Fantasy General 2 Review – A never-ending story

Fantasy General Ii Fantasy General 2 Review

Truth be told, I never played the original Fantastic General game that came out in 1996. It went unnoticed at a time when I was focusing more on real-time strategy games and first-person shooters. That said, the turn-based tactical offerings developed or published by Slitherine have always remained a staple in my library. This brings me to Fantastic General 2 – from developers Owned by Gravity but still published by Slitherine. Is this sequel worth the wait? Or is the 23-year break a bit too much? Let’s find out in our official review.

To note: For more information and advice, you can consult our Fantastic General 2 guides and features hub.

The story so far

Fantastic General 2 combines age-old concepts of classic Panzer General series, wrapped in a set of fantasy and RPG themes. In the game’s “Invasion” campaign, you play as Falirson, a young barbarian warrior who grows up to be the king of his own tribe. Your father has given you an unenviable responsibility: to lead your people to greatness and defeat the forces of the Empire (a very generic name).

Along the way, you will meet new friends and enemies. Again, given the fantasy themes, you’re bound to encounter huge trolls, magical shamans, shapeshifting werewolves, valkyries, and more.

Regarding the role-playing aspect, you will follow Fantastic General 2as you progress through over 30 scenarios/missions. There are times when you’re faced with various decisions – whether it’s your choice of mission to take on (resulting in other options being locked out) or which dialogue would lead to a certain outcome. For example, during one of the previous missions, Falerson witnesses a fight between trolls and humans. If you side with the trolls, you will earn their respect. Later, you will meet a troll hero character and you can mention rescuing his buddies from the previous mission.

Fantasy General 2 Review Falerson Dialogue Choice Troll

Fantasy General 2 – Want some strategy?

meat and potatoes Fantastic General 2 will be his turn-based battles. It is one of Slitherine’s published titles, after all, and they are masters at their craft.

The mechanics of the game are quite easy to learn. You have your usual placement of hex-based units, one-tile melee attacks, two- to three-hex ranged attacks, and you’ll even notice siege units that can annihilate opponents further afield. Units have a movement point and an action point (attacks or spells), and some have a free action such as razing a settlement on the tactical map.

Naturally, no fantasy-themed game would be complete without magic-based units and spells, and Fantastic General 2 has several. Some spells include the means of revealing a section of the map, shrouding oneself in mist, terraforming an area in forest, as well as summons.

Fantasy General 2 Review Summon Magic Vs Empire Rollout

Units, wounds, kills and resupply

Units come in a few varieties. Your Younglings (early game male infantry) can grow into Berserkers, Werebeasts, Axemen, Skirmishers, or even a Thane hero. Meanwhile, your Maidens (early game female infantry) could become Stag Chargers (shock cavalry), Wind Riders (magic ranged cavalry), Winged Maidens (valkyries), Shield Maidens, as well as a Wolf Mother (support unit that can summon wolves). A few missions later, you will be able to recruit troll units (monstrous infantry) which can become artillery units or monstrous shock infantry.

Noteworthy additional mechanics would be ‘wounds’ and ‘kills’. When units take damage, they suffer “wounds” which can be replenished if you take a turn to rest. However, taking too much damage would result in “deaths”. Most of your regular units (aside from Falerson and other heroes) are made up of squads, and their numbers would decrease if troops were killed.

Unlike wounds, slain soldiers do not replenish even when you rest during a battle. You can only get them back if you use a special potion, spend gold to restore troops in a camp or castle, or after you finish the battle itself. However, finishing battles after a unit has lost troops would mean that it would also lose experience points (to represent having to recruit newcomers). Needless to say, this creates an intriguing dynamic where you would try to play more defensively. Protecting your units to avoid XP loss is a must.

Monster Artillery Troll Howl

Explore your environment

Almost all of Fantastic General 2The cards are gigantic. Even better, the maps themselves are dotted with various points of interest. Ruins and caves can earn you gold, artifacts (accessories), or upgrade materials like weapons and armor. The same goes for razing an enemy’s settlement (and you’ll often raze since you’re a savage barbarian, after all).

