by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Re:Legend is a gorgeous, massive undertaking. It’s still in Early Access and has a lot of promise. It’s trying to do an awful lot, though, and that means it’s going to take time to reach its lofty design goals. To the developer’s credit, one of the major bugs I found during the review process has been fixed. It’s the one I enjoyed the most: the item duplication bug. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of bugs, like soft-locking. The game soft locks at some infuriating times, so you better save every single time you go into your home. I found myself leaving zones and coming back to save. I was tired of losing two hours of gameplay to soft locking. The growing pains are serious, but Re:Legend has a lot on offer.
In Re:Legend, you play a character with amnesia. After designing your anime hero or heroine, you’re pushed off a cliff! Tumbling to your doom, you awaken with amnesia in a village that has adorable penguins. Humans and penguin creatures living in harmony? I don’t think I want to ever leave this small, comfortable town. You’ll be given a well-furnished farm to take care of if you want, with a storage box, craft box, cook box, and item selling box. This is one of the things I enjoy about Re:Legend, you can play the game your way. If you want to focus on farming, you can with ease. Want to focus on fishing? No problem there either. You can spend your time completing quests or murdering adorable creatures. Do you want to make awesome weapons and armor? Just farm up the materials and complete a little mini-game. The possibilities are endless.
It also has multiplayer, but you have to start a fresh file. You can’t load your single-player character into Multiplayer. Whenever I did enter Multiplayer, I didn’t see other players, so I cannot speak to the strength of it yet.
Tutorials and Issues:
The game is pretty good about teaching you through tutorials. The only one that felt weak to me was the Monster Training tutorial. It tells you to feed the monster, and that you’ll have to do a button-mashing game. It isn’t clear whether the minigame is difficult, or the tutorial wasn’t thorough. The first monster I tamed was frustrating to catch and required at least ten attempts. The game also does not make it clear what happens when your monster dies. My adorable Draconewt died within an hour of his first appearance, and I had no idea what to do about it. As it turns out, you can resummon them if you go back to the Barn. You can click on the book there and resummon them to your party. Another weak part in the new-player experience was questing. You receive an early quest to farm up some Popberries for a citizen of Vokka Island. After I spent five days growing them, I went back to talk to her, and nothing happened. I tried throwing her the berries, and all that did was waste them. This needs to be made clear. This could have been a bug, but I am uncertain.
Beyond these issues, the early game experience is pretty positive. Re:Legend is not a game that you will conquer in one sitting. There is a lot of farming and grinding to do, and some things you will learn by experience. A good example of this is the Stamina System. Under your HP is a Stamina meter, which decreases when you work on certain actions. Farming, Mining, and similar actions lower your stamina. If you are out past midnight, your Stamina will decrease at an alarming rate. The game does not want you to stay in the world exploring days at a time. So if you are out past midnight, you will run out of Stamina and collapse. Collapsing will send you to the hospital to awake the next morning. It’s not a real penalty other than that, but it will put you back in town. When you’re farming and chopping away on your Farmstead, however, there is a solution.
A huge rock is on your property, and hacking it away with the mining pick will eventually break it, revealing a gorgeous hot spring. Standing in it will restore your Stamina, but it is no replacement for a good night’s sleep. This is a fascinating system because it offers a little bit of realism in this cute fantasy world. Adventure, explore, grow as a person, but go get a good night’s sleep. Please save every time you come home though. I cannot stress enough how bad the soft locks have been for me. Part of what made this preview take so long is losing time, getting frustrated and taking a day or two away from it. I imagine they are not as perilous or frequent now. That won’t stop me from saving at every moment possible though.
The Greater Gameplay Experience:
The monsters you meet out in the world are called “Magnus”. Magnus are a major part of the game, but finding what they want to eat can be frustrating. That’s the key to making monster friends: throwing food at them. If you get the right food, they’ll smile, and you can go for the Monster Taming Minigame. Magnus can help you farm, fish, and fight. They gain exp, you can feed them to keep them happy, and some of them can even serve as mounts! What I appreciate is that every Magnus can be tamed, though it’s not always easy. They will grow in strength and it’s such a cool system. I have yet to tame a second monster, but the Draconewt is the only friend I need.
Combat seems like it might be easy and boring at first glance. As you level up a weapon style, you gain deeper combo attacks and attack skills. It’s very active: you attack with LMB, and use the Space Bar to roll (in conjunction with a direction). Leveling up will give you more stat points to invest, and if you aren’t happy, you can reset them. You also have a separate exp bar for your weapon level. You can see the actual weapon level in your character menus. But what about enemies?
Enemies telegraph the area their attack will take place in, so you can time your dodges. There is one issue with combat, and that’s fighting in the water. It can be very hard to see the enemy attack zones in the water, even though the telegraph is red. This could be made a bit clearer visually. It’s a simple system, but it’s a lot of fun. You’ll start an attack chain, dodge, move back in and resume the fight. You do need to be aware of where your mouse is pointing because that’s where your attack will go. I prefer to fight on a controller, but I’m sure this will improve with time. You can also swap weapon styles if you want to. Bored using Dual Swords? Swap to a new style and see how you feel about it. I love how fun the combat is. It’s a very active, engaging system.
Another fun feature in Re:Legend is farming. You have a nice large area to farm in, and you can clear land that is ready for seeds with your trust hoe. The negative here is you have to be incredibly precise. The aiming and direction of farming is frustrating, on both controller and keyboard/mouse. The hoe does not lock into place so you can make easy, straight lines. More often than not, you wind up dropping your hoe in the next line at a diagonal. This ruins whatever pattern you were setting up. Watering your plants locks you into moving in a direction, so it’s strange that hoeing does not. Your crops give you another reason to come home. It takes several days to have crops you can pick and use for food, or to sell for money, so come back each morning and take care of them. This is another place where clarity could be used. I wasn’t 100% sure when my crops were ready, but it’s easy to see when they aren’t doing well (each crop has a 1-3 heart rating).
A cool concept, but: 2.5/5 (Fair)
I love the look and feel of Re:Legend. It’s a charming and fun use of my downtime. Despite the overwhelming number of crashes, soft locks, and bugs I’ve come across, I enjoyed playing it. It’s got a great look, a fun story, and there is plenty to see and do. It’s not a game I would leap into right now, but the developers are squashing bugs and putting a lot of effort in. It’s a game you can sit down and while away a few hours practicing, adventuring, and losing yourself in this vibrant fantasy world.
I found so many bugs that made the game unplayable. Thankfully, many of those seem to be gone over the week or so that I’ve been playing Re:Legend. It’s a game with a positive feel and look, but is still in need of some love. As patches and updates roll out, the gameplay experience will improve. When I began, I crashed/soft locked at least once every single play session (sometimes more). The most annoying glitches came from the hotbar though.
I’d put my weapon on the hotbar, so I could easily swap to it in a pickle. I do not recommend this. Only put tools and items there. I was getting a bug when I tried to equip/unequip my weapon from the hotbar. This would make it so I could walk around, but not take actions. The only way to fix it was to hope I had an item I could pick up. This would occasionally fix it. I’m delighted with Re:Legend, but I’ll feel better about recommending it when it has had some more time in Early Access. It has a lot of heart and a lot of promise. If you want to help it grow and improve, I’d pick it up now. Otherwise, you might be better off waiting a little bit, because the current state of the game is frustrating.