Relevant for platform: PC
Recently released Evil Genius 2 – continuation of the eminent strategy about how we equip the base of evil maniacs who dream of conquering the world, set traps there for good heroes, train service and servile staff, and so on. As known, Evil Genius largely emerged from the cult Dungeon keeper, which gave birth to many more games – for example, Dungeons, Impire and Dungeon defenders… Now, in this row, you can put and Legend of keepers, which has a very telling subtitle – Career of a Dungeon Manager…
Best Job in the World
Yes, here we are immediately offered to build a career in the company “Underground” – a one-eyed cyclops girl at an interview invites you to become the manager of gloomy catacombs full of gold and treasures that need to be protected from adventurers. To do this, we place traps in two designated places, and in the other two – groups of monsters (all sorts of orcs, skeletons, succubi, golems, vampires and other nasty things) for battles with adventurers.
This process, if you do not ponder, is not long.
Later, it will be possible to place another very cool monster, such as a dragon or a huge skeleton.
If three heroes, kind and greedy for our treasures, overcome all these obstacles, then in the final, right in front of the chests, the manager himself will be waiting for them – the big and main boss. In fact, this is an analogue of the heart from “The Guardian of the Dungeon” – if he dies, the game will end. At first, only one manager class is available – a huge centaur warrior (aka a drover). Then the spellcaster and the engineer open. And each of them relies on their own class characteristics.
The centaur has access to the healthiest monsters for battles with heroes – orcs, golems, and so on. And he himself has enough hit points. The witch is especially strong in elemental spells and the fighters who cast them vigorously. And the engineer, of course, is the most effective in handling traps, using drones, as well as skills and creatures, which, among other things, put on the creation of a protective barrier for allies. In a similar situation, the centaur, for example, imposes rage on his charges, increasing not their defense, but their damage.
Drones and traps are the main weapon of the engineer.
If we defeat the adventurers, we will receive money, new charges and traps as a reward. And for money, both of them need to be pumped. The manager himself develops – when you get new levels, you can spend talent points on pumping passive abilities. Of course, everyone has their own class branches of skills – for the same engineer, for example, a separate group of perks is dedicated to traps.
At the very end, the main boss of the heroes (the intercessor) comes, after defeating which we move on to the next chapter, get cool rewards, and sometimes open new managers.
Corporate culture of evil
To all this, the authors Legend of keepers added pixel charm and roguelike mechanics. If you are defeated, you will have to start all over again, but some bonuses from the previous playthrough will go into a new sortie. There is, of course, randomness, which determines which adventurers we will be thrown into the dungeon, which monsters and which traps we will receive as a reward, and so on.
Plus, of course, a random event system. And this is one of the main dishes Legend of keepers… In the best traditions Dungeon keeper and similar games, everything is served with humor. For example, you may find that your employees, that is, various skeletons, succubi, orcs and other critters, are watching pornographic magazines with the participation of humans. And then you need to decide whether to leave the magazines and motivate the minions (motivated ones fight better) or withdraw and punish.
Or the spider queen may complain that your wards have damaged the web and spoiled something there – you need to either fight with it, which will damage the manager, or pay. In another situation, a frightened little man will sneak up on the leader with the words that he came to take revenge for something – you need to decide whether to give him up for torture (we will get blood for this), spare (we will get tears) or give the employees, motivating them. Tears and blood are two more types of resources that are needed in some situations. And at a certain rate, they are allowed to be exchanged for gold from a personal alchemist.
After torture, many of your employees will need a psychotherapist – the company “Underground” also provides such services for which you have to pay, receiving in return bonuses to motivate the wards. In general, there are many references to corporate culture – there are seminars for employees and refresher courses. You can even send monsters on a “business trip” – they will be unavailable for several weeks, but they will bring resources.
In addition, unused traps are allowed to be rented out; send wards to rob the surrounding farms and settlements, where, among other things, there is a chance to free a new monster for us (but also an increased chance of getting injured); sell unnecessary fighters on the black market. This is in addition to visiting traders, trainers and an engineer pumping traps.
And here’s what you will get in the next game week (the entire passage is divided into them) – a psychotherapist, a coach, the ability to send wards on a business trip or a robbery, and so on – all this will also be determined randomly.
It is precisely the randomness in such games that is largely intended to dilute the monotony into which “bagels” often fall. IN Legend of keepers the routine also has all the prerequisites. Traps and fighters are always suggested to be placed in the same place, always three soldiers each. Yes, in battles reminiscent of Darkest dungeon, it is necessary to take into account what kind of elemental damage one and the other inflict, and what they themselves are resistant to, or, conversely, vulnerable. And in accordance with this, select which of their wards to put up against this particular group of comrades.
But fights, too, become boring over time. There are not very many opportunities there – we choose which of the enemies and what to beat, or we inflict damage in the area. And in this endless alternation “Accidental event – trainer – robbery – accidental event – trade – trainer – psychotherapist” there is actually a little variety. Especially in the 40th week and in the far from the first chapter for the same driver.
Artifacts, which can change the conditions of the game, partially save the situation. For example, when moving to a new chapter, I was given an item, thanks to which I could place only one group of monsters instead of two, but they received + 50% damage and health. After that, the evening ceased to be languid. It is a pity that such artifacts are rarely found.
What to do? Firstly, to increase the difficulty (fortunately, its settings are very flexible here) – on standard heroes they do not often cause trouble. Yes, they are initially stronger than our monsters and overcome their resistance, but, as a rule, they come on a date to the manager in an incomplete composition and pretty shabby. But at a difficult level, you will have to be more careful about what creatures and against which heroes to put up, and even think over the bundles of fighters, traps and their elemental effects.
Secondly, you need to include modifications – authors Legend of keepers pay special attention to this and have introduced support for Steam Workshop.
It cannot be said that in Legend of keepers we saw something fundamentally new. But a mix of different ideas and genres (here we must also remember the domestic Iratus: Lord of the Dead) turned out to be quite fresh, and even seasoned with appropriate (most often) humor. Yes, there are problems with the balance and some routine of what is happening. Plus, in my opinion, the mechanics of inflicting damage to the morale of opponents so that they escape from the dungeon does not work at all – the spirit falls too slowly. But either the game itself contains solutions to some of these problems, or one can hope that they will still be found – the project is constantly evolving.
Pros: interesting mix of genres at the junction Dungeon keeper and Darkest dungeon; most appropriate humor; variety of monsters, traps and events; support for custom mods; nice pixel picture.
Minuses: balance is imperfect; in some places the game becomes too routine and monotonous.