Destructive Creations’ real time strategy epic Ancestors Legacy makes the jump from PC to consoles, with PS4 and Xbox One versions now available. Having previously reviewed the PC version, we tested out the gamepad-enabled edition of the game on an Xbox One.
Having reviewed the PC original (here) as well as the more recent expansion Saladin’s Conquest (here), our main focus for the Xbox One version was to see how the game fared in the transition to consoles. Content-wise, you’re looking at the same game that graced the PC last year, so we’ll go ahead and refer to our original review for that.
With real time strategy games, there’s always the issue of successfully getting the game to work on a console. Sometimes there are technical issues to consider, but Ancestors runs very smoothly on a console. There’s the ability to make it “work” in terms of the user interface and controls as well though, and that is no doubt the biggest challenge for any developer bringing their RTS to a console.
For Ancestors Legacy, it appears that Destructive Creations has mostly done a good job as converting the experience to a gamepad. The user interface isn’t at all cluttered (which can be a pitfall for PC-centric titles) and the team did a decent job mapping the controls to a gamepad – though with mixed results depending on your play style.
Using a single button to switch between units and settlements with a simple button press is great, and there is also the option to select every nearby unit at once with a click of a button. These are cases where gamepad controls beat out mouse and keyboard controls, because they’re actions that are quickly done when you don’t have to look at a keyboard for that button you don’t use regularly.
There’s a downside as well though, since exact unit selection and grouping is easier and faster when using mouse controls. With a gamepad you can achieve the same, but when the “auto” option fails you’ll have to change your perspective and/or zoom in so other units don’t conflict with what you’re going for.
These are mostly minor issues though, and unlikely to bother players who don’t have previous experience with the game on a PC. An RTS that wasn’t built from the ground up for consoles will likely always feel better at home on a PC, and this is no exception, but Ancestors Legacy on Xbox One is well worth your time if you’re a PC-less fan of RTS games.