You can also spot shrines that can grant army-wide buffs and mana pools that add MP each turn that can be used for your spells. Likewise, some missions may even have a small village, witch hut, or various locations that may provide additional side quest or dialogue options (like killing harpies or talking to a witch so she can provide boons) .

When you combine the above with Fantastic General 2While fighting your enemies, you can spend 30 minutes to an hour completing certain missions. This is because some of these rewards are completely random. For example, razing a certain settlement on the battlefield can earn you 150 gold. But, reloading the save and committing the same action could provide you with weapons for unit upgrades on the next attempt.

Fantasy General 2 Review Guardian of the Lake

find a balance

As you mow down your enemies, you’ll notice a counter on the right side that spins. This is the amount of gold that will be available once you have completed a battle. You will need to find a balance between:

  • pushing forward on offense versus playing defensively
  • explore points of interest rather than complete the mission

Rushing to complete the scenario can earn you a ton of gold (the number on the meter will be multiplied by 25), but you might run out of upgrade materials. Lounging around or exploring every nook and cranny can net you some cool stuff, but you might end up without any gold bonuses after the fight is over.

This is where one of the main flaws of Fantastic General 2. Since many of these rewards are random, I found myself reloading previous saves just to make sure I had plenty of gear (weapons and armor) for unit upgrades. I was swimming in gold – but barely had the other requirements needed to reach the next level.

Fantastic General 2 also has no towns, centers or stores. It’s just one battle after another, with a break in between on the world map if you want to manage your army. You could have dozens of items that are unused, and you could have thousands of gold with nothing to trade using the currency. If the game had a shop or an item/resource exchange feature, it would reduce the need to keep reloading just so the player can find the materials they need.

End of the battle of riches to gold

Rudimentary repetition

Perhaps the biggest drawback I encountered during the review Fantastic General 2 was how extremely repetitive it had become over time. In most cases, I found myself peppering Empire troops with rocks from trolls or arrows from my skirmishers.

I would put my heroes ahead of tank hits. Then I would place them behind my melee units one more time if they needed to heal for a turn. I would use a magic spell to reveal parts of the map for ruins or caves, and summon a floating specter that could reach those areas. I’ll kill troops from the Empire or rival barbarian tribes, and maybe even the undead. Later, rinse, repeat.

After about 20 missions, I found myself more enthralled with reloading previous saves to get upgrade materials, especially the very rare “liquid mana” material for magic-based units. When you spend more time reloading saves in the middle of a battle, it’s never a good sign.

The more I progressed, the more I noticed that the game also started to slow down. During the early to mid-game experience, Fantastic General 2 played smoothly and I was clocking in at over 80 FPS. Past a certain point and once I was around 25 units, that’s when the framerates started to drop, especially on the world map. There were even times when I could hardly unequip or replace an item due to slowdowns. Note that Fantastic General 2The system requirements of aren’t even demanding, so these technical issues were a pleasant surprise.

Recruitment Unit Youth Upgrade Path

The Empire strikes hard

As mentioned, Fantastic General 2 will have you embody the barbarians led by Falirson for the “Invasion” single-player campaign. That’s basically it. All 30+ missions are from the perspective of the same faction from start to finish. Sooner rather than later, you might find the experience tedious. There’s also a short prequel campaign where you play as the Barbarians…again.

The other playable faction is the Empire, but these lords and ladies are only available for skirmishes and multiplayer. The variety in the single-player campaign is sorely lacking, especially once you’ve spent hours going through the moves.

Fantastic General 2 is not a bad game in itself. But, it is sorely lacking in what can be considered a full-fledged fantasy RPG or fantasy strategy experience. He tries to be both, but does not succeed in either goal. With fantastic themes, it feels like a never-ending story because it’s also endless work to reach the finale.

Fantasy General 2 Review Empire Vs Barbarian Multiplayer

Don’t forget to check out our Fantastic General 2 nifty guides and feature hub for more in-game tips and tricks. If you are interested, you can find Fantastic General 2 via its Steam store page. It is available today, September 5.

Hi, I’m, a website about games and helping gamers get the information they need. We always provide the most complete and earliest news as well as share tips and tricks on some games. Thank you for reading this post

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