E3 2012: Legends of Pegasus (Impressions)

by: Travis -
My excitement for Legends of Pegasus was already quite high even before catching a glimpse of the game at this year's E3. Strategy games and anything involving space have long been a personal favorite of mine; unfortunately, only a few of them have been released in the past few years. Kalypso Media was gracious enough to give me a preview of the game's campaign, player faction customization, and free play mode options. The gameplay showcased met my expectations and beyond with a wealth of innovative 4X strategy game features.

Previous 4X strategy games were difficult for newcomers with often complicated interfaces and endless charts and statistics. Legends of Pegasus has taken a smart approach with its gameplay by presenting the most basic options upfront for newcomers, while also catering to genre experts by including buttons to unveil more detailed information. This system allows both newcomers and experienced gamers to experience Legends of Pegasus and even enables users to gradually increase their skill with the genre. In addition, the user interface focuses on displaying details about the game's world without the need of clicking a menu item. For example, the appearance of planets change in real-time to reflect changes with population centers or terraformation efforts. Legends of Pegasus ensures that gamers can modify the game's experience to their preferred method of play.

The game features three campaigns for each of the game's races, with them together totaling around 40 hours of gameplay. The game's free play mode expands gameplay even further with the feature of ancestries. Each race in free play can be customized with a massive amount of abilities and tech trees. The customization offered by ancestries mold the races into particular archetypes that can be compared with character classes from role-playing games. Another surprising feature of the free play mode is support for both eight-player LAN and online games. With the free play mode's support for generating everything between small to overly gigantic galaxies, players can save multiplayer games and resume them at a later time.

During the presentation, I was shown a couple of short battles in the human's campaign. Any of the game's strategic decisions are performed in a turn-based system, with combat taking place in real-time. All of the dialogue in the campaign is fully-voiced with hand-drawn cinematic backgrounds. Another noteworthy feature showcased was the game's ship customization menu that allows gamers to drag-and-drop parts on various ship chassis. Modules added to a ship can alter its purpose from holding civilization populations to being armed with arsenals of ion cannons and other weapons. Damaged ships even send crackled audio transmissions during battles adding further polish to the game's intense detail levels.

With some possible inspiration from Battlestar Galactica, the narrative in Legends of Pegasus follows a group of human survivors as they survive in space after Earth is destroyed in the game's beginning moments. From the innovative gameplay system for both newcomers and experts to the in-depth campaign and free play modes, Legends of Pegasus is aiming to reinvent the 4X strategy genre when it launches this August for Windows PC.


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