This is an Early Access Review and as such opinions and scores are based solely on the state of the game at the time of review and subject to change as development progresses leading up to final release
Steam’s Early Access program, much like Game Preview on the Xbox One, is a great way to experience a game ahead of its official release, and to get an idea of whether you’re going to be interested in the final product. One such game that’s found its way onto Early Access is Din’s Legacy, which comes from Soldak Entertainment. Din’s Legacy is an isometric RPG in the vein of the Diablo series or Neverwinter Nights, though for those fond of their mouse buttons, it’s thankfully less click-heavy than the former.
The main gameplay hook with Din’s Legacy is mutations that your character will undergo as you play. There isn’t much obvious explanation as to how your actions affect this, but as you wander through the world, earning treasure and killing monsters, you’ll occasionally see an on-screen pop-up that tells you that your abilities have been changed due to a mutation. These are sometimes good and sometimes bad, and effectively work in the same way as leveling up and assigning skills would do in a more typical RPG experience. There are mutation points available which allow you to indicate the aspects of your character that you’re fond of keeping, but much of the way in which your character evolves and develops is take out of your hands.Similar to this is the way the world of Din’s Legacy works. Environments are procedurally generated, and in much the same way as your character grows, you’re unsure each time as to how your story in each iteration of the game will progress. There’s a typical assortment of RPG environments, such as forests, caves and wide open plains, and each of these is populated with multiple enemies that are out to defeat you. Combat will prove familiar to anyone who has played an RPG of this kind; you’ll spend most of your time clicking on enemies to attack, mixed with the occasional use of an ability or magic spell, all while keeping a close eye on your health and mana levels and using the respective potion when appropriate.
One of the most impressive areas in which Din’s Legacy shines is in the customization options available to the player upon the start of each new game. You’re able to choose a hardcore or regular experience, which essentially turns on permadeath for that particular character, but you’re also able to dictate the levels of the enemies that you’ll encounter, to determine how difficult your experience will be. There are certain limits to your options until your character reaches a certain level, but Din’s Legacy is reminiscent of a civilization builder or sports management simulation in terms of player choice. There are even options that allow you to decide how large a particular game world will be and how fast experience is awarded and treasure is found.In its current state, Din’s Legacy is a great example of how the Early Access program can be used to evolve a game towards a final product. Its not perfect, and feels more like a though experiment than a final game, but there’s plenty here to keep players occupied if they enjoy what’s on offer. The level of customization is impressive, and the fact that the game subtly takes character growth out of your hands while still giving you an element of control is an interesting twist that allows for unique experiences. If you’re looking for a RPG of this type, then Din’s Legacy is worth jumping on board early, and the potential for an enjoyable final product is strong.