Should I be excited about Frozen Hearth? (PC)
Frozen Hearth introduces you to the unique world Ámorrá, and is the first chapter in an upcoming saga of games. It is an RTS-RPG where you take the persona of a Champion of the “Danaan” (the people of this world) as their homelands are ravaged and overrun by supernatural ice monsters (The Shangur) who are driven ever forward by an unstoppable wave of moving ice that covers the lands.
The game has a campaign as you would expect, but will also offer a co-operative campaign which could be a big selling point. The preview version provided a glimpse of the campaign mode, which throws you straight into the defence of Ámorrá as the first type of Shangur invade your village while you are trying to attack an opposite clan member, forcing you to form a temporary alliance with them in order to fight this new evil.
In terms of gameplay, it’s pretty much what you would expect from any RTS. In the campaign mode the setup can vary. In skirmish mode and most missions you have a single building base with modules to upgrade that will provide you with improvements to either your Hero or units, as well as unlocking extra units to train. Instead of constructing resource gathering buildings, you have to go out and capture them on the map which helps provide early battle encounters as you contest plots.
The RPG side comes in the form of your Champion. At the beginning of the campaign there are three different clans to chose between, and then you have a choice of class also between offensive, defensive and mage. The choice is yours to mix for a balance, or plan a clans strength to their appropriate class.
Your Champion will level up throughout the course of the campaign (or quicker through the course of a skirmish) allowing you to unlock upgrades to him/her. The most interesting of these is the magical abilities which unlocks spells for you to use in battle. Some of these also require research in the main buildings submodules, but once you have them at your disposal they can be used to great advantage in the field.
In the online PvP mode you will be able to battle against other players as either the Danaan or the Shangur in, what the developers promise, many unique and well-known play modes. I haven’t seen anything on numbers, but can’t imagine more than 2 v 2 at this point. What will really give the online play in Frozen Hearth a uniqueness is the modding community and the fact that Epiphany have built, and will include, their own modding tool:
“We also created a tool for entering and adjusting data. This is called Hydra, a really cool product in its own right which will leave game designers salivating at the power it provides. Hydra will enable game designers to adjust unit stats, create new spells that use existing hooked up C++ functions and enter text for “Scenario type game types”.”
I would imagine that there will be the capabilities to add custom maps to the game also, and this along with Hydra will excite the modding communities and drive a potentially strong online hub for Frozen Hearth.
Should I be excited about Frozen Hearth? If you are a keen modder then definitely, and even if you aren’t a modder, you will still enjoy this if you are into RTS-RPG games.
Ben will have a review of Frozen Hearth for us within the week!