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Though its board game-esque aesthetic has some appeal, interface issues and uninspired play make it struggle
In the PC world, I’m an old-school Civilization fan who relishes a great strategy game. However, when it comes to consoles, I have learned to be wary. Interfaces and control methods that are suitable for a mouse and keyboard often do not translate well to a controller. They usually require significant modifications to function effectively. Rising Lords, while playable, suffers from this issue. Unfortunately, this is not its sole problem.Adopting a very board game-esque look and feel, from the hex-based grid the map is layed out with to your units that look like playing pieces, the game at least has a strong visual identity. Getting started, unfortunately, I found to be a bit rough though as the tutorial struggled to clearly convey the game’s core concepts and controls. While with strategy games, in particular, you can’t expect to understand even a fraction of a game’s nuance from the tutorial alone, but it left me feeling unclear on even some basic concepts so that was aggravating.The interface and controls strongly suggest that the game was designed primarily for mouse and keyboard, with minimal effort made to optimize for controller use. In some instances, players must use the sensitive analog stick to target relatively small areas, leading to unnecessary frustration that could have been addressed through redesign or rework.Despite these concerns, Rising Lords offers a decent strategy game at its core. After overcoming initial setbacks, players can engage in satisfying plundering and pillaging. While it lacks the depth of more established franchises, once its rules and systems are understood, it can be rewarding in its own right.
Justin Nation, Score: