Confrontation was a strategy game based off the Tabletop RPG of the same name. We now have a successor to Confrontation, it is call Aarklash Legacy. Centered around the same combat style as Confrontation, Aarklash Legacy could be considered a sequel of the spiritual type. The game has rich lore to pick from and a wide variety of characters. Confrontation was a really good game that offered plenty of challenge, interesting gameplay, and great art direction. Does Aarklash Legacy hold up to that standard? Yes, yes it does.
Aarklash, a land of chaos where incessant battles between the forces of Light, Destiny and Darkness have lasted since the beginning of time. At the heart of this conflict, a group of mercenaries, wrongly accused of crimes against the Lion of Alahan, is being hunted down. Convinced that they are in the right, and intent on fighting their enemies to the bitter end, they will set forth on an epic adventure where they will discover dark secrets. A path strewn with obstacles and many unfriendly characters awaits them. Go into battle and fight for your life! Your actions will determine the destiny of Aarklash.
The story is rather good. It helps that the Wheel Swords are so diverse in terms of personalities. There are eight of them and you begin to pick your favorites in terms of personality. They seem to cover all the archetypes of heroes/anti-heroes and it makes for a good cast. The only issue I have with these sorts of stories of redemption with mercenaries is that they will do anything to clear their name, by killing members of the organization that accused them. It isn't as bad as a game like Dishonored, but I don't seem much redemption in killing more members of the Lion of Alahan. That is just me though.
What captivated me at E3 when I saw Aarklash was the gameplay. While it uses a similar system to Confrontation and Dawn of War 2, the system feels more enhanced and precise. Since it is based off a tabletop game, it feels natural to be able to stop and think about your actions. At first, you think you won't use the active pause system, but you will quickly learn that the system must be used to succeed since you are ALWAYS outnumbered.
Something I think should mention is that in some cases of large encounters is the game feels incredibly unforgiving. I remember this one section where I was locked inside an arena of sorts and a bunch of skeletons would come out of the ground, most of them were mages. Their constant stream of attacks continued to whittle down my team at alarming rates. Up until this point it always dispersed my team to fight enemies one on one. In this case, I needed to dodge magic missiles and focus enemies down one at a time. This would later transition into a larger miniboss fight where the necromancer would summon a large horde of skeletons about halfway through the fight. I cannot emphasize how important movement is in this game.
The combat is broken down into standard RPG mechanics. You have support and offensive spells/skills. Some Wheel Swords use mana, others use stamina, and some use HP. The items they equip will determine how their spells are used. For instance, Denzil uses stamina and does not benefit from items having mana regeneration. So it helps to find items that cater more to what role the character has. You can switch characters out at any time when you have them available (just not during fights). Even though you get new characters rather quickly and many times they will sit on the bench, they will still benefit from EXP given from defeated enemies.
The skill tree of Aarklash Legacy is simple, but truly emphasizes choice. Your skills have two branches with many modifications added to each level to perfectly craft the correct spell for a situation. Once you make a choice, you are stuck with it, unlike crap with Kingdoms of Amalur that allow you to 100% respec our character whenever you want there is an added challenge of what to chose. In addition to the choices you make, there is no store, so new items must be found. But what to do with the old items? Dropping them is a bad idea. You can recycle items to be created into epic items. These epic status items have the best stats you can get and are very useful whenever they are created. Careful with what you put as the last item though, because whatever is recycled last is the type of item it will be.
The level design is sort of a hit and miss. The environments look great, but the level layout is a bit linear for my taste. I like to get lost strangely enough. There is still a lot of exploration in later levels but the game still feels rather linear. You cannot grind in this game so you must explore the whole map to make sure you fight everything. There are some secrets and extra bosses that are easy to miss.
Aarklash Legacy does a lot of good to the RPG genre in terms of original gameplay. The music and art direction are brilliant and Aarklash Legacy delivers on that brilliant atmosphere Confrontation has to offer. The disappointments are limited to level design and spiking difficulties due to unforgiving fights. There also isn't much replay value in the game. Aarklash Legacy has some great ideas, but a lack of content and exploration greatly injures the final product. I give Aarklash Legacy a 7/10. You can get it on Steam now.