Blight of the Immortals Preview

Written by Craig Lager

March 9, 2011 | 08:01

Tags: #free #neptunes-pride

Companies: #iron-head-games #iron-helmet-games

Blight of the Immortals

The leader glanced around his land with building desperation and saw that a band of Orcs was in the area, albeit too far to save Staghold. At over 26 hours away, there was no chance the Orcs could make it to the town in time. Unless…

Unless they marched very hard, losing five of their own men in order to reach Staghold in time. Raging at the prospect of certain death, the handsome leader notes the following:

Elves: 28 + 12 for Elf re-enforcements + 12 for Orc re-enforcements = 52
Blight: 52 - 45 = +7

Victory for the Elves! Right? Well, not quite. It dawned on the leader that his Elves were lowly, unseasoned Level 1 warriors, whereas the Cyclops had survived at least one brawl and were therefore Level 2 – an army rolls a six-sided die for each of its levels, and adds the result to its strength. The leader licked the tip of his pencil.

Blight of the Immortals Preview Blight of the Immortals
Where's Wally?

Worst outcome
Elves: 52 + a roll of 1 = 53
Blight: 45 + two rolls of 6 = 57
53 - 57 = -4 = Death and rot and zombies

Best outcome
Elves: 52 + a roll of 6 = 58
Blight: 45 + two rolls of 1 = 47
58 - 47 = +11 = song, sweet summer wines, children and love

Even after all the maths, hard work and sacrifice, the leader realised that it would still come down to random dice rolls. Still, there were options. The folk of Staghold could retreat, they could use remaining time to call for aid, or they could just hope for the best. And matters are made worse when you consider that these are zombies that everyone is fighting and any army that is killed by zombies will come back from the dead as more zombies. If the Elves lost now, they would just have to fight a bigger battle later. This fact creates another option; panic.

In the end, the leader chose to call for help. He would take any risk and make any deal if it meant tipping the odds of victory from ‘possible’ to ‘definite’. The Centaurs were the ones who came to his aid, helping to transport other Elf forces into range so they could Hunt the Blighted forces before they arrived. There was more maths involved here, naturally, but the leader has forgotten how it went.

Blight of the Immortals Preview Blight of the Immortals
Do your shirt up, hippie

A set Alliance against a common enemy is often a pleasant to fall back on in Blight of the Immortals and it’s here, with all the maths, that we see what Iron Helmet has done. The developer took Neptune’s Pride and made it nicer, but more complex. Where Neptune’s Pride was simple - every man for himself, one unit-type, no abilities – Blight of the Immortals is far more difficult to get your head around. Where Neptune’s Pride was vicious – with players backstabbing and betraying each other constantly – Blight of the Immortals fosters friendship.

I’m not so sure this is as good, though. Having such a long-form RTS constantly happening is wonderful, and for it to not be quite as life consuming makes it more pleasurable, but it also strips the genre of the drama that makes it great. Blight of the Immortals doesn’t feel like an epic experience a lot of the time. And, as long as no one does anything outlandish, victory isn’t particularly difficult either.

The version of Blight we played was Beta 3, and we’ve been personally assured by the guys at Iron Helmet that they’re going to do some heavy tweaking on balance and difficulty before release. So, while what we played was good, the finished product should be much better. We hope Iron Helmet gets it right because with a bit of polish, this could be a game that you won’t stop playing for a long time.

Blight of the Immortals is the second game from the chaps at Iron Helmet and is free to play in your browser. It's currently in open beta.
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