Ancestors Legacy is the latest RTS title hoping to crack that mountain known as The Console version. Can Destructive Creations overcome this challenge or fail to scale the peak?
Ancestors Legacy seemingly always had a plan in mind, while launching on Windows initially, it seems the developers had always envisioned this title launching on consoles, this permeates through the entire product.
The title was created to follow several historic battles, while not the most accurate telling of them the aim here is to balance historical events with a fun gameplay loop and engaging RTS elements. The game focuses on 4 factions, Vikings, Angelo-Saxons, Teutons & the Slavs, as you would expect each faction has a different style of play suited to them and you’ll get to experience them all throughout the campaign.
While initially the campaign makes you stick with the Vikings, this is purely to teach you the mechanics of the game before you wage war with the other factions. What is great about this is even if they are tutorial missions, they still feel as engaging as other missions and can be failed, rather than just not progressing until you do what is asked to the letter.
While Ancestors Legacy has the usual tropes of an RTS such as Base Building, this is a much more squad-based affair, closer to Dawn of War II or Company of Heroes rather than Warcraft or Age of Empires (Sorry if this comparison is off, I don’t have the widest knowledge of RTS games that aren’t Starcraft!), there is a lot more of a focus on tactics outside of dropping a “zerg rush” and hoping for the best. Catching the enemy off guard using flanking tactics, employing stealth such as hiding in long grass, tactical advantages from the terrain, and even the weather can affect battles, pray to your gods it’s not raining when you want to employ fire.
The smaller squad size makes the armies feel a little more intimate rather than just nameless fodder to be thrown en mass until victory, it also helps ease the burden of console controls for an RTS for which here, fortunately, they aren’t many. It’s fairly obvious by now that this genre is never going to be fully suited for Gamepads, as well as they work here and for the most part they are responsive and intuitive, pretty much to the degree of the Halo Wars games, nothing quite manages to capture the feel and the ability to react so much quicker on a computer. The controls really do not take away from this experience though & as I just mentioned, stack up with what is generally considered the gold standard for RTS games on console.
Outside of the Campaign mode you also have Skirmish Mode, this is a fully customizable battle mode split between Annihilation and Domination modes, Annihilation is what it says on the tin, you fight until one of the armies are left standing. Domination is a point-based game rated on your villages, capture more to earn points, and destroy the enemy to reduce points, the loser is the first to reach 0 points.
Disappointingly there is no multiplayer of any form here, this is a massive red flag for the title sadly, most fans of the genre will tell you just how good RTS multiplayer modes can be, Starcraft 2, for example, has a massive e-Sports scene, it’s a shame there isn’t an online multiplayer here or some kind of local with two Switches as this console would have been ideal for some mobile warfare!.
The performance of the title is great, very little slowdown or technical hiccups and I didn’t stumble across many glitches, the odd unresponsive unit here and there and the pathfinding went a little strange on me at one point but overall the game performed a lot better than I was honestly expecting. Ancestors Legacy does have some funky textures going on at times but I feel this was more due to playing the game mostly handheld rather than docked, there wasn’t anything that made the game feel downright ugly and for the most part, I was actually quite surprised how good the title looked!.
All in all, Ancestors Legacy is the best RTS game you can get on the Nintendo Switch, it looks great, it controls great and the campaign and skirmish modes are wonderfully meaty, it’s a shame multiplayer didn’t make it over and I’ve heard nothing about a patch. Hopefully, we see the extra campaign DLC for the title at some point as it sounds phenomenal and any excuse to pick the title up again is good enough in my book!.