Legends of Dawn Review (PC)
Legends of Dawn is unfortunately one of the more tedious open world RPGs I’ve played, which is a shame as I really went into this game hoping for something a little bit special. However this is the least of its problems. At the moment it’s extremely crash prone. What you’re probably thinking I mean by this is “it only crashes once a blue moon like most open world RPGs” but no. I’ve had it crash several times within a couple of hours…not fun. The autosave feature helps alleviate this a little, and so does the fact you can set it to save every x amount of minutes. And it’s good it HAS an autosave feature because I’ve clicked to save the game before and it’s crashed. It also crashes if you window out of the game so be warned! I may have just had really awful luck with it crashing several times within two hours, however crashing in general is a pretty big flaw. Another issue I’ve had with the game is that it blatantly refuses to run on my gaming laptop (runs the most recent games on the highest settings) it gets to the new game character select screen then when I hit play it crashes! I tried repairing it via steam and reinstalling, still no luck sadly. If the technical issues had been on only one machine, I might think it was a fault with my own hardware, but tested on several it seems it’s the game that’s to blame.
Anyway less griping back to my original claim. It’s tedious. The reason I say this is because it takes all of (what I feel are) the bad elements of MMORPGs. Firstly its quest system is a lot like World of Warcraft when it initially came out, but sometimes with a bit less information. I.E a large tedious description of what you have to do then a general direction that you need to walk in, it sometimes exempts the key bit of information that is the general direction of your quest. Right that’s fine and all you might say but to me this is a really archaic, boring and time wasting mechanic! I love me some simple arrows. The other element I don’t like so much is the whole cheap enemy grouping that MMORPGs do. Which albeit is fine in and of itself since a hell of a lot of RPGs do this, but those RPGs tend to think about enemy placement to tone combat up or down or at least give you the assumed safety of a road to navigate the world…not here! Everything seems to love coming at you in groups in this game. This would be fine but combat at the start of the game isn’t particularly suited for it so it tends to result in your early demise. And the agro reset range seems to vary a lot from medium to insanely long so there is lots of fun to be had being ravaged by half the map whilst retreating. Although you can cheat a little as the enemy pathing is pretty poor with enemies getting stuck in walls a lot.
The overall story and quests of the game aren’t all that exciting either. The main plot is your pretty standard fantasy plot line of gather all of the fragments of said magical item (Legend of Dawn) to bring peace to the realm of Narr! And most of the side quests aren’t all that interesting, basically involving you walking to a location to scout it out or kill a certain animal. They do try to make it a little more interesting by giving you reputation increases for certain factions in the world. This basically lowers the cost of items there. Yeah, yeah not really fair to gripe on it for something everything does and gets away with, but in a world where even MMO’s are trying to bypass this system or at least brighten it up, not even trying brings sadness to my soul.
Another reason for tedium which is admittedly subjective is that the game doesn’t really describe a lot of its mechanics very well past the basic move around and hit things. Dreamatrix likes to leave a lot of it to guesswork, this will appeal to some people and annoy others in its old school-ness. I’m…. personally not a huge fan of it.
Now onto a brief description of the games mechanics. You navigate the world via the WASD keys, interact with the world by right clicking objects and target enemies by left clicking them. As for the combat of the game its melee combat is a bit like ‘The Witchers’, target an enemy and right click to melee. Minus the parry mechanic unfortunately so it’s not the most exciting experience. And things seem to dodge a hell of a lot probably just my awful build though!
The spell system in the game is the usual RPG fair of fire a spell wait for the cooldown to tick and it deducts a certain amount of faith (mana or ‘x name’ for spell resource). The creation of the spells within the game is pretty cool. You basically pick up a lot of different types of runestones within the world from monster drops or chests, and then combine them into an offensive or defensive spell. Each runestone has its own specific type of effect that changes depending on what type of spell you wish I.E a rune may give +2 fire resistance as a defensive spell or +16 fire damage as an offensive spell. You can combine up to 6 runestones to create a spell; however this increases the overall faith cost of the spell. When creating a spell you also have the choice of choosing which level of the spell you wish it to be. This is dependent on your characters level (won’t go over your current level) and increases the effects of the spell whilst also increasing faith cost. There are other types of runestones such as ones for unlocking chests and creating magical bridges via mini puzzles I won’t go into detail here as some people might want to work it out for themselves.
This RPG, like almost every other RPG, has a character statistic sheet and a set of character skills. The characters main stats consist of strength, dexterity, vitality, charisma and intelligence all pretty standard and do exactly what you’d expect from them! There are of course sub stats that these influence in various ways; attack, defence, various resistances etc. These stats are also influenced by the equipment that your character can find or buy along his journeys. There are also skills within the game which come under the overhead categories of weapon, creature lore, crafting, gathering, resistance and divine. Most of these are self-explanatory except for divine which basically increases your faith regeneration and perhaps creature lore which helps the addition of enemy lore (weaknesses, strengths etc) to your bestiary. Every level you gain 9 points to place within your characters skills and 1 point to place in your characters stats.
The crafting system in the game is pretty extensive with 7 different crafts. Armorsmithing, Cooking, Herbalism, Jewelcrafting, Leatherworking, Metalworking and Weaponsmithing (all pretty self-explanatory). Each have a large list of items you can craft from various materials gathered using the 2 gathering skills or from enemy item drops.
The game unfortunately doesn’t feel that much like an open world game at the start. It’s extremely difficult to get outside of the mostly linear starting area until you grind up a few levels and create a decent spell or two. And a single level in this game can give a considerable jump in difficulty to some enemies for melee combat (again may have just been my build). Combine this with the aforementioned clustered enemies and a respawn system that drops you back to a resurrection point that may or may not be miles away and this gives you a rough world to navigate through in an un-linear fashion during the first dozen levels.
One of the games main selling points is that it runs on an engine that essentially takes away screen loading times. It works reasonably well but unfortunately has the side effect of raising the games hardware requirements to slightly unusual levels for what the game looks like it should be. And since it didn’t run on my laptop I’ve been running it on a slightly above minimum spec PC. At this level it causes slight graphical glitches like some models taking ages to appear.
The audio isn’t exactly exciting. Mostly classical/atmospheric (not the world’s best description I admit) music but it blends in quite well and doesn’t irritate or grate in any way! A lot of the quests are also voice worked to varying degrees of success (voice works always pretty hit and miss though right?). The visual aesthetics suit the game but aren’t impressive. They’re definitely some of the worst I’ve seen in a while and most of the enemy animations aren’t the most fluid looking. So if you’re obsessed with graphics, Legends of Dawn is not the best choice.
Overall this game isn’t very exciting and doesn’t bring much to the table. It’s hard to get immersed in and the combat is pretty dull. This and the frequent crashes make this game hard to recommend to all but the most diehard RPG fans at the £14.99 price tag. However I did find it growing on me after a while so it isn’t all bad, but it wouldn’t be my first choice if I had £14.99 to spare!
2 runestones out of 5