I recommend this game... TO AN EXTENT. See below what I mean.
Fantasy RPG's are my FAVORITE kind of game, I go all out with them. Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur, etc. Tbh I generally pirate before I buy, so my hundreds of hours in KoA/Skyrim aren't recorded on Steam. However, with this being one of the only (if not THE ONLY) 3D open world fantasy RPG in Early Access, I decided to give it a shot.
You start out in this little shack, you've been washed ashore from battle and are miracously alive. (Kind of cliche, but whatever) The magic system for the game consists of shards, you can hold 2 shards (one in each hand) and these shards give different abilities. You can use these abilities along side your melee combat abilities.
As of this review there are the following things in the game...
- 3 Bosses
- Several Quests
- 2 medium sized "maps".
Now I rank early access games based on how early I feel they are in their development cycle.
- Pre-Planning ( This means the game has no direction and they should have figured it out before development )
- Early Development ( The idea is set for most of the game, they are working out details and framework )
- Tech Alpha ( Not many bugs, features, or really anything. Just a showcase of what the game could be. )
- Alpha ( Many features have been implemented, but still lack depth and are very early )
- Closed Beta ( The game is about 70-80% there, but mostly working out bugs )
- Open Beta ( Stress testing, bugs, etc. )
On this scale I rank this game as in the Tech Alpha stage
So why a tech alpha?
There's enough here to classify this game as an early demo, but not really a game. Once you've bashed your head against the deathblood (the first boss), you'll move on to a single side quest. Once you complete that, you'll go to the valarian camp, aggro the second boss, but since he's too hard and you can't obtain gear ANYWHERE else to beat him except off him. You'll either use some sort of exploit or glitch to beat him and get his gear. Once you've done that, you'll move on to the tree boss. (Who is much much easier than the other 2 bosses in the game.) Where you'll get, basically, a free legendary sword for knowing how to dodge.
Then that's it, that's the game. It's fun while it lasts.
The game is developed enough to find out whether you would enjoy something like this or not.
Showcases possibilities correctly.
Some unique features have already been implemented to show the thought process of the development team.
I'll list cons and go into detail why these are currently cons.
Animations and clunky combat.
In melee combat you have three defensive options. Block, Parry, and Dodge. All of these use a resource called "Stamina", this resource is also used when you swing your weapon. Due to the input lag and animation time, parry is basically useless. Blocking is difficult unless you already have the key pressed down seconds before the attack. YOU CANNOT BLOCK IN BETWEEN ENEMY ATTACKS, IT WILL FAIL THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME. What really irritates me about this is it doesn't matter how fast YOU are, your character will still be very slow in reacting. At first I thought this was because I didn't have a certain stat or skill up, but that's just the way it is right now. The majority of your time in combat won't be actually fighting, it will be dodging/kiting/blocking. Even if you have the absolute best weapon and armors in the game. Combat feels clunky in the respect that you can't try to defend yourself mid combat, you have to back out and get ready to strike again. (Dodge back, strike, dodge back, strike, dodge back, strike, dodge back, strike, etc.) Spells such as tremor which knock the enemy back, animation lock you for so long by the time you get out of the lock, the enemy is already attacking you again.
Viewing distance. Grass and other objects don't render until you get REALLY REALLY close to them. Right now, there's no option to change this. Things "popping" into existance constantly tends to give me a bad headache, which excludes me from playing this game for lengthy periods of time. Those of you that played Kingdoms of Amalur will recognize this popping, except in TME, it's 10x worse.
Armor/Spell balance, right now spells don't really rank up with you or have different shards. So the healing spells you start out with, will no longer be useful an hour down the line. You'll be forced to use potions, find food, or wait constantly for your health to regenerate. After lengthy periods of playing, since nothing respawns until you die or logout, it can get frustrating. The item set in the game right now is limited, which means the bandits you fought in the starting zone drop the same gear as the bandits in the second map, even though they're 10x harder.
"So... It sounds like you're pretty negative about the game, why the recommendation?"
The game is going in the right direction, the developers are active, and they've displayed enough here to say.. "Hey, we won't waste your money." Maybe this isn't something you may enjoy in it's current state, but if you enjoyed any of the Elder Scrolls games or Kingdoms of Amalur, this is something you'll enjoy when it's in a more complete state. However, to get to that complete state, the developers need funding. That's primarily the reason for my recommendation, I had a lot of fun with the games current content, but it falls short. With more content and funding, it can be a great game.