As an avid gamer that mainly stays in the realm of 3rd person action-adventure titles, the opportunity to review Kalypso Media's Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars was something that came across as both challenging and intriguing—challenging due to its mixture of empire management, real-time strategy, and card-based gameplay, however, intriguing as it is a totally new experience that could offer up an interesting learning curve.
Commanding an army of vampires, there are a few modes that the player can choose from, the tutorial, the campaign, sandbox, and skirmish. The tutorial could also be considered a test, considering the learning curve of the game could be regarded as very steep. Moreover, the UI and HUD can some times be difficult to read and follow; however, once the player gets the hang of everything, the flow as you progress through your turns, conquering the 3D map and upgrading your army becomes easier.
The campaign, however, is where all of your training is put to the test, and for those that may not be aware of this style of game, it can be a bit of a culture shock. Personally, I did not do so well at the first mission, but the challenge in its design kept me engaged in trying to succeed. The story of the pureblood Dracul clan has a lot of potential, as well, especially as players encounter other armies throughout the story.
Sandbox is more of a create-a-battle mechanic where players can set their own terms on a map and create a mission with their own win conditions and armies for themselves or their friends. I found it to be an exciting addition to the title as with a game like this, the idea of creating a personalized game could create hours of fun.
Skirmish was a personal favorite choice due to its simple turn-based combat setup. While these battles can be encountered throughout the game map, skirmish cuts all of that out and gets right to the battles. Akin to instant action in Battlefront II, this mode can allow the player to build their army and their enemy's as well and then set the map and overall difficulty; from there, the game begins, and it becomes a turn-based strategy game about outsmarting the other player.
There is still a lot to unpack for fans of this particular style of game, but Kalypso Media displays a unique set of ideas that could potentially use a bit more time in the oven. For those interested in hearing more about the game, tune into LiteraryJoe's Inner Child Podcast below to hear more of our thoughts on the title, and don't forget to share yours in the comments!
Fans of this style of game may find a lot of interesting things to be unearthed; however, with a steep learning curve, it is not the best choice for beginners in the card/strategy or army management genre. Those who love strategy battles will definitely find maximum enjoyment in skirmish mode but make sure to do research before deciding if this is the game for you.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars 6.5/10
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is an engaging strategy game set in a dark vampire world in turmoil, that combines empire management and turn-based combat with unique card-game elements.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is available now on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC!