For as long as they’ve been around, I’m a sucker for good real time strategy and action role playing games. Lately I’ve noticed there have been a few hybrids that combine these two genres for some pretty interesting results, with the latest being Tower Five’s Lornsword Winter Chronicle. If you enjoy those genres or if you’re looking for something different, you’ll want look into this chronicle.
Taking place hundreds of years ago during a Viking-like era, you take on the role of Corun Lan Ka (say that three times fast), a warrior who has to leave his wife and kids to once again answer the call of battle. Using a unique mix of RTS and ARPG, you control Corun directly and can attack using your sword, cast spells, and summon mystical being to aid you.
At first, you’ll be tempted just to try and win the game playing only as Corun as he can run fast and fight fairly well with his abilities and running fast that depletes a stamina meter he has. But your real power and key to winning comes from building structures to gather resources and summon troops and other fighters that you’ll have to order to attack and more to vanquish your foes.
As with any RTS title, you’ll also have to make sure your base and buildings don’t come under attack while dealing with various objectives that range from pushing back the enemy, holding your ground, and other scenarios to seize victory. In between your battles, you’ll get to view some cut scenes that use a funky but cool looking art style (picture a mash up of Vincent van Gogh and Cyberpunk) that has Corun talking with various teammates and others, and there’s also some cool in-game dialogue where sometimes you even get to choose how to reply which is always a nice touch.
Even though this clearly a budget title, you wouldn’t think it by looking at the pretty detailed graphics and lighting effects used here. Seeing that this game was released sometime ago on PC, they were nice enough to send a PlayStation 5 review code and it looks and runs smoothly. The music and character voices are well done and help pull you into the story and frantic gameplay.
Speaking of which, things tend to heat up quickly once you’ve gotten past the tutorial and starting missions, to the point some of the objectives will feel downright impossible. Thankfully you can call over a buddy to pick up another controller for some local offline co-op action, even if you’re already in the middle of a game, which definitely comes in handy on the later missions.
If you’re looking for a small but mighty budget title that blends the frantic pace of both an ARPG and RTS, then look no further than Lornsword Winter Chronicle. It looks great, runs even better, and has a nice story to keep you engaged and hacking away at enemies (and hopefully with a friend) for quite some time.