Time travel is a popular topic in science fiction and fantasy, and Chrono Legacy: Strategy RPG definitely has time travel. It’s also an RPG and arguably has strategy elements. So, no one can accuse the game of false advertising. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the ideal time-traveling adventure.
Developed by 37Games Global, Chrono Legacy: Strategy RPG takes place in a version of Earth formerly inhabited by a precursor race called the Progenitors. The Progenitors taught humans how to use a resource called the Spark. This allowed for advanced technological development, including the ability to create portals through time. However, some groups seek to use this power for their own nefarious ends. Players must gather a force of Heroes from across time and lead them against Blackbeard’s Chrono Pirates and Gilgamesh’s Outsider Legion. And while I’m not entirely sure what the developer had against Gilgamesh, that’s a decent setup for a time-travel-themed gacha game.
Battles Across the Ages
Chrono Legacy divides its unlockable Heroes into six Classes and five Factions. The factions have dramatic names like Disciple Union, Oblivion Fort, etc., but are fundamentally just elemental categories. Four of the five match to Nature, Lightning, Water, or Fire, and they counter each other in that order. Ascension, the fifth Faction, doesn’t counter and isn’t countered by anything. However, the last category is scarce, with only three Heroes belonging to it. Meanwhile, Chrono Legacy’s six classes are Tank, Warrior, Archer, Assassin, Support and Mage. Tanks are defensive melee fighters, while Warriors and Archers are melee and ranged DPS characters, respectively. Support characters heal or buff their allies, while Mage’s deal area damage. Finally, Assassins are DPS characters who can teleport to the back row of enemy formations.
Chrono Legacy also has what I’ve come to think of as the default gacha RPG gameplay. Players position six Heroes on a 4×5 grid, with the enemy arrayed opposite them. Heroes automatically attack the enemy closest to being directly in front of them, with the above, mentioned exception of the Assassin. The player can technically choose to activate abilities manually, but auto-cast is on by default, and there is minimal benefit to doing it manually. If you’ve played a gacha RPG before, there’s a decent chance you played a version of this.
Warriors from the Past
The Heroes themselves are a diverse cast of characters from history. Chrono Legacy’s roster includes many usual suspects like Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, and Genghis Kahn. However, it also finds room for lesser-known or more regionally famous characters. These include people like the Breton pirate Jeanne de Clisson, legendary Ethiopian Queen Gudit, French physician Charles de Lorme, and ancient Chinese poet Cai Wenji. Granted, I don’t think the real Jeanne de Clisson wore hotpants. I also question Chrono Legacy’s decision to depict Viking warlord Ivar the Boneless as a small child. Still, the fifty-two recruitable heroes are all visually distinct with some very creative designs. Chrono Legacy even includes short encyclopedia entries giving the real-world history of each character.
Unfortunately, the game never does anything interesting with its numerous characters. When I reviewed fellow gacha RPGs Figure Fantasy and RPG Dice: Heroes of Whitestone, I complimented them on how good a job those games did of pulling me into their stories. The characters and their interactions were a big part of what drew me in. Neither was perfect in this regard, but both were head and shoulders above Chrono Legacy. Nobody here has any personality beyond wanting to stop Gilgamesh and being the most stereotypical versions of themselves. I could describe virtually every character in this game with five words or less or less. The real Clisson was a medieval French noblewoman who became a pirate to avenge her dead husband. Chrono Legacy’s Clisson is the pirate girl. Hanzo is the ninja. Willam Wallace is from Braveheart.
A Legacy of Mediocrity
Figure Fantasy and Heroes of Whitestone were also a lot better paced than Chrono Legacy. In those games, players could make noticeable story progress in a single sitting, and most battles felt significant. Meanwhile, I found playing through Chrono Legacy to be a dull slog through the same handful of environments. The game barely bothers to explain why it sends you to a specific time. You then grind through repetitive combat encounters long enough that it starts to feel like a chore. Players leave with no real idea what they actually accomplished before being whisked away to do it all again in a different place and time.
I might have been more forgiving if the combat was at least fun. However, fighting the same enemies in the same environments just becomes tedious after a few hours. While the Heroes are visually varied, one member of a given class has pretty much the same feel as any other. Every battle thus feels more or less the same as the one before it. The sheer number of them only adds to the tedium.
To be clear Chrono Legacy is not entirely without redeeming qualities. As I said, I like the Heroes variety, and the developer did a great job designing the character models. However, the game as a whole just didn’t keep my interest. The gameplay is repetitive and nothing that other games haven’t done better, and the story didn’t draw me in at all. Chrono Legacy isn’t the worst gacha RPG on Google Play. However, there are thousands just like it and plenty of better ones.
Is It Hardcore?
Chrono Legacy: Strategy RPG isn’t the worst gacha game on Android, but it’s a dull, repetitive experience that does nothing new and offers little of interest.