Lords of EverQuest Review
Lords of EverQuest (LoE) is a real-time strategy game set in the world created for the well-known MMOG EverQuest. If youíve never played EverQuest, donít worry, knowledge of that game is not required to play LoE. While players of EverQuest will appreciate the numerous creatures from the RPG appearing in the game, to everyone else LoE will be just like any other RTS set in a fantasy world. In fact, without the connection to another familiar game LoE really comes across as yet another Warcraft-inspired RTS, and a rather unremarkable one at that.
|A lord leads his army into battle.|
To keep events between the two games from stepping on each otherís storylines, LoE is set 10,000 years before its online RPG cousin. As LoE opens, the creatures of Norrath are split into three factions - the Dawn Brotherhood, the Elddar Alliance, and the Shadowrealm, which basically breakdown as the human, elven, and evil races. These factions are pitted against each other for reasons not entirely known to the player at first, and even to the factions themselves. While the game deserves credit for attempting to interweave the storyline between the three campaigns so that the conflict can be viewed from the three different viewpoints, overall the story is a bit muddled and ultimately forgettable. It serves its purpose of justifying the goals for each mission and providing an excuse for triggered events to provide additional goals, but thatís about it.
The interwoven campaigns mean that you can choose to play them in any order, starting out with whichever faction piques your interest the most. As the gameís title suggests, Lords are central to the game and you begin a campaign by selecting one of the five available for each faction. The primary difference between them is their available spells, so you can choose the one that fits your style of play. The spell focus between the lords in a faction varies, creature summoner, healer, etc., but thereís not much difference from one faction to another Ė youíre still basically making the same choice. This lack of differentiation is actually a problem throughout the game. The three factions are far more similar than different. They have the same basic mix of units - healers, spellcasters, ranged units, melee grunts, etc. Ė and the same strategies apply to all. Thereís even just a single resource, gathered from the same site by similar gatherers and taken to the same main structure. It makes my job easier, because I can just write about the game in general since the experience is the pretty much the same with all of the factions. Itís not a good thing for gamers though, as it makes it somewhat monotonous to play your way through all three campaigns.