I’m sure all of us RTS fans remember the days when Age of Empires was the best thing to grace God’s green earth. But if we put aside the nostalgia goggles and take a look at it from today’s perspective, it feels a bit limited. Company of Heroes is another amazing RTS that added something new to the mix: Squad-based gameplay, where you control not individual units, but squads of them. Combining both of these mechanics, we ended up with Ancestors Legacy, a squad-based RTS set in the medieval ages. A detailed review for the game has been done by our old mate Pallav back when the game launched, and I recommend you check it out here. Today, however, we’ll take a look at the newest DLC released for the game, Saladin’s Conquest, and find out if it’s worth a purchase.
The DLC adds a new campaign, which is basically a set of 5 single player “missions”. It also adds the Saraceans as a playable faction in single-player skirmishes and multiplayer matches. The DLC also adds a few new units and 3 maps to the game. These maps, just like in the base game, aren’t the largest RTS maps by any stretch of the imagination. But they have enough variety to nicely portray the region Saladin would have carried out his anti-crusades.
The single player campaign is pretty straightforward and you basically complete missions that are given to you on the spot. The sudden twists and turns at times are pretty interesting to follow, and the storytelling strives to be historically accurate. From attacking unarmed Christian pilgrims to waging war in the name of Allah, the game shows us the dark nature of Saladin’s campaign.
The DLC follows through with the base game’s RTS mechanics, for a squad-based system. The squads under your control are displayed at the bottom left of your screen, and giving orders is the usual Left click/Right click. The combat is pretty realistic, and individual units usually die with an arrow to their body.
The new Hussar units are pretty overpowered for the price (in the skirmish mode) and are a little too heavy hitting. The heavy horse archers are another unit that seems good on paper but feels overly powerful while playing. You can kite the crap out of any and all other cavalry units, even lighter ones, which is a tad unrealistic since “Heavy” should be a bit slower.
Is the DLC worth it?
The missions are pretty simplistic and somewhat repetitive. But given the genre of the game, that’s expected. There are only so many ways you can have two groups of soldiers fight in a battlefield. To the game’s credit, however, the missions try to make you do unique things. Just as an example, the very first mission has your horse archers stand on a ledge and rain down arrows on a marching contingent of the crusaders.
The story and narrative is spot on, and it really shows the improvement between the Saladin Campaign in AoE2 to this DLC right here. AoE2’s Age of Kings Saladin campaign feels like a scripted skirmish, unlike this DLC where there is a smooth transition between the dialogues and the
The voice acting in the game is overall pretty good, and the characters are believable. You also have notable characters such as Abdullah Mohammed, one of Saladin’s revered generals. The actors have put in a lot of effort, and it shows in the effect the voice has on the missions, helping them feel organic.
The audio and visuals of the game are essentially the same as in the base game and are just as good. They do a good job of giving the player an enjoyable experience.
There’s nothing more to add, really. For ₹399, the content provided in this DLC is slightly lacking. A few more maps, a slightly overhauled faction, and slightly better-designed units would have helped it be a better sell in my eyes. In my opinion, a fair price would be ₹250. So, wait for a sale if you plan to get this DLC if you enjoyed the base game.