Sword Coast Legends (SCL) is a RPG, Multiplayer fantasy game that takes the world of Dungeons and Dragons and combines them with a myriad of elements from other games. The game was officially released on steam 20th October 2015, publishers behind this game were Digital Extremes, who are also responsible for the development and publishing the popular steam game ‘Warframe’. The developers of this was a company called n-Space, more popular for other releases such as Call of Duty, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3D and Skylanders. Unfortunately, after 21 years of game development, n-space was closed several months later according to Venturebeat.
The plot of Sword Coast Legends begins with the player escorting a caravan, the player fights to survive the event as mysterious voices and nightmares begin to call out to you. After the prologue, players will travel to various cities, dungeons and complete various quests to discover the truth behind the demonic voices Sword Coast focuses on the player investigating the shrouded mystery that continues to develop throughout their adventure, and begin investigating a chain of events that predominantly lead to the fate of the world. The free DLC expansion titled ‘Rage of demons’ tells a separate story from the main campaign that regards mind-flayers attempting to take control of the world.
The gameplay of SCL is one heavily influenced by another RPG title named Dragon Age: Origins. This was because the single player campaign was developed by the members whom worked on the Dragon Age: Origins game itself. Players can create a character from a variety of races and classes while managing three other characters who adventure with the player through the game. Each character uses various abilities depending on both class and race. With the free expansion Rage of Demons, one additional class ‘Warlock’ and race called Tieflings – the exact embodiment of a sentient demon in human form.
SCL combines gameplay reminiscent of the Baldur’s Gates games (set in the same world) and Dragon Age origins as players become required to micro-manage and customize characters in their party.
While the gameplay is an enormous improvement to the clunky and outdated combat system of Dragon Age Origins, SCL suffers from delayed responses, companions (mostly healers) who neglect crucial abilities and various bugs/glitches which impact the gameplay. While not game-breaking, many bugs involved complete loss of sound, character collision into the terrain and even sections of the game becoming progressable because quests could not be given to the quest giver. However, the game does offer an enormous variety of gameplay within each class. With various abilities and quests which are fun, n-space clearly knew how to create an enjoyable RPG game without becoming overtly reliant on fetch quests. The only issue with the enormous variation of sub-classes and abilities is the slow progression and limited upgrade points player acquire per level; often meaning the first few hours of the campaign become a slow grind to the more robust and dynamic gameplay experienced late game.
Despite the minute errors and annoyances, SCL does provide a meaningful and engaging experience. The game provides a solid experience because of it’s ability to challenge players but also provide meaningful characters and plot that immerses players fully into the fantasy of the game.
While the game provides good gameplay, it does offer a variety of game modes such as the Sword Coast Legend campaign, which averages ten hours while the expansion Rage of Demons takes about four. Players can choose between the campaign, dungeon crawling, becoming a dungeon master or the ability to play the expansion. However, while the main story gives a memorable fantasy to immerse into; The dungeon master mode lacks most customization required to make it unique and individual to the more advanced players of Dungeons and Dragons.
The art style of the game looks friendly and very nostalgic to predecessors because it offers a blend of top-down view dungeon crawling and gives it a unique aesthetic in comparison to games like Diablo which look far more dark and grittier. SCL does provide a soothing background music when players explore the terrain, various environments demonstrate a clear distinction in atmosphere. Credit most also be shown to the various voice-actors and composers of SCL because the experience felt authentic, unique and immersive in comparison to other RPG games which lack immersion and replayability.
SCL is a RPG game that offers good replayability when friends are available. With players encouraged to make meaningful decisions, even solo experiences means players can approach situations differently. The ability to create a new character to experiment with other races and classes becomes bolstered by the ability to share individuals experiences of the game with online co-op. Thus lending some longevity.
In conclusion, Sword Coast Legend is a game that combines great story-telling with character development. The gameplay provides a good experience by customization but does not manage to keep the experience entirely fluid with consistent bugs and glitches which riddle the game.. With a game that combines great writing and villains, Sword Coast certainly provides a fulfilling story for players looking to enjoy some casual fantasy RPG with enough gameplay supplemented to make it worth the while. However, for those looking for a more authentic experience, SCL leaves much to be desired. Sword Coast Legends brings tens of hours and is well worth the price for the average gamer.
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