Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 7

Legacy of Dorn is a thrilling chapter in the Warhammer 4000 saga and packs a very engrossing story. The game also makes the most of the license by packing the space hulk with all the major foes. Space Marines are designed for combat and Legacy of Dorn certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. It is still a gamebook though, so if you don’t like reading or expect cutting edge visuals it is better to steer clear. Everyone else should definitely let their imagination run wild with this title.

Gameplay: The story is fast paced and thrilling although a little jargon heavy at times.

Graphics: Atmospheric, but mostly text and not that easy on the eyes due to the color scheme.

Sound: The game features no speech, but the ambient soundtrack is fitting and unobtrusive

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Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion

Developer: Tin Man Games | Publisher: Tin Man Games | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Adventure / RPG | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

It was supposed to be a routine mission; board the space hulk, Herald of Oblivion, eradicate the xenon threat and then blow it to smithereens. Certainly nothing that would cause a Space Marine of the Imperial Fist Chapter to break a sweat. However, right from the start things go pear shaped and your Space Marine finds himself teleported aboard the hulk without the rest of his squad in sight. Clad in Terminator armor and wielding imposing weaponry it is your task to locate the rest of your squad, eradicate all the aliens and heretics you find along the way, and complete your mission.

Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion is the latest digital gamebook from Tin Man Games to hit Steam and for those who haven’t realized it by now it is based on the Warhammer 4000 license. Under normal circumstances a Space Marine is a walking killing machine, but the Herald of Oblivion is packed with a menagerie of some of the most fearsome foes in the Warhammer 4000 arsenal. Everything from Tyranids and Necrons to Orks and much more stand between you and your ultimate goal of wiping the space hulk from existence. It is still a digital gamebook, so the majority of your time will be spent reading about the adventures of your Space Marine, while making the choices that influence what he does and where he ends up.

Interspersed with all the reading though is a healthy dose of combat and this is where Herald of Oblivion differs from most of the other titles by Tin Man Games. Whenever your Space Marine encounters a foe the action switches to a “holographic combat simulator” which is basically a black and green wireframe grid. Enemies tend to attack in groups and their designs are all based on the miniature models as far as we can tell. Instead of the usual dice rolls, combat is more akin to the turn based role playing games of old. Your character and enemies all have set action points that can be used per turn to move or attack. You can either choose to move in close for melee attacks or hang back and use ranged weaponry. There is also a “focus” command that uses up a turn, but can increase your odds of landing a successful hit or doing more damage. Finally, there is an “honor” gauge that slowly fills up and allows you to unleash a devastating attack that can obliterate enemies.

The Legacy of Dorn story is a very interesting one that is steeped in Warhammer 4000 lore, but can be a bit much to take in for players who are not familiar with the universe. At the start of the game you are bombarded with information and jargon that can leave your head spinning. Thankfully everything is explained for the most part, so even newcomers can easily become engrossed in the tale. After arriving on the space hulk you are presented with a series of choices and can choose the order in which to search for your squad. These choices determine into which areas of the hulk you venture and what type of foes you encounter. It also determines what new weapons or items you acquire, which means that some paths can make others either easier or harder.

There are times where seemingly random choices can lead to instant death, but thankfully these are few and far between. The higher difficulty levels lowers your health and the amount of saves you are allowed to use, which can be a bit frustrating especially when you need to make blind choices. On the other hand there is an easy setting that basically works like a cheat mode as you can skip back to previous choices and even bypass combat completely. Sticking to the higher skill levels is definitely more gripping though and forces you to role play as a Space Marine. This is due to the “purity” score that increases or decreases depending on how closely you follow your duties. Since purity is used in the same way as luck for certain scenarios you’ll definitely want to keep it as high as possible. This means obeying orders and never doing anything that would bring shame on your squad.

As Legacy of Dorn is a digital gamebook there isn’t much to say about the visuals. The fact that the text is bright green and displayed on a black background is certainly atmospheric, but not that easy on the eyes for extended sessions. There are not as many illustrations as in other titles by Tin Man games either, but the abundance of enemies during combat makes up for that. The interface is very easy to navigate and while there isn’t much to distinguish the game from its mobile counterparts this didn’t impact our enjoyment much. There are no voice overs either, but the soundtrack, which is creepy and brooding, certainly delivers on atmosphere. The sound effects are generally also very good.

Legacy of Dorn isn’t the longest gamebook that we’ve read, but it is challenging enough that few players will be able to complete it on their first try. Some parts, like the maze section, is a little annoying to repeat if your Space Marine dies, but overall the story effortlessly sucked us in. Whether you are a fan of the Warhammer 4000 universe or simply want to learn more about it in a game that doesn’t require quick reflexes, Legacy of Dorn is a great choice.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: 2 GHz dual core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with dedicated memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7/8
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with 1GB memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS 10.7.5+
  • Processor: 2 GHz dual core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with dedicated memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS 10.8
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with 1GB memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space
  • Processor: 2 GHz dual core
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with dedicated memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Hardware Accelerated Graphics with 1GB memory
  • Storage: 350 MB available space

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