I want to get this out of the way right now; I have not played Legends of Ellaria. In fact, it wasn’t even on my radar until very recently. Sadly, it would be impossible for me to play every game I write about. I’m not trying to hide that fact at all, and please keep it in mind while reading this article.
Legends of Ellaria is a Dragon Age style RTS / RPG hybrid indie title from Isreal based developer Larkon studios. Set in the fantasy world of Ellaria, you play as the lord of a kingdom from a dying world. You take your people through a portal and land on Ellaria where you have to set up a new kingdom. You get the picture. The game launched in early access in July 2017 and according to the developer has sold over 30,000 copies since then. It’s finally set to leave early access and launch in full on April 1st.
That all sounds pretty good. But here comes the bad news. Firstly the developers claim in the press release that the full release will be the final content update the game will receive. Now, they do state that this update will include the full single-player story campaign as well as “many” quality of life improvements, but you only have to look at the Steam Store page to worry a little. As above, I have not had the chance to play the game. It is entirely possible that the developers have simply neglected to update their Steam Store page, but then potential customers can only choose based on the information provided. The Steam description has a list of “coming soon features” that includes:
- Mini Map
- First Person character control
- Dialogue menu
- Diplomacy and other kingdoms
- More city buildings, civic events, crime
- More locations
- Siege weapons
Are these features in the game? Have they been canned? As someone looking at purchasing the game, you would be forgiven if you were a little confused. The press release doesn’t mention these features at all, yet the final content update is under two weeks away. Not only that, but there’s another list of “planned features” that adds:
- Control and interact with any object
- Tech tree and kingdom research
- Army design
- Cavalry, dwarves, necromancers, elves
- Control any character in your kingdom
- Mac, Linux, Xbox
Well, at least one of those we can confirm the game doesn’t have, multiplayer, as the Legends of Ellaria is listed as a single-player only game.
In addition to the above mixed messaging, the game also features “mixed” reviews on Steam. Again, this is no certainty that a game is bad, but it certainly doesn’t bode well.
Finally, if we scroll to the bottom of the Steam page, you’ll notice that there is a rather worrisome warning message “Legends of Ellaria is not currently optimized and has known issues with AMD based systems and with older Intel based systems”. Currently not optimized, but releasing in two weeks. Oh.
I contacted Larkon about my concerns last week and I’m yet to receive a reply at the time of publication.
So, is this yet another case of buyer beware? Developers may have the best intentions when it comes to Early Access games, but you are buying a promise. And as we all know, sometimes people don’t keep their word.
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