We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank n-Space for the review copy of Sword Coast Legends used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
Sword Coast Legends takes place in the forgotten realms of the Dungeons and Dragons universe. You and your group of adventurers are tasked with trying to stop an evil force from taking over the lands.
The combat in Sword Coast Legends is kind of a combination of a turn based strategy game mixed with a more traditional action RPG. The combat is similar to what you would expect from a lot of MMOs like World of Warcraft. The combat occurs in real time but the characters attack automatically. Players can activate abilities from time to time in order to tell their characters which attack they would like the character to perform next. You control several characters at the same time and need to figure out how to utilize each characters’ strengths in order to defeat the enemies. The game has the option to pause combat at any time in order to look over the battlefield and determine what strategy you would like to implement next.
In addition to the combat the game features a lot of mechanics from RPGs and dungeon crawlers like Diablo. The game features a long storyline with a lot of sidequests and characters to talk with. You will encounter tons of loot that you can gather throughout your travels to either equip, sell for money, or hoard like so many gamers (myself included) like to do.
Being a writer on a website named Geeky Hobbies, it might come as a surprise that I have little experience with Dungeons and Dragons. As a matter of fact I have never played the tabletop game before (I have always wanted to try it though) and have only been introduced to the universe from a couple video games that I played in the past. With that in mind, my experience with Sword Coast Legends may differ from people who have a lot more experience with the Dungeons and Dragons universe.
While I haven’t played the game a ton at this point, I had fun with Sword Coast Legends and I plan on finishing the game. The game doesn’t seem to be highly original but it is a good semi turn based RPG. While the game presents you with a lot of customization options (you could probably spend over an hour creating your character), the game was more accessible than I was expecting. If you are a big fan of D&D though you might be a little disappointed with the customization options since some other reviews of the game say that the game is missing some options typical of a D&D game.
Sword Coast Legends seems to have streamlined a lot of the mechanics from the tabletop game and I personally enjoyed that they did. Having no experience with the tabletop game I think the game would have taken quite a while to adjust to if you had to learn all of the rules from the tabletop version of the game. I understand though that this will probably upset a lot of D&D fans because they probably were hoping for a more traditional D&D experience.
Storywise the game appears to show some promise (I have only played the game a couple hours). It starts a little slow and was a little confusing for me but that is probably due to not being that familiar with the D&D universe. The stories in a lot of these type of games start slow though since when you have a 30-40 hour story you can’t really jump straight into the action. I am guessing that the story is going to pick up the more you play the game.
Some other quick thoughts:
- Despite having a semi-powerful PC, the load times were longer than I expected. They are not terrible but sometimes the load times can be one or two minutes.
- I learned this the hard way but the game has no auto save mechanic. The game only saves when you specifically choose to save so you better save regularly or you could lose a lot of progress. Being always paranoid that I am going to die this made me save constantly.
Bang For the Buck
While I have only played the game for a couple hours, I can tell that you will get a lot of play time out of the game. After a couple hours I have only completed the first couple of levels. The story line is apparently 30-40 hours long. With the included Dungeon Master Mode, you could actually play the game as long as you want if you and your friends want to make your own adventures.
Unfortunately Sword Coast Legends is a $39.99 game. While you can get a lot of play time out of the game, I probably wouldn’t recommend the game at full retail to anyone other than people who really enjoy the semi turn based combat style used in the game.
Should You Purchase Sword Coast Legends?
Despite having little knowledge of the D&D universe I have enjoyed my time with Sword Coast Legends so far. The game is easy enough to play but appears to have quite a bit of strategy that you can implement. The story is interesting and you can get a lot of play time out of the game. While I thought the game had a lot of customization options, D&D purists might not like that the game seemed to streamline some of the mechanics from D&D in order to make the game more accessible to people not that familiar with the franchise.
If you don’t like D&D or these type of semi turn based games I don’t think you are going to like Sword Coast Legends that much. If you are a D&D purist you may have some issues with the streamlining done in the game. If you are looking for a good semi turn based RPG though I think you could do a lot worse than Sword Coast Legends.