My review for the very challenging turn-based RPG by the spanish indie developer Numantian Games. Let’s talk about Lords of Xulima.
Lords of Xulima is a classic turn-based RPG released on 14 November of 2014. Intrigued by the positive reviews and by his reputation for being very challenging, I decided to dedicate the few free hours a week available to test the game and release my opinion.
In Lords of Xulima, we will take on the role of a herald and his team chosen by the Gods to restore order in the firmament and on earth. To do this we will have to sail to the island of Xulima, where the gods once lived, now engaged in the struggle against an insurrection God and restore order. During our exploration, we will discover new details and reveal the intrigues that lie behind our adventure. A fairly intriguing and never banal story, but I avoid adding more details to let you discover it for yourself.
Lords of Xulima presents itself like a classic turn-based RPG with some innovation put inside. The exploration phase will alternate with the combat phases. We will explore the island freely by watching our character in the third person, and once you have met an enemy the view will move in first person like in games such as Wizardry, Legend of Grimrock.
The game contains all the classic elements for RPG lovers. Each character will have his own class, skills, and attributes and with each level up, we will choose which characteristics and abilities to increase.
In the evolution of our party, we can not make mistakes because this will put us in great difficulty in the advanced stages of the game. We will, therefore, have to try to evolve every character with fundamental characteristics to face the exploration phase and the combat phase.
Once started a new game, we can choose, first of all, the difficulty level, between normal, veteran and impossible. The Game advises us to choose veteran to enjoy the game for how it was conceived and so I did.
Then we can choose whether to randomly generate the 5 characters that will accompany the main character that by default will have the Explorer class. If we decide to manually create the 5 characters we can choose between the following classes; arcane soldier, mage, thief, cleric, divine summoner, paladin, barbarian, bard, soldier. After choosing the class, we will choose to which god our character is aligned and this will give different bonuses. And finally, we will choose the weapon of choice. Once this is done for all five characters, we can set sail for our adventure.
The exploration phase
During the exploration phase, we will have a third-person view. We will be able to freely explore the island, the only limit is represented by the enemies that are often too strong for us at that time so we will have to go back once our party has been strengthened. In fact, before approaching the enemy, clicking on them with the mouse right button we will know how many enemies we will have to face and what level of difficulty awaits us.
While traveling, we will consume food, and it is very important to keep an eye on the bar because once you reach zero, our characters will suffer penalties to their characteristics and can not rest to recover their energy and given the great difficulty of fighting we can not afford it. This will happen often and sometimes I found it a little frustrating.
We can find food in shops or take advantage of the skills of our main character who can recover food from plants and flowers, also collecting different types of mushrooms will increase the characteristics of their companions.
The world of Lords of Xulima is a continuous challenge, in fact, it is full of secrets, traps, and things to unlock and for this very reason, it is very important to develop a very balanced party.
For example, in my party, I chose a thief with a high level of perception, a lockpicking and trap disarming skills, to try to avoid surprises in the exploration phase and get all the treasures locked up.
So it’s very important to always have picklocks to open up locked chests that can hold unique items, and torches to face the dark dungeons.
The combat phase
In the combat phase, each character will have his turn depending on his speed attribute. On the sidebar then we will see the order of movement. When the turn of one of our characters arrives, we can choose whether to attack, defend, use objects, use special abilities or move in the rear or sideways.
Almost all fights will be very challenging since the enemies hit very hard and often also have a high percentage of dodging our blows. So the discourse of creating a balanced, well-armed party always comes into play. A bit unpleasant the tough random encounters, in fact during the exploration in addition to the visible enemies, in certain areas we would be hooked by groups of enemies too strong for us.
The random encounters in Lords of Xulima sometimes could be very tough.
What I loved about Lords of Xulima
Surely the aspect that I liked the most is the great difficulty of the game that pushes you to be scrupulous in the management of the party. At each character’s level up, you will need to think carefully about which characteristic to increase and which skill to develop. A difficulty that you will find both in the exploration and in the combat phases.
The world of Lords of Xulima offers over 60 hours of gaming full of secrets to unveil. Never banal secrets, this is another aspect that I have positively evaluated. Also the bestiary are likable, where we will find the description of all the enemies we will face. Not bad even the background music that accompanies the adventure.
What I did not like about Lords of Xulima
Surely an aspect below average is the graphics. Although I do not care much, I did not like the graphic realization of the enemies. And the unpleasant lack of food and the sometimes too difficult random encounters are a bit unpleasant.
Summing up, a game that I certainly promote and that all turn-based RPG fans must try. Suitable especially for those who love challenging games. A game who are able to keep alive the interest from the beginning to the end of the adventure.
Let me know in the comments, if you played Lords of Xulima or are thinking about playing it too and what you think about it. Have also a look at some interesting turn-based games in my overviews page