Armies of Exigo
takes place in the world of Noran where three factions, the Empire, Beasts, and Fallen, battle for control. The Empire is comprised of your typical fantasy elements like knights, elves, and other magical things, while the Beasts are a magical race with a big chip on their shoulder following their defeat to the Empire. The Fallen, which are made up of dark elves and fallen knights, hail from the subterranean depths of Noran, adding to the gameís twist.
The game essentially provides you with two battlefields, one above ground and one below. Imperial and Beast forces inhabit the aboveground areas while the Fallen lurk underground. Sections are connected by tunnels in which the Fallen can move above ground and other forces can use to enter underground areas. While not genre-busting innovation, the addition of an additional playing field does bring up some new strategies to consider. The most obvious is that instead of just fortifying your base, you must also search out and secure any tunnels -- attempting to control the flow of the Fallen out of their holes. Another consideration is that control of the tunnels is vital to gaining access to other areas of the map. In order to get your army from one base to another, you might have to navigate a tunnel to the other side. Tunnels can also make for good choke points or places to ambush from.
Outside tunnel navigation, Exigo plays much like your typical RTS. Three resources are available to collect: wood, gold and gems -- all of which help to create better armies and branching tech trees. Each side requires different amounts of resource and deal with development of infrastructures (troop creation, resource gathering, etc.) in their own ways. Each also has their own battle styles. The Empire draws mainly on military might, while the beasts can overwhelm with magical creatures like goblins and ogres. The Fallen are a bit trickier, relying on traveling underground to launch surprise attacks. Each side is well balanced for the most part, making strategy a big part in success.
A multiplayer mode is also available, but isnít all that impressive or engaging. Modes like King of the Hill and Capture the Flag are fun after a few games, but thereís very little to keep you coming back to play more, as was the case with StarCraft and even EAís own The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth.