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Play As the final Boss in Dark Fantasy Strategy RPG Lords of Ravage – Preview

Written by Jericho

Reviews
Lords of Ravage Fantasy RPG

Lords of Ravage is an upcoming dark fantasy RPG developed by Synthetic Domain. In this RPG, the player is the final boss and must battle other heroes in the realm, offering a unique deck-building mechanic that involves your troops, relics, and spells to aid you in combat. With a planned release for 2024, they continue to release updates for the demo on Steam.

The Story

Currently, players can play as one of the factions, but at launch, there will be three total factions, each with their own stories and unit selection. The unique aspect of this story is having the ability to play not only as the villain but as the final boss for these heroes. While much is not said about the story, the small piece you do get to explore lets you take control of Lord Berold, who is the leader of the Dread Knights, an elite force who once protected the king.

The story so far follows one of betrayal and the rise of Lord Berold. Though the demo allows players to explore the procedurally generated map and try different unit combinations, the main objective remains: finding the remaining knights and forming dark alliances.

The Combat & Systems

Lords of Ravage combines deck-building and turn-based strategy elements in and out of combat. While you’re moving your leader across the field, you will have different options for recruiting different units, razing cities for gold, or exploring dark temples for knowledge. Here, players will have the choice of upgrading their troops, relics, and spells. Recruiting troops from your own alliance allows the player to upgrade their specific skills and even give them new ones.

Now, when entering combat, players will see who and how many units they will be facing and allow themselves to select specific relics that can alter the way battles flow.

The most unique mechanic, probably my favorite one, is the ability to call back your units and bring forth the Lord Berold or faction leader of your choice. The leaders are a powerhouse unit. While only having one AP to start, they will dish out massive damage and debuffs. These leaders need to be used correctly, though. The leader can get overwhelmed against a strong enemy team, and if they die, it’s game over.

Once selected, players will have a limited number of tiles to place their troops on, and the troop cards are randomized after each placement, meaning players will be forced to think strategically with each placement. After the units are placed, each has a certain number of Action Points (AP) that can be used to cast attacks, buffs, and debuffs.

Unit placement matters, but so does enemy placement. Some abilities will hit in a straight line, doing less damage to the front line but massive damage to the backline or vice versa, some abilities will cleave all units next to each other, to name a few examples.

Players should expect to lose units and play to those losses. Each unit has a death condition, once they are lost they will provide a bonus to other units, give gold, or buff the Lord himself.

While playing I would hold off using Lord Berold until my units were running thin and weak and once I brought him out it allowed me to maintain the field better while also allowing to keep my stronger troops alive.

Graphics & Audio

Lords of Ravage combines traditional pixel art with modern technology. While playing the demo, you will notice different uses of the pixel graphics. From the map board with your faction leader being a piece on the map to the detailed pixel graphics while entering combat.

My favorite part of the graphics is probably when your faction leader comes out to battle, and a menacing fog accompanies him. This made me feel as if I was the real final boss.

The music is also respective of the style of game. Hearing the drums of war and orchestra support each action in combat. Every move that your units, or enemy units, make can be felt as well. They are heavy and grim. Your units will also make some quips in battle after killing an enemy or barely surviving an encounter.

My Thoughts

With all that being said, I think Lords of Ravage is a breath of fresh air in the turn-based genre. It offers unique mechanics and a style of game that we often don’t see. I also noticed that this game has some inspiration from Legend of Keepers, a similar game where you protect the villain’s dungeon from the heroes.

Any game where the developer lets the player be the villain to the fullest extent will always find a place in my game library. I also appreciate the level of difficulty presented throughout the demo. Each encounter felt different and gave me different options on how to proceed. Some runs were easier than others due to being limited in upgrades and not getting the best rng. But that’s the beauty of this game, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Lords of Ravage is set to release in 2024 on Steam, Epic, and GOG.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jericho

I have been a fan of turn-based games since I was a young boy. My first ever being Final Fantasy Tactics, which still to this day is my undisputed favorite game. Writing is another passion of mine, and when I'm not writing you can catch me watching movies or listening to podcasts. Can't wait to see the future of turn-based games!