Lornsword Winter Chronicle takes place in a mystical, fantasy universe called the Lorn Empire. A warrior with a family charged by the Lorn Empire to defend its sanctity, and armed with a Lorn Sword acts as the general on the battlefield in a real-time strategy, hybrid linear tower defense, style battle. Lornsword Winter Chronicle is extremely story driven, and the developers Tower 5 did a great job on the cinematics.
You start off your journey in a still frame-to-frame cinematic with voiceovers. I am a really big fan of this cinematic art style … it looks almost like a mosaic-type of anime (it’s seriously mesmerizing). In-game, however, you will play in your standard RTS style with the overhead view and basic graphics. One feature really lacking is the ability to zoom into your units to watch the battle take place up close and personal. Unit design, for the most part, is pretty simple for your base units. Your elemental summons, however, light up the battlefield with spellcasting and unique design. You will run into many different styles of enemies — from your own fellow empire forces to insect clans.
The game, of course, introduces you to all the UI features and gameplay elements in a 30-minute prologue. Once complete, the full UI is very easy to use. Its design, in fact, is meant to be played on a controller. Also … keep you hero alive! If he dies, you lose the map no matter how many of your units are alive. Your hero also has an “elements bar” which is used to summon special elemental units if you have the corresponding altars built. I wish the hero had just a bit more personal offence … unfortunately, he is limited to a single type of melee swing with the Lornsword. You have all the RTS goodies including defensive buildings, units, upgrades, and resources captures. Food expands the size of you cohort, and gold fuels creation and upgrades. You can only freely control a small handful of units. Your units will follow a line depending on map placement or your buildings (the line is pre-determined by the map event). You can control the flow of which your units march in defense or offence, but micro is very limited as the game is very linear. It would be nice if we could place the line on the map ourselves for the units to follow at minimum. You can couch co-op though which is cool! It also supports ultrawide monitors!
The storyline drives you to keep playing, the music is epic war opera-matic, and the backstory becomes unveiled as you progress stages with satisfying curiosity. I did not find the base-game sound effects too impressive, but the music was off the chains. Keep in mind this is an early access game and the developers have already asked for feedback. Tower 5 will most likely be adding a slew of upgrades and changes before the full release is launched.