Legends of Aethereus first reared its ugly head over the Linux crowd around May 2013. At first it was just an exclusive Beta version for the Kickstarter backers. Eventually though, ThreeGates realised the money they had gotten out of their Kickstarter wasn’t enough; $35,554 out of the $25000 they were originally looking for. Over ten grand above their original goal and they still felt like they needed to sell Beta entries for $30. That was when the first red flag was hoisted in my head.
With the promise of a large scope Action RPG on Linux, I chose to ignore that first warning. Silly me!
You see, having used Linux since 2005, I’ve seen plenty of platformers, first-person shooters and even strategy games running natively. Role playing games on the other hand, there were close to none. Off the top of my head, the biggest profile RPG back then was Sacred (published by the now defunct Linux Game Publishing). Don’t get me wrong! That amalgam of bugs, which Ascaron Entertainment stubbornly kept calling a game, was actually pretty damn fun. To this day, I still fire it up once in a blue moon and lose myself in the isometric world of Ancaria for a couple of days. Then the nostalgia wears off and the critic in me just wants to tear some people’s limbs off.
Legends of Aethereus was set to be the Linux incarnation of a great action RPG, until you actually got to play it. If you’re a regular follower of our LGC Weekly podcast, you probably already know where this is going. ThreeGate’s debut game was (up to this point) the sole Unity 3D game that got an average score of 1 Lawn Chair, using LGC’s brutal review system. If the Lawn Chairs don’t mean jack to you, IGN gave it a 2.5/5, Destructoid gave it 3/10 and the Metacritic page reveals that there are no positive critical reviews of the game. None! Not a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ single professional reviewer could bring himself to justify a score above average.
It’s that bad! When a Unity game runs like ♥♥♥ on an NVidia GTX 770 paired with an Octo-core AMD 8150 processor and these are backed by two SSDs in YOL0 RAID, you’re doing something wrong… on purpose! There is absolutely no excuse, after 6 months, to have the game in such a ♥♥♥♥ty state.
I have actually been in the testing team for the past 2 months. I’ve submitted a total of 6 bug reports and out of those, only 3 got a reply. Personally, I ran into a bug that caused the game’s gamma to be constantly set somewhere in between pitch dark and the bottom of the Mariana Trench. It took their Linux dev around a month and a half to actually bother to reply and you know what he asked? “Is this with the open-source or proprietary drivers? Steam recommends you use fglrx 13.11.” - You don’t ♥♥♥♥ing say?! (This happens with both, fyi.)
The one bug they actually acknowledged was the Steam Achievements not unlocking when they did in-game. Let me tell you what their fix involves; you need to copy the libsteam_api.so library the game provides into your OS’s /usr/lib folder. They basically want you to introduce a third party proprietary library into a system wide folder, for the sake of doing something 200 other Steam games already do without it. They’re basically asking you to introduce what amounts to an exploitable backdoor to a system wide folder. ♥♥♥♥! Right! Off!
It doesn’t end there, though. Remember those other three bugs they never even replied to? Those are the random freezes that happen regardless of what’s going on, the mouse lerping bug that caused mouse input to go haywire and the stupid mouse sensitivity bug that would progressively make the mouse more and more sensitive over time. I don’t know about you, but to me those are some game breaking bugs or at least they toss any immersion you may have at that point right out the window.
There is absolutely no ♥♥♥♥ing excuse for a game riddled with this kind of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to be allowed on the Steam store. It isn’t in Early Access anymore and it doesn’t have a warning about the Alpha state the game currently is in!
That, ladies and gentlemen, is False Advertising. Some of you may argue the contrary, to those of you who do I give you the legal definition: “Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities". They’re charging $30 for a game which, according to its store page, works under Linux. When technically it does little else than cause players endless frustration and a recurring stream of refund requests.
We all know Valve is pretty lax when it comes to ♥♥♥♥ty games on their Steam store, but come on! This piece of junk is bleeding $30 out of unsuspecting purchasers. It’s an overpriced scam under the guise of a ♥♥♥♥ty game.
This is the part where I’d drop the mic but I can’t afford the risk it’ll break after spending money on this game.
Posted: November 26th, 2013