Din's Legacy Review
Release Date: Out of Early Access on August 28, 2019
Publisher/Developer: Soldak Entertainment
Platform: Steam (reviewed), Linux, MacOS
Din’s Legacy is an isometric RPG with a mutated twist. The orcs have been split into several factions: Dark Orcs, Zombielords, and the Mutated. You play as a mutated, an orc with necromancer magic and infected with a zombie parasite. You’re really starting from the ground (maybe even dug down a few stories into the basement!) as you try to prove your good intentions to the world. Also, the Mutated continue to evolve, literally mutating into new forms constantly as you level up. The Trickster God Din cuts a deal with the Mutated, making them his champions to fight the evil in the world. He resurrects them if they die in his service, and this gives them a chance at redemption, combing the land looking for quests to make them appear more noble to the world.
Din’s Legacy is a sequel to a couple other games by Soldak Entertainment: Din’s Curse and Zombasite. The Orc Schism is directly referencing a previous game’s storyline. The play appears to be very similar too, as The Gamer’s Lounge reviewed Zombasite in 2016. While I wasn’t the reviewer on task that time, I can say that looking at our original review shows that Soldak has a pattern that it sticks to. Sam reported that Zombasite was similar to their previous Depths of Peril, and I can again say that this review may sound familiar to those who played Zombasite. While a bit more fleshed out, the character creation screen looks like it’s nearly copy/pasted, as are the general HUD designs and other options.
With randomized maps and full control over difficulty, monster levels, and whether to create a new character or import a previously leveled hero, Din’s Legacy looks to cater to anyone looking for some variety in their Diablo-style clones. You find yourself in a small town that is in need of defending from the warring facitons around you. Your protagonist can then begin the traditional searching around, accepting quests, and finding adventures to go on. The game differs a bit from traditional RPGs where you can just grab whatever quest you want and finish them eventually. If an NPC says that “you must hurry” then it tends to be rather true: ignoring their warning may result in the character you are supposed to find meeting their end before you can get to them. There are a bunch of warring factions in the game, and your choices can change how they act toward each other. Keeping peace with them is important as they may even come after your encampment as well.
Unfortunately this requires you to really get the hang of everything rather quickly. There’s no tutorial system other than the “help” question marks that start popping up along the bottom of your screen to click on for information. As I went on, those marks just started lining up, waiting for me to click through. Each one was it’s own specific static tutorial that made perfect sense in-context in game but would be overwhelming on it’s own. But without a real “main tale” to speak of in all the time I worked with the game, I feel that it started being simpler to run out there and brute force my way into battles, leveling up and ending up taking out someone when I didn’t realize it, completing a questline. Yes, it’s cool to see randomized, procedurally generated areas, but sometimes a purpose feels better when there’s a solid story and map to follow to get there.
I do appreciate the mutation aspect of the game, as it can potentially give you an amazing power when you don’t expect it. Mutations can be good and bad, and enhanced or quelled with more traditional leveling points. Powerful characters can be moved to a different playfield, allowing you a chance to start fresh and level even more. Playfields can actually be “completed,” wherein all objectives that area available are finished. At that time you can import to a new area and start over. Overall I feel that Soldak Entertainment has found a niche in their game design, and in order to appreciate it you must take the good with the bad. However, I do see improvements when comparing Din’s Legacy to previous games and their general opinions across the web. Din’s Legacy could use a little more focus and a little less randomization. The overall storyline could use a bump up in importance, and a tutorial of some sort that actively taught you some of the more basic pieces of game design would be greatly appreciated. However, the overall gameplay cycle is a lot of fun, and it is nice to level up a character and import them into a new game so you can at least start with a little more footing. Being able to tweak the game’s random mechanics and difficulty allows you to make just the right amount of difficulty, and the diplomacy between nations spices up what would usually be a bland Diablo-Clone. Din’s overall control scheme, interface, and ability management may be overwhelming to some, but to others, that kind of control is exactly what they’re looking for.
-Randomized areas mean always having a fresh take on the world; completing an area allows you to start over in a new land with your old characters
-Deep diving into the mechanics of the game can translate to a lot of character customization
-Many options to adjust the difficulty and a growing list of job classes to start with as you play on
-Really cool faction and peacekeeping aspect of the game
-Above mechanics are overwhelming at the start (especially for a traditional console gamer like myself)
-Randomization can lead to confusion with certain quests
-Any semblance of main storyline feels like an afterthought at this point
Special thanks to Soldak Entertainment for providing a code for review!