With Kickstarter and Steam Green Light, it’s not a surprise at the sudden influx of indie games coming to the platform, gaining attention based on their trailers and information of the game. Of course there are problems to this, being that you could make any game look fantastic with a well-made trailer. There are games that pop out, and become big hits, and some that still need polishing up.
With Legends of Dawn I expected an epic adventure, one to rival older titles, as the description says, a massive open world, plenty of choices, it’s what has been missing from ARPG’s and this game promised to deliver, and it does, almost. As I will discus, Lord of Dawn is a game that has a lot of potential; it is just bogged down by some strange design choices and awkward progression. I really do hope this game is polished to its full potential because there was clearly a lot of expectation for this game.
The first example happens as soon as you launch the game, you get a cinematic that draws you in, telling of the war that has troubled this land. It’s all good until you see that it launches in a window, and always is off the screen, cutting off 1/3 of what you see, I thought this was a resolution problem, but it keeps happening. Regardless if my monitor is 1080 or lower, this is something that can be patched, but it isn’t much of a problem as you are not even at the main menu yet.
So, traverse to the dangerous lands of Narr, to see exactly what is waiting for you, be it complete adventure to become a hero, or Villain. Regardless either way you start off from humble beginnings setting off the boat in a new land. You are instructed to grab your things off the boat as your first quest, and this is where you first get to use the control scheme, instead of clicking to move your character as in other ARPG’s, here you use WASD to move your character, which makes it awkward to actually get on the boat. I actually fell off the first time I tried it, which then spawned me very far away meaning creating a new character was much easier. Next time I just moved the camera around and carefully got on the ship, it just feels awkward. Once you’re off the boat and onto the roads the controls become less of an issue, I only got my character stuck once in some rocks in the first town, but it plays more like World of Warcraft top down.
On to the first mission and I was just lost, I thought the mission would be simple, go and fetch the sailor who kindly brought you ashore a beer, simple enough task. I walked around town and found an Inn, I walked in ready to exchange my 5 copper for a beer to bring back. Only to find that they did not sell beer, only wine, and all of that was 2silver +. I walked around town finding all of the vendors, and I couldn’t find any beer anywhere. This is where some kind of quest arrow or map marker would really come into handy, walking around a village talking to everyone I meet isn’t what I want to do for fun, especially when an Inn doesn’t sell an alcoholic beverage.
After this I ended up proceeding through the quest line slower than I would of liked, having no quest marker or what not is a hindrance, but the biggest is the quest descriptions, they are vague and will often talk about doing multiple things for the quest, lowering the detail for each part even more, I don’t want it to say, “Go find the elf by the river”, the river is huge, I want “By the river, near the inn”. It gives me a point of reference to start my search.
Another big problem I need to talk about, or ignore, is the inventory, there is no explanation of what items or potions do, there are no stats on weapons or how much health/Mana a potion or food will restore, I can’t tell which sword is better for my character. It is a really frustrating system that just makes the game more difficult, and awkward than necessary. Most ARPG’s are only popular due to the fans of loot rewards, when you take away the stat gains from a new piece of gear; you lose that sense of accomplishment. Of course you get loot from fighting, and there isn’t anything special there either, It is just the same old combat system we’ve seen before, the same that is in any ARPG, so while its nothing spectacular either, its does it as well as the next game does.
Thankfully there are two great things about this game, one is the graphics, for an indie title, they really pulled out all the stops, on high anyway, on low it’s a bit hit and miss and the game feels a little unoptimised on lower end machines. But the best part is the Spell crafting, rune stones are found across the land and can be used to create brand new spells or add different power to existing ones; you can fuse up to 6 rune stones and create some interesting effects with them. It was pretty fun hunting for the rune stones to use, and see what spells they could create.
I want to make it clear, Legends of Dawn could be a great game, most of my problems could be fixed with patches, it is a recently released game, and there is so much potential here, but the poor execution cannot be ignored. Right now I am going to give this game a 2/5, but I would love to come back and revisit it once the game has some patches out, and other problems have been ironed out.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.
Legends of Dawn Review,