Posted: December 16
Early Access Review
It's not going in the right direction, I'm afraid.
Context and atmosphere-wise, there were issues which far outweighed combat. Truly, if you want to play a combat game, there are numerous other games which can offer you way more bang for your buck, like Patrician, Pirates or Port Royale. I'm going to skip to the pros and cons:
- Tremendous potential for immersion. The story is right, the art is right, the plot is right, and they already have it's universe fleshed out from Fallen London.
- Lack of shadows or fog makes the game way less frightening and kinda turns the sunless sea in just a bland spot with bats and giant crabs you can kite to death.
- Poor balancing of trade mechanics means you'll be grinding a lot on a slow ship for little income.
- Lack of backstory is understood as being a core idea (akin to Morrowind) but mashed elements from different fantasy universes breaks the suspension of disbelief - more backstory could enforce that, or more text provided at the start to feed the player's curiosity.
- Although randomly unforgiving as any rogue-like, needing to grind every time you start anew (and trust me, you'll grind your balls off for nickels and dimes) makes the usual player say pass to restarting adventures.
- The game currently doesn't have much incentive for you to move on. Sure, you can get a bigger ship, but those are limited and their customization is poor at best. You can get way more customized ships from 10-year-old games like Patrician.
- The sea is not populated by anything other than monsters. No NPCs, no trade routes, no factions whose reputation has impact on the sea.
- Last but not least, much of the action and excitement and the player impact in the world is delivered through text.
Advice? Buy Patrician. It's a way more complex, better balanced, better combat, has grind but it's not roguelike, is in a believable universe. I, for one, feel a bit ripped off. The trailer says another story, one of immersion, one of unease, one of darkness and atmospheric awesomeness. What I got was a poorly balanced grindfest with kiting dumb monsters and restarting to grind again on a ship so slow I felt I was wasting my life, all the while well lit eldritch monstrosities show every pixel of their claws and fins. It's anticlimactic and I'm not sure if the people who are developing this game have even researched one bit what takes games from OK to great.