[Beyond PlayStation] Exorder Review
Exorder from Fat Dog Games is a turn-based strategy release on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about it in our Exorder review!
In Exorder from Solid9 Studio and Fat Dog Games, the kingdom of Cerulean is in need of a new ruler after the death of the King. The two heirs are Princess Beyla and Prince Tristan, who must compete for the crown. You will take on the journey of Princess Beyla who must complete 12 missions to win the crown of the kingdom in its single-player campaign mode. Do you have what it takes to defeat Prince Tristan?
Your first battle will be during the Epilogue where you will take on Prince Tristan and his two bodyguards. At the start of the fight, Prince Tristan will capture a house where he will heal some of his health at the start of his next turn. This is an essential bit of information since youâ€™ll be able to take out both of his bodyguards and lure him out of the house so that Princess Beyla can capture it, thus healing some of her wounds every turn as Prince Tristanâ€™s health is lowered more and more each turn thanks to Princess Beylaâ€™s counterattacks and attacks.
After being defeated, Prince Tristan is approached by an ambassador of The Vermillion Order, one of the neighbors of Celurean. It turns out they offer him the position of commander-in-chief, which he gladly takes. This sets in motion many events that will threaten the integrity of the kingdom and the well-being of its inhabitants, so off you go into battle to protect your people and the name of your land. First up is defending against an attack from The Federation
It is then that you will learn the basics of the game. You will learn about forts, and how they must be neutralized by a Guard or by Princess Beyla or else enemies will continue to join the battle. Houses are important since they are going to be part of your revenue stream and, as mentioned before, they will also heal your units. Oh, and the longer you own a house, the more resources it will provide, so be sure to capture them as soon as possible! You will run into a ballista which can deal severe damage to your units, so you will need to use your Architectâ€™s push ability to push your units past its attack range to keep them safe. More units will enter the fight from the forts in the back of the area, near the castle, you must also capture to your side.
Once you have the castle, youâ€™ll be able to recruit new units with the funds you obtain from the houses under your control. At first, you can recruit Guards, who can occupy houses and neutralize forts and use melee attacks, Marksmen who can do the same but are long-range fighters, or the massive Architects who can push allies and enemies – a skill that is harmless to allies but which deals 1/3 of its total attack damage to enemies.
The difficulty spike is considerable, with fights that can drag for a while if you make a mistake and end up sending some of your troops down the wrong path. Luckily the AI will sometimes make mistakes here and there, so be ready to capitalize on that or else you might not get a second chance. All enemies, no matter their shape or size, do pack a punch, and a couple of hits might be all that it takes for one of your soldiers to die. Some maps have reinforcements that arrive at set intervals, as well as extra enemies that join the fight as you reach certain areas in a map.
The game also offers a Multiplayer Mode in which you can take the fight online to battle in random fights against players of a similar skill level, or you can go into matchmaking and try to climb to the top of the online leaderboard. You also have the option if creating a custom multiplayer game for up to four players to take on in an offline or online match. And then there are is the Challenges Mode where you can take on each battle of increasing difficulty as you apply everything you learned in the single-player Campaign.
Exorder has a list of 45 in-game achievements to complete, with objectives such as winning the first Campaign mission, recruiting only guards in the second mission, not allowing enemies to retake your buildings in the third mission, not healing any of your units during the fifth mission, not taking any damage from enemy beetles during the eight mission in Campaign, completing the challenges available in Challenge mode, and more. Itâ€™s a list that will keep you busy as you try to 100% the game.
Exorder is a fun and challenging turn-based strategy that distills the genre to its fundamentals, making it a game that is easy to understand but hard to master. The difficulty curve is considerably steep, which is why I wouldnâ€™t recommend this one to those new to the genre. But if youâ€™re ready to prove youâ€™re as good as you think you are, then give this one a go!
This Exorder review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Fat Dog Games.