Champions of Anteria is the new upcoming strategy RPG game from Ubisoft. It was a game born out of a troubled Settlers public beta back in 2014. After receiving a negative reception, the Settlers project was redesigned and transformed into Champions of Anteria, a game which ropes in elements from many genres. At its core, Champions is part action RPG, part strategy and part base builder. It’s a game that would have not suited a Settlers nametag but comes into its very own as a new IP.
First Impressions Video Preview
Champions Of Anteria
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The game’s story places you in the role of a small group of adventurers who return to their homeland of Anteria to find it overrun with bandits and warring factions. This ragtag group who enjoy nothing more than a good fight and preforming Dragonball Z Ginyu squad style hero poses after battle, find themselves embarking on a quest and rebuilding Anteria.
Champions of Anteria tries to bring humour into the fold. The overall story is told from a narrator named Brian who is saved by the hero’s only to get them mixed up in a larger threat against the world. Each hero has their own personality quirks and the humour imbued into the dialogue and writing has a certain Fable style theme to it.
The games overworld gameplay is turn based and non-linear, which all takes place on the world map. Each turn represents a day and each day you can attack a territory that is adjacent to your own. Winning these battles will expand your territory however, enemy factions can also attack leaving you to defend your own. As you progress, more territories will be connected leaving you more open to attack from multiple factions.
Winning battles can earn resources which are used at your home settlement. The city building element of the game allows players to not only gain access to facilities like blacksmiths and herbalists, but it’s also directly tied into hero items and equipment progression. As you gain renown, more buildings will be unlocked allowing you to expand your town into new districts. There is a variety of buildings from resource production to townhouses for the populace.
Town building is simplistic at its core but it allows for a fun distraction from the missions and combat. It often can feel like a mini-game, trying to find the best places for your buildings and maximize resource production. The town section also houses where you can upgrade your heroes’ abilities and manage their equipment.
Once you’re ready to take on the world of baddies, you can select an available mission from the world map. After this selection a briefing screen shows that allows you to pick which heroes you wish to take, with up to a maximum of three. Heroes are unlocked fairly early on in the game so you can expect to have a nice variety to choose from, each with their own unique abilities and combat styles. The most useful information given however is what elemental enemies you’ll be facing.
The entire hero and combat system works from an element wheel. Each hero and enemy will use an element such as fire, lighting, nature or metal. Some elements are neutral to each other but others will be weak or strong against others, meaning that they will do less or more damage. Metal for example is powerful against nature but weak against fire. Using elements and the bonuses they provide is often key to defeating tough enemies.
Champions combat itself is nostalgic of classic RPG games. It’s a top down RPG tactics mixed with the ability to pause time and queue up commands. It blends real time strategy action with the tactics of a classic RPG giving it a similar vibe to Divinity Original Sin.
The difficulty of the game is on point and not being tactical and using the elements wheel to your advantage will mean a swift death. Heroes have a good selection of abilities and many can be unlocked as you progress. These abilities have a wide range of uses but most importantly is that each hero can have their own unique combat styles that are directly tied to abilities. The monk for example has to use normal attacks to charge up for his lighting based abilities.
The most difficult encounters often will involve the various bosses you’ll come across. Bosses will have their own set of mechanics to overcome. Ignoring boss fights or focusing elsewhere on the world map can lead to consequences, although taking these tough challenges on can gain you rewards.
Champions of Anteria releases on August 30th with a very reasonable price point of $30. Players can also purchase a season pass for the downloadable content that will come after launch. There are no details on the DLC as of yet, but it will hopefully include new heroes, areas and story expansions.
Champions is shaping up to be a great game. It blends many genres well and produces a game that is both charming and fun. The graphical art style of the game mixed with the humour filled dialogue creates a Warcraft plus Fable nostalgia.
Mechanically the game is well executed, the combat has a nice depth to it and contains a difficulty that should be challenging for most players. It will be interesting to see what the game still has to offer upon its full launch, but I certainly see many people being held from start to finish.
Most Anticipated Feature: Boss Battles are without a doubt the most challenging and fun thing to partake in, testing you in both tactical prowess as well as knowledge of your heroes.