Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is a single-player turn-based strategy game with battle card elements. It’s currently in development by Palindrome Interactive and published by Kalypso Media and will release on PC and consoles on August 29, 2020. Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is set in a dark vampire world in turmoil. Descend into a mythical world filled with horrors and legends – and hurl yourself into a compelling gothic epos paired with a challenging game experience.
There are three game modes available with a story-driven campaign, an open-world sandbox mode as well as a skirmish mode. In this closed beta I played the tutorial as well as the first two missions of the Dracul campaign. There are three vampire clans that will be available in the full release – Dracul, Nosfernus and Moroia. Each clan has distinctive units, powers, lords and gameplay mechanics that will give the full game a good variety of playstyles. The detail in the graphics is fantastic for a beta and runs very smooth, with the world feeling very dark and atmospheric as you’d imagine for a game centred around vampires. The fog of war is particularly moody and makes you want to explore each map tile to see what potential benefits can be claimed.
The core gameplay of Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is similar to games like Heroes of Might and Magic, Age of Wonders and King’s Bounty, with an isometric view of the land commanding units of troops as you explore and conquer. Only this time there’s the addition of playable cards that can be played in the over world mode, such as healing your troops and recruiting additional units from villages, and lord cards that are played directly on the battlefield in combat scenarios.
Combat can be done via auto-fighting, only if the odds of winning are heavily in your favour, or can be played out manually. Rather than having a hex-based battle screen, this feels more like setting up an RTS battle. You have an overview of the playing field and you can set up your troops in the front or back rows on your side. On the map you can see squares that either provide a benefit, such as replenishing mana, or a detriment to whoever stands on it, such as increasing retaliation damage. Once your team is set up, combat commences in a turn-based fashion.
The Dracul clan start with smaller tier one units like thinbloods, archers and spearmen, before getting access to more powerful tier 2 units like halfbloods, and tier 3 units, like knights. Archers are best placed at the back of the field given their range and protect them using thinbloods/spearmen. Your lord is also on the battlefield and can attack directly or hang back and use battle cards available. Given the nature of vampires, a lot of the initial cards deal with draining health from yourself to do extra damage to the enemy, along those lines. Conquering more land levels up your lord, which will increase their overall stats and grant access to more powerful spell cards.
I did get caught out a few times as I was learning the game. The tutorial is very well done and explains all aspects sufficiently. However in the first Dracul mission, the ability to recruit troops has been disabled so you can only use the troops you start with. I wasn’t aware of the extent of this and lost troops in two battles prior to reaching the final battle. As such, my troops were too underpowered and faced certain defeat, so I had no choice but to restart the mission and move straight to this fight. It seemed a bit counterintuitive being the very first mission and given the game encourages you to explore the land to level up your lord.
Overall, Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is a great turn-based strategy game and the addition of battle cards enhances and diversifies the gameplay. I’m very much looking forward to the full game to experience the other two lords and storylines. Pre-purchasing now will get you into the beta if you want to have an early try at the game yourself. Fans of turn-based strategy games should definitely have a look at this game.
This review utilised a closed beta key provided by the publisher. Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars will release on Steam and consoles on August 29, 2020 and there is a pre-purchase promotion for AUD$48.41 leading into release, at which point it will go back to AUD56.95.
Written by: @ChrisJInglis