Turn-based strategy game has surprising violence, nudity.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Black Legend is a turn-based strategy game for the Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It's a fairly straightforward good-versus-evil story that puts players in control of a group of hired mercenaries as they freely explore a 17th century town enveloped by a fog that's worshipped by strange cultists. Encounters see the player's characters using swords, spears, guns, and bows and arrows to dispatch cultists and other enemies, including dogs. Red spray and puddles of blood can be seen in battle, and players encounter dead and hanged bodies while exploring the world. Hero deaths can be permanent (creating a more challenging experience), should the player choose. Some female cultists are depicted topless, with their breasts exposed, and text dialogue contains occasional instances of mild profanity, such as the word "damn." Among the usable items collected by players are alcoholic beverages with restorative properties.
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What’s It About?
BLACK LEGEND is a turn-based strategy game set within a free-to-explore 17th century city under siege by a mysterious fog that's worshipped by aggressive cultists. Most of the city's inhabitants are either dead, converted, or locked up in their residences, but players control a small band of mercenaries who fearlessly venture into the fog on quests intended to bring about the end of the evil fog, dispatching any aggressive cultists they bump into along the way. When players enter the sight range of a group of enemies, a grid is laid over the environment, and battle begins. Players set the starting positions of their mercs, then take turns moving them into position to hide, heal, or attack enemies using a variety of weapons and items. Heroes gradually grow in level and strength, but if players opt for a more challenging experience, they can also die permanently and be forever lost. Key to combat is a system called Humorism, in which certain attacks leave effects on targets that can be combined with future attacks to deal additional damage, as well as a class system that allows players to customize each of their mercs any way they like in order to create a strong and dynamic team in which each hero has a specific role and set of abilities.
Is It Any Good?
This is a thoughtfully made strategy game, but players will need to work through a steep learning curve and engage in a fair bit of grinding in order to get the most out of it. Black Legend's setting is dark and mysterious, providing players with an almost Dark Souls-style of action in which they follow paths through dangerous streets teeming with aggressive enemies, unlocking gated shortcuts along the way. Lights above doorways let you know if there may be someone at home willing to offer some advice or a request you can choose to fulfill. The narrative, unfortunately, doesn't quite manage to live up to the creepy setting, offering few memorable characters and a strangely dull, slow-moving plot. Even most of the heroes have little in the way of personality beyond the class and clothes assigned to them.
But the combat's good. It seems straightforward at first: You just move into range and attack with your strongest weapons. But as the game moves on and battles become harder, you'll want to take advantage of various systems, such as flanking enemies for a damage bonus, climbing higher to increase options for heroes with ranged abilities, and working out which combination of classes works best when dealing with different types of enemies. Unfortunately, figuring out the Humorism system takes more time than it should, and a clunky interface and menu design could prove a hurdle for some. Plus, there's an element of slog. You'll inevitably end up fighting similar enemies found in the same locations time and again as you work and rework your way through the city en route to quest objectives. It's easy to see and appreciate the work that went into the combat and atmosphere, but the overall experience is still rough around the edges. As a result, Black Legend will likely end up popular with only a specific subset of hard-core strategy RPG (role-playing game) fans.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about screen time. Black Legend is broken into discrete quests and battles. Have you tried controlling your screen time by choosing a certain number of quests or battles you'd like to play before getting up to take a break?
Cult practices are generally considered strange or even sinister. What do you think makes people want to join cults? Are all cults bad?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: War Cave
- Release date: March 25, 2021
- Genre: Strategy
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood, Partial Nudity, Language
- Last updated: March 24, 2021
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