Overall (Early Access): 4/10
Participating in Landmark beta is or was an incredible frustrating experience for me. I absolutely loved the concept of this game when I first discovered it. A great looking building MMO with a powerful toolset to bring your imagination to life. And at the beginning, when alpha turned into beta, it was kind of that, but with every new feature or mechanic SOE introduced it became less and less fun and now the picture of where the game is heading becomes clear enough to jump ship.
If building stuff is what you want to do and what you came for, better give it a pass, in reality you spend 80% of your time grinding and 20% building. I know in MMO’s there is always a certain ratio between stuff you want to do and stuff you have to do in order to be able to do the fun stuff, but in Landmark this is way off. And it is getting worse with every new feature introduced. At the beginning of beta most resources could be found at the surface and running around in the world would quickly get you what was needed to build. Now we multiple tiers of cave systems, crawling with monsters and the better resources are deep below, so ultimately this is more a mining simulator or Boulder-Dash remake. The game is also transforming into a standard MMO, where you kill mobs and PvP and craft weapons, not even a good one at that with simplistic combat (inspired by Guild Wars 2) and lack of classes. If you are like me and spend your Minecraft time only in creative mode, you will hate this. This is survival mode only, there is no creative mode, you need to grind materials to build, materials to upgrade your tools and upkeep to rent your plot in the world (if you fail to pay rent in 2 weeks, your construction is gone from the world, a template is saved though and the resources are refunded). That was kind of okay, when you where immortal, but now there are mobs, fall damage and it resources went rarer and relocated to ugly monotone underground caves.
The building tools themselves are okay, but since the world is voxel-based it is sometimes incredible difficult to get a clean basic shape out of the provided tools, like a hollow cylinder. There are ways of making your creations look professional, but it takes time to learn and the learning cure is quite steep. Good thing is, the community so far is great and helpful and there are tons of tutorials out there. But as mentioned, without a creative mode to really experiment around it ramps of the start-up time. Landmark has a way to go on optimizing the voxel engine and the way the tools-geometry works to remove the necessity of “Voxelmancy” which is advanced voxel manipulation in order to create shapes the basic tools can’t support.
If Landmark ever introduces a true creative mode to just build, by yourself or with friends without worries and share your creations with the community I will be back. But for now this is a way to grindy wanna-be MMO that lost track of what it originally wanted (or at least promoted) to achieve to be, primarily a building game. It is simply the developers want this to be a much different game that I originally hoped for, so overall I am disappointed now. So we are heading towards a so-so MMO with building as a possible end-game that still is far away from release. The developers could have put that effort into finalizing the building aspect and turn a good into a great building game that looked much closer to completion, because what is there is pretty solid. The feature add process is basically starting with the endgame and putting all basic gaming systems in place afterwards. Oh and by the way a cash-shop for a beta-release is a no-go!
- great graphics and animations
- good community
- promising building tools…
- …that struggle with some basic shapes
- no creative mode
- excessive grinding required
- forced play by upkeep requirement
- boring standard MMO-mechanics