Review: Ironheart by Choice of Games LLM and Lee Williams

Rating: 8/10

Synposis

Pilot and customize a giant iron war mech in this alternate medieval history! In 1182 AD, the Papacy, the Caliphate, and the Mongols are at war, and they all have mechs–hulking war robots, powered by energy from mysterious “skystone” meteorites.

Ironheart is a 250,000-word interactive novel by Lee Williams. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Our story begins in the far future, on a space mission to intercept a comet that can open wormholes through space and time. When your ship and the crew are sucked in and thrown backward through time, you awake from cryogenic suspension in 1182–at the height of the Third Crusade.

Trapped in the past, you must choose sides in the mech war between Saladin’s Caliphate, the Catholic Papacy, and Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Golden Horde.

Will you search doggedly for the rest of your crew or focus your energies on helping one of the factions in the war that rages around you? Do you seek to unite a divided land? Or use your advanced knowledge to gain wealth and power for yourself?

Along the way, you may meet historical figures such as Saladin, fight off attacks from the notorious order of Assassins and the secretive Knights Templar, or even take part in a grand tournament of mechs!

  • Play as male, female or non-binary; gay, straight, bi or asexual.
  • Pilot a giant medieval war machine! Choose how to equip, customise and decorate your machine.
  • Take sides in the Third Crusade as a knight or emir. Rise through the ranks of your chosen faction or strike out alone.
  • Hone your ability in a wide range of skills including warfare, diplomacy, medicine and engineering.
  • Manage your own fiefdom. Decide how to govern, what to build and who to recruit.
  • Entangle yourself with a wide supporting cast of characters, from fools and bandits to priests and princesses.
  • Seek revenge, strive to build a better world or just live it up in the 12th century!

What new future will you forge now that the old one is gone?

Review

This is a fantastic time travel experience. This game allows you to take potential sides and allows you to craft your own story. This is very much similar to the recent approaches in Assassin Creed especially for Odyessy. I have played through this game and have served Saladin, played as a pilot that fought for an honorable old knight, and been with a fool who loves drinking.

This has themes similar to the 1636 alternate history series by Eric Flint. Playing as a giant medieval war machine has its perks! I did not get to play the Mongolians though, which sucked as I am going to replay this game again. The writing style is solid. Super solid. I was listening to the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack while playing this awesome game. Though I wish Choice of Games had a save menu to save your progress so you can play through chapters. I checked in the menu and it did not have any as I searched through.

I would appeal to Choice of Games to have illustrated hand-drawn concept art for the text or something to that matter, like you have in games such as Medieval 2 Total War. Moving onwards, I don’t know why but the story felt a little short in some areas. There were scenes where I fought as a knight for the Crusader States, but I felt that Baldwin needed more scenes. I also found that the old knight’s son was a douchebag, and he didn’t appear after that in my playthrough although he took my estate! I would have wanted a bit more estate choices as well.

I have not explored this massive game, but I can def say that if this were a novel, Harper Voyager UK or Canelo Publishers should pick this up. I’ve played this game multiple times and I have not tried the Doctor and another one I can’t remember. It’s a fun game, and I seriously wished there was a story in the Ancient World that had a similar plot like this. This would make for a fun Age of Empires II custom scenario. Honestly, a great game and I rec to you all to buy this. It’s 33% off, and it’s cheap. So why not buy it and relive your Kingdom of Heaven experiences? History is becoming bigger in gaming, with old franchises coming back, Knights of Honor, Assassin Creed, etc and new franchises such as Humankind. Choice of Games should be your next choice to play historical text-based adventures. I love the descriptions, I love the cities. I wish we would have had a couple of more chapters in Cairo and Baghdad. I wanted to explore the cities more!

Awesome game!

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