Black Moon Chronicles
This French offering is a real-time wargaming affair in the mould of the stunning Magic and Mayhem, and the ageing Warhammer 2. Although inferior to both titles in most respects, it does boast an epic introduction and a devastatingly haunting gothic soundtrack.
Cast in the role of comic book hero Warlord Wishmerhill, the conquest of the land of Lhynn is your ultimate goal. Sadly, the main selling point of the game - the massive battles -also proves to be its main failing. With patience and skill, you can manage and lead some truly epic contests, with thousands of troops skirmishing en masse - but the pay-off is that the character sprites are generally too small, and are necessarily viewed from an overhead perspective. This means that in the heat of battle, you often fail to locate - let alone effectively control - your troops quickly enough, and the game engine repeatedly threatens to grind to a halt under the stress of it all. But, as if to compensate, there's a whole host of neat graphical touches and tremendous variety in the appearance and behaviour of the NPCs.
It's not all-out fighting, either, because time spent gathering resources, funding your army and planning battle strategy is hugely rewarding. The difficulty setting is well adjusted, with a series of induction missions revealing the finer points of the game before throwing you in at the deep end.
Unfortunately, although the 60 quests appear diverse, the end result is inevitably always a melee. Should you tire of the missions offered, there's the opportunity to design your own scenarios with the comprehensive and intuitive level editor - the use of which will leave you wondering what might have been if Cryo had made fewer demands of a graphics engine that clearly can't cope with the sheer scale of the action it is asked to portray.
Download Black Moon Chronicles
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP