Style of Energy, by the tiny Ukrainian developer OneOcean LLC, is about in an alternate historical past the place initially disparate European kingdoms are compelled to put aside their variations to fight the Timurid invasion from the East. In response to those threats, the Ming dynasty expands China’s borders to incorporate Mongolia and Japan, after which all of them battle it out.
All three superpowers are playable, and every of their armies consist principally of an amalgam of troops stemming from totally different instances and locations. Whereas every unit is given a generic title like “frontier” or “templar”, the in-game encyclopedia explicitly states to which historic combatant they refer. There’s janissaries, cossacks, hussars, battle elephants, ashigaru and conquistadores combating themselves, and one another. It’s as if all the Age of Empires, Civilization and Complete Warfare video games got here collectively to host a battle royale. Though at instances Style of Energy undoubtedly feels spinoff of these video games, alternate historical past is nearly as good a purpose as any to mix and take pleasure in one in every of their important appeals (nevertheless problematic): armored elephants killing dudes.
Like in these video games, Style of Energy determines strengths and weaknesses alongside unit, weapon and armor sort. But, regardless of some first rate unit fashions, on the battle map they begin to mix into one another. It’s emblematic of different issues: the sport handles sluggishly, pathing is clunky, maps are linear and monotonous, the monochromatic interface fails to obviously and shortly present info on the sport’s totally different points of technique and play, and also you’ll shortly tire of the identical two or three sounds of troopers dying repeated time and again. All of it serves to undermine the fantastical thought of those wildly numerous troopers going at one another.
The marketing campaign does little to compensate for the deep-rooted blandness of the sport. The marketing campaign begins out with a slideshow narrated by a cross between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dracula who explains the backstory at breakneck pace. There’s little in the way in which of memorable characterization or a strong narrative arc. Not less than the sport’s voices sound convincing, as a result of the sport’s written English isn’t nearly as good. It may be sort of cute when the in-game encyclopedia states specific unit is “ultimatum in countering with the heavy arrows of an opponent”, and arduous to fault a small, Ukrainian developer, however much less so when attempting to decipher the tutorial, quests or different narrative supplies the sport supplies.
Because it stands, there’s little purpose to suggest a recreation that performs like an RTS that might possible really feel barely mediocre even a decade in the past. Style of Energy is at greatest charmingly formidable; at worst a uninteresting, indecipherable mess.