Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review: Exorder [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Within the first year or so of the Switch’s lifespan making a decent, though perhaps uninspiring, game wasn’t all that awful a sin. However, now roughly a year-and-a-half in, and with an absolute deluge of quality indie titles hitting the system every week, being merely average can hurt a bit. Worse, if you’re competing against a variety of games that are similar in genre it can get ugly. More than anything else the somewhat going-through-the-motions nature of Exorder holds it back, even if there’s not anything woefully wrong with it either.


If you listen through the somewhat monotone voice acting you’ll be introduced to a story of power and betrayal, classic medieval royalty kind of stuff. This walks you through your journey and roughly sets up the scenarios you’ll face, trying to work your way strategically through skirmishes using an often limited set of units facing tough odds. You’ll need to carefully position your units, be sure to make smart use of attacks, and enlist the help of reinforcements in the form of soldiers or mercenaries.


Where typically games in this style are RPGs and you’ll be working to develop and grow the characters and their skills over time, providing opportunity to choose different paths and powers, in Exorder the majority of your units are more cog-like fulfilling a role. You’ll have your options put before you and based on the needs at hand you’ll look to enlist the help you need, or at least what you’re able to afford at the time. Due to consistent way that scenarios play out, and the fact that you initially may not opt into the best approach, you’ll need to replay missions with some regularity. However, in one way this makes the experience more like a puzzle game at times since you then know what will happen to a degree and will strategize from the start properly rather than improvise once things are already in motion.


Probably the best thing going for Exorder is that its general feels different, with a focus on recruiting your group as you go rather than building it. That isn’t to say it works out for the better though since it robs you of the chance to build a connection to the story, which all ends up feeling a bit like noise in the process. If you’re up for a bit of a chess-like challenge Exorder will make you think, just don’t expect many trappings that make it interesting beyond the gameplay itself.

Score: 6

Pros:
  • The style of play is different, more focused on recruitment than character building
  • Stages can take on more of a puzzle-like feel if that’s an plus for you
  • The presentation is visually pretty nice

Cons:
  • In general it’s hard to be inspired to care about the story or anyone involved
  • Though the stages can be challenging they don’t typically feel very rewarding
  • To go with the puzzle-like nature of things many times play feels locked into a set solution of sorts rather than having more options to work with