Title: Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Palindrome Interactive
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy RPG
Official Site: https://www.kalypsomedia.com/us
Release Date: Aug 28, 2020
Available on: Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Where to Buy: GOG Store, Switch Store, PS4 Store, Xbox One Store, Steam Store
There have been several games in recent years that have explored the phenomenon of vampires. These games tended to vary with their depictions, some depicting vampires as mindless monsters while others as enigmatic noblemen. However, one of the most iconic is that of vampires belonging to various warring clans who engage in constant intrigue. That said, Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars released back in August attempts a similar portrayal with a unique blend of both card game elements and that of Heros of Might and Magic.
Immortal Realms’ Story of Vampires At War
The story behind Immortal Realms is nothing extraordinary, as it is a concept that I feel other games have explored far better. Nonetheless, the story elements present in Immortal Realms still manage to be interesting at some points. Where it succeeds is in the game’s plot and lore.
The story of Immortal Realms revolves around three vampiric factions, The Dracul, Nosfernus, Moroia, and a fast-approaching war that is sparked off by an invading human empire. Overall, it’s an intriguing story concept and a good start that sets the tone for the rest of the game. However, after the initial starting point, things go downhill as the story starts to be presented poorly. The main problems are with its awkward lines of written dialogue and the awful voice dubbing that delivers them.
Usually, I can look past this problem, but with Immortal Realms, the voice acting makes it hard for one to become interested in the story when it’s being presented so awkwardly. Along with this, the game seems to jump around when transitioning from mission to mission. For example, one mission will end with a main character getting captured by some humans. But at the start of the next mission we learn that the other main character already knows of the previous character’s capture.
To me, this comes off as a little strange and a bit awkward as we, the player, are not shown how this other character came to this point. Then, when you combine this problem with those of the voices, they make it a bit of a challenge to stay interested in Immortal Realms‘ story. How can you stay interested when the continuity is all over the place?
But behind the initial veil of awkwardness is a lot of intriguing elements as well. Immortal Realms has interesting lore and presents an exciting world where Vampires rule vast swaths of land and control their human populations with an iron fist. The three factions are perhaps the most interesting of the lore with their unique units and playstyles. Each one has a unique backstory that tells of how they came to be and their hold over the lands they rule.
While the story elements presented in Immortal Realms provide an intriguing premise, it’s ultimately wasted with issues in the dialogue and plot.
Immortal Realm’s Dated Graphics
Visually, Immortal Realms is not going to win any awards with some graphics that frankly belong in games of years ago. Despite this, it’s not all that bad compared to the other issues present. It not being a problem is mostly due to the game being from a top-down perspective, which makes minor details go mostly unnoticed.
However, when it does become a problem is when cutscenes are playing in Immortal Realms. When this happens, the issue of the graphics becomes painfully clear, with how everything from character models to various textures looks muddy and dated when shown up close.
In addition, Immortal Realms seems to be inconsistent regarding its character models and the portraits shown on the overworld map. With some characters, how they look on the overworld map will not match the model shown in battles. This is again a minor issue as it seems to only affect minor characters in the game but still struck me as strange.
Decent Yet Flawed Gameplay
Looking past the story and dated graphics, Immortal Realms has some decent gameplay features and mechanics. There are engaging battles on offer and some fairly meaty elements of strategy to be explored within.
The main gameplay elements are most similar to that of games such as Heroes of Might and Magic, whereas players control a hero/army on a vast map and engage in turn-based battles. There are three game modes in Campaign, Sandbox, and Skirmishes. Surprisingly though, there is no multiplayer mode in the game, which becomes a big problem later on.
In the campaign mode of Immortal Realms, you follow the game’s story along with three faction campaigns, and each faction gets four missions with a total of 12 altogether. While this can work, it results in the campaign feeling short with it not exploring each faction in nearly enough depth. Because of this, the majority of the game’s playability stems from the Sandbox mode.
The Sandbox is just your standard RTS fare, where you can pretty much play infinite amounts of campaign missions. In both modes, you explore overworld maps, take territories, interact with various buildings, and fight in turn-based battles. The Skirmish mode, on the other hand, is just a mode for battles, which is fun if you’re here for that turn-based strategy combat.
That said, all three gamemodes in their base functions and the battle systems in the game can be fun at times but suffer from severe repetitiveness. For instance, battles, despite having some interesting mechanics, get overshadowed by how boring and repeated every fight you get into is. This isn’t helped by issues regarding units, such as ranged units not being able to move and attack in the same turn. This problem with the ranged units became an issue fast early on as it made melee units much more viable and useful.
Along with this, the unit movement animation is slow, and which adds to making battles in general feel like a slog. Luckily the game features an auto-battle feature that auto-completes the battles, like with other games such as the Total War series. However, the system seems bugged, and at times will prevent you from clicking the option. In addition, the AI is horrible and extremely predictable, and since there is no multiplayer, you are going to find yourself getting tired of it quickly.
The overworld portion of both the Sandbox and the Campaign are not much better when compared to that of battles. It’s extremely slow and gets repetitive, especially on larger maps. Larger maps also tend to have long periods where you are just moving their armies around too. In the end, I feel this adds more fuel to the repetitive problem afflicting large swaths of this game. There are some positive qualities though, in both the battles and overworld sections of the game, the card system being one of them. It’s a unique system that feels interesting and fun to use and serves as the game’s skill and abilities system. However, like with a few things in this game, it also suffers from some bugs where some cards can be entirely broken or overpowering.
Verdict: Immortal Realms is a game with decent gameplay, but the majority of it suffers from numerous and severe flaws. So much so, it makes it hard to recommend picking it up beyond a heavily discounted steam sale. That said, if you are interested in a game similar to that of Heroes of Might and Magic, consider giving this game a try.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars released back in august, is a turn-based RPG that tells a story of Waring vampires with a unique blend of both card game elements and that of Heros of Might and Magic.
- Interesting lore and plot
- Decent card game mechanics
- Engaging battle systems
- Terrible voices and writing
- Repetitive battles and missions
- Horrible AI and dated graphics
- No multiplayer mode and numerous bugs