Legends of Aethereus made me feel lonely. While I was playing I just kept thinking “I wish I had some friends to play this with”. It’s one of those games that has a co-op mode that is the whole focus of the experience and left me wanting to play with some friends.
The story in Legends of Aethereus is quite basic, a very standard RPG storyline. Basically a cataclysmic event has occurred and the planet of Aethereus was thrown into chaos. Both the forces of good and evil have risen up and it’s up to you to combat the evil forces. It’s a very standard storyline and I found that it wasn’t explored in the game very much, and if it was, I didn’t notice. Granted it does actually have a story line that makes sense and is coherent, which is more that a lot of other game do.
The gameplay is like most other RPGs. You get a quest, go and do the quest, get experience and money and then rinse and repeat. That last sentence sums up most of experience with LoA so far, I would just bounce between quests until I got bored. Granted, most other RPGs are exactly the same to this, but the one thing that most of these RPGs do is they have an open world for the player to explore. LoA’s map is expansive, however the quests only put you in certain sections of it. The environments are extremely pretty and exploring them is alot of fun. However when you see a building in a RPG your first instict is to go in right? You’d expect to find maybe an item or two, but in LoA there is nothing to be seen. Sure, there are chests that spawn around the level, but why show the player these beautifully designed huts and houses if there’s no reason for me to go in.
The combat is actually quite good. It is like Skyrim’s combat in how you have to time your hits and actually aim arrows. I like this style of combat over just pressing a button to do the same old attack animation, it means the combat is skill based. It doesn’t matter that your crossbow deal 700 damage, if you can’t aim it properly you’ll screw it up. Due to this this player is rewarded for timing blocks right and hitting their shots. The various abilities you get add to the skill element even further. The dodge move is really effective when used at the right times and can turn around fights.
I also like how leveling up through the early ranks didn’t take forever to do. A couple hours in I was already level 9, which in my books is a plus. Spending 10 hours just to get to level 10 is, to me at least, annoying. The skill system is also quite good. At each level up you get to do the usual, assigning skill points and getting/upgrading new skills. However the difference is that there are only 3 fields you can put your skill points in, each consisting of 2 skills. This means that, for example, you can’t get full points in strength and agility. This balances the game really well, because each of these skills would be really strong if fully levelled together.
As I eluded to in my intro, LoA would be a lot more fun to play with friends. It reminds me of Diablo in this sense, in how just grinding out quests y yourself can be boring nut doing it with some friends is a lot more fun. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any multiplayer games to join so I can’t comment on this fully, but if things change I will update this review.
Overall the gameplay in LoA is alright. It has its flaws but at the core it is solid, but it feels like a game that would be more fun with friends.
The music in LoA is actually pretty good. The opening title theme is very epic and encapsulates the games feel very well. The music during gameplay adds to the action and combat, making it feel all the more epic.
As mentioned previously in the review, the environments in LoA look quite good. The game looks very nice however you can tell the game is independent by the animations. As low quality as they are, I can’t even start to imagine how hard animating a 3D model would be, so I’m willing to look past this.
The Good and Bad
- Good combat
- Nice graphics
- Well done levelling system
- Grindy solo campaign
- No reason to explore buildings
- Story not explored enough
Legends of Aethereus is still in early days, and updates will be coming. With a bit of work this game will turn out pretty good. I recommend if you have some spare cash and some friends to play with, you should pick up this game.
Suitability: 12+/ Platforms: Windows/ Replayability: Medium