I’m honestly not sure where to start with Legendary Heroes. It’s no less than the third iteration of a game born in an environment of extreme mediocrity: Stardock Corporation, they of incredibly bland 4X1 ‘em up Galactic Civilizations fame. The original Elemental was savaged on release for being both unfinished and terrible; that Stardock keep trying to make the concept work probably has less to do with their faith in that concept than it does the Elemental series being the CEO’s pet project. Still, Stardock have persevered, and for the second and third games they hired one Derek “Kael” Paxton as their lead designer. Kael is the man responsible for the popular Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4 which I played five or six years ago and liked very much, not least because it let me cover an entire continent with monuments to Cthulu. He clearly had some promising ideas and a talent for game design, and I wanted to see if any of this had managed to bleed through into Legendary Heroes.
- The term “4X” comes from “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate”, which was no doubt dreamed up by some bored marketing drone to save them the trouble of having to write “It’s like Civilization” in all the promo material. ↩