holoz0r's A-Z of Steam: Etherlords - Half Heroes of Might and Magic, Half Magic the Gathering, all awesome

in Hive Gaming4 months ago

Etherlords is my sort of game. It is strategy, combined with a different layer of strategy, and it throws it in a fantasy setting. There's also elements of role playing - where you level up heroes and develop a fearsome war-machine.


This makes the game very appealing to me. But there's one problem. It runs with a demented, broken gait on any modern operating system, which makes it problematic to enjoy thoroughly.

In order to achieve stability - you've got to sacrifice something - and that something is sound.

So, a soundless game it is.

Start out in a castle (or a fort, or whatever you want to call it) - take a hero. That hero can roam the world and pick up spells, pick up skills, and then fight things. The combat mechanics are pretty much a straight rip from Magic the Gathering, with land replaced by "ether", which then allows you to play spells in order to achieve things in combat.

Then, monsters and combat go through the very, very same combat loop as Magic The Gathering - attack the hero, who can then have his monsters or summoned creatures block.

It's a captivating mix, but without sound, and with frequent crashes, owing to the fact that this was built with older, now-depreciated programming frameworks, it isn't a very smooth or buttery ride.

Had I known of this game when it was first released, it could've catapulted itself up to the top of my favourites very quickly. It has all the elements I want in a game, as I said earlier - strategy piled upon strategy.

The visuals haven't aged horribly, either.


If you think that this looks similar to Heroes of Might and Magic V, don't despair, because the very same studio did development work on the game. This is just the over-world map, though, and for a game originally released in 2001, it is a stylish form of visual, but not one that is mind-blowing.

In combat, the visuals go to a slightly different look.


Backgrounds are sparse and don't really represent the area on the map in which you entered into combat, but the monster design, and in particular particle effects are quite passable for a game of this age.

The good news for me is that there's a sequel to Etherlords, and a cursory investigation seems to suggest that it is very playable on Windows 10.

So that's where I'm off to, right this very second. Stay tuned for the next write up in my journey of exploring my game library in alphabetical order!


How is the sound breaking everything? o_O That seems so random XD

No idea, but it does!

Funnily enough it seems to work better on Linux (through Proton) than on modern Windows systems, there are no mentions of broken sound: https://www.protondb.com/app/270770