Is Eisenwald: Blood of November based on the upcoming election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? That’s the accusation raised in a few of the negative Steam reviews since its November 1st release. And while my initial reaction was to dismiss such bizarre comparisons, upon closer inspection I realized they have a point.
Eisenwald: Blood of November is the standalone expansion to Legends of Eisenwald (also a Kickstarter-funded game). Even though the medieval RPG setting of Blood of November might seem a world away from modern US politics, there are definitely similarities. The two individuals competing for power are clearly based on Trump and Clinton. Dieter is a red-haired bigot who wants to build a wall around the Kingdom for example. Meanwhile the Ice Crone is a corrupt warmonger, complete with a cheating husband.
However, while developers Aterdux Entertainment have obviously used the the backdrop of the US election as inspiration for their game, I don’t think it goes any further than that. (Some critics are claiming it’s liberal propaganda). In fact I’m surprised the team from Belarus didn’t highlight this more during the Kickstarter to help raise awareness. The campaign for Legends of Eisenwald raised over $80,000 but Blood of November barely made its $12,000 target. That’s despite the fact Aterdux did so well with their first game, releasing ahead of schedule and to positive reviews, while maintaining good relations with their backers.
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Of course it probably didn’t help that Blood of November possibly appeared a bit rushed. The Kickstarter campaign ran for less than three weeks before finishing on September 20th. The November release date could also have appeared unrealistic at the time (and in fact the GOG version was only finalized a few days before release). Backers of the original game might also have been put off by the shorter campaign length of around 6-10 hours, and the shift to a sandbox style for this expansion.
But despite all these issues, the key point is that Blood of November seems to be getting a positive reception from gamers. It’s currently sitting on an average score of 4.5/5 at GOG and a ‘Mostly Positive’ rating on Steam – despite some negative reviews left seemingly for purely political reasons. Anyone looking to try it out on Steam should do so soon as you can currently save 10% on the price, with the promotion ending – of course – on November 8th.