. You’ll have to check what buff you’ll receive by hovering over the shrine and it will detail what you’ll gain. There are other things which can be found on the battlefield such as Curses which will give bonuses if you’re standing on one of its tiles. These bonuses along with flanking your enemy may just help turn the tide against your enemy and give you the deciding win and conquer the land and its people.

To win a Campaign mission you must complete the Win Conditions that can be found in the top left-hand corner of the screen. The Sandbox mode also requires you to complete the required Win Conditions. There is a Skirmish Mode as well, but I have only played the Campaign mode so far.

In the settings you’ll find options for Graphics (Preset Quality Options, High Quality Card Art and Cutscenes, Texture Quality, Shadow Mode, Shadow Resolution and Draw Distance, Anti-Aliasing, Terrain Quality, Bloom, Chromatic Abberation, Depth of Field, Reflections, Weather Effects, Ambient Occlusion and Volume Lighting), Display Options (Display Mode, Resolution, V-Sync and Gamma), Sound options consists of Master, Music, Ambience and Sound Effects Volume Sliders, Game (End Turn Warning, Keyword Descriptions, Show Combat Cutscene, Camera Follow, Mouse, Keyboard and Border Scroll Speed).

 

Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com! 


Positives

+ Multiple clans/stories
+ Multiple game modes
+ Looks and runs very well
+ Has achievements
+ Has cards

Negatives

- Frustrating at times

Review Summary

As leader of one of three vampire clans, descend into a dark vampiric world in turmoil in this turn-based strategy game … Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars. 

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Zeepond Rating: 8/10

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