Armies of eXigo Preview
Since the dissolving of Westwood Studios a couple years back, countless Real Time Strategy developers have been scrambling to join Blizzard and Ensemble Studios in the triumvirate of legendary-quality Real Time Strategy developers. Some have said that the little-known Hungarian based Black Hole Studios has a clear shot at that goal with their recently announced Armies of eXigo, a fantasy-based game created entirely for the hardcore, old school RTS gamer. Now this hardcore, old school gamer wouldn’t make such an assumption that it would be the next C&C at this point, though the game does look promising.
With most RTS games falling under the categories of history-based or fantasy-based, eXigo very clearly falls under fantasy-based. At first glance it looks like just about every other fantasy game or story out there; The Empire (a nation of human knights, elves, and gnomes) has been at war with The Beasts (a nomadic conglomeration of various creatures including orcs, trolls, and goblins) for years upon years. Later on in the storyline, you’ll discover a new faction called The Fallen…which is basically just a bunch of bugs, aliens, and dark elves. That faction is out for complete world domination, and The Empire and Beasts must join forces to try to save the world from the invaders. Sounds pretty stereotypical for the most part, right? To tell you the truth, it is, but the execution of the storyline and the quality of gameplay are what really makes a game; after all, the Warcraft series are similiarly stereotypical as far as the basic theme, but their gameplay and singleplayer storylines turned out to be damn good and the game series was unbelievably successful nonetheless. The basic premise is certainly a disadvantage, but gamers shouldn’t drop the game entirely because of it. Just something to keep in mind.
Like I said, gameplay is a huge part of making a quality game, and this one has a lot of potential. Black Hole Studios is heavily populated with some pretty hardcore RTS gamers from back in the days of Starcraft, Warcraft 2, C&C, and Age of Empires, and they’re making the game just for that kind of person. While most RTS games out there are centered around the mass audience to get the biggest sales possible, eXigo is geared enitrely towards the hardcore RTS gamer; big, 200-unit armies per player, unit leveling, and a whole new aspect of gameplay with subterranean fighting (more on that later) are just a few of the countless aspects of the game that they kept from the traditional games or added to further entice hardcore gamers.