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Title: A Legionary's Life
Genre: Indie, RPG, Early Access
Release Date: 19 Apr, 2019
Don't get this game until the awful combat is fixed. The combat makes no sense and makes the game almost unplayable. You'll spend a good amount of time with your character, kill a couple of enemies in a battles and then get pounded by some inexperienced soldier that has been in the same engagement as you, but despite you having your fatigue to the point of no return, he will have no fatigue. Has he just been waiting around watching the show? And the perma-death arcade style play just makes this frustrating, knowing that you have to restart because you died from the terrible combat. Awful, do NOT get, wait and see if the combat gets fixed. This game would be so fun if not for the unplayable aspects of this pile of crap.. It's hard because it's supposed to be; you're an ordinary roman soldier in the punic war, and you frequently die like it. But the game has a rougelike element in that, in addition to the perma death and learning by dying, there is an after death score which attributes points that you can use in your next run- which includes better gear, state ups, and unique perks.. I picked up this game as a fan of management sims and old-school choose-your-own-adventure RPGs in the vein of King of Dragon Pass, and others. If you've ever played KoDP, you know that it can be a very unforgiving game, and this game is no different.
As you go about your life as a legionary, you will be presented with events and given dilemmas whose outcomes will be determined by your choices and your stats. Sometimes the same goal can be achieved in different ways, so you want to be familiar with your character to know which options are best suited for them. Much frustration will result for players that try to fit square pegs in round holes. There is an RNG aspect to it, and success is not guaranteed, even if you make "optimal" choices. You won't succeed at everything; but over the course of a career, if you make the right choices, your trajectory will trend upward.
You are given opportunities to increase your abilities by training in camp; but you need to vary your approach to get the most out of it. There is no hard and fast formula for success in training; and as you get better and better, you will begin to experience diminishing returns on your time investment. Camp is also where you manage equipment. The pre-Marian citizen soldiers of Rome furnished their own equipment; and it's no different here. Luckily, you will earn a legionary's wage, and may have some ill-gotten plunder you can use to purchase better toys along the way.
Combat in this game is a turn-based back and forth, which seems simple at first; but can be punishing or rewarding, depending on how you approach it. Players who approach fights expecting to mash the attack button and grind down opponent after opponent are going to walk away frustrated. Just like with the events I spoke of above, combat is about putting things in your favor. In some battles you over-match your opponent and can launch attacks from the start with good chances of success. Other battles, your opponent may match you, or be much better than you. In these fights you have to know when to buy time, and when to strike. You might stay defensive while probing your opponent with faints; only to seize the moment and go full offensive when he misses an attack against you and is off-balance. You might also be completely out-gunned; and in that case need to play it safe, being careful to stay alive until your unit gets rotated out of the line. You're part of a large formation of soldiers, many of whom may be better than you. Sometimes you might need to be the hero; but sometimes all you'll need to do is hold the line.
I've had a lot of fun with this game so far; and I look forward to more content in the future. If you're thinking of giving this one a try; remember that you *will* make bad decisions, and you *will* fail skill checks. You *will* have bad combats, and you *will* face opponents that you cannot beat. You *will* become frustrated at times, and you *will* die and have to start over. All those things may happen quite a lot; but you *can* overcome them. If that legionary doesn't make it to retirement; your next one might. That's what I like about this game. If you like management sims like Punch Club or Domina, you might like this game too. If you liked King of Dragon Pass, you will probably enjoy it quite a lot.
I do; but you might not. Give it a buy if you're looking to try a niche game that needs a little poking and prodding to really figure out.. Fun game sofar. Just be sure to read the guides before you start.
I'll wait for the finished game to give it a proper try.. I dont understand those negative reviews
-i love the Combat system (even though i think you should replace the Thumbs system with an good old % system)
-The permadeath mechanic is interresting a little bit grindy but ok i got with my first Character to the 3. Siege so its not necessary you just need some luck
-I love the idea of the game and how you did it
-I love the historic accuracy (Im an History Nerd i adore that)
-The Progression system is not the best (The game does a horrible job to tell you that it makes an difference and you just get it after a few runs)
-There is an tutorial and it explains everything very good but you can easily miss it
Its not the best game i ever played but its an very good one you should play it (or atleast try the demo). Simple but fun text base role play game. I'd say this is a very niche "buy" if you like these sorts of games. It's part chose your own adventure story, and part "game" but the gameplay is the lesser of the two, by a large margin.
The story is great, the experience playing it can be fun, but once you get the basics (of the extremely basic) combat system, its a slow boring grind. The idea is to have a progression tree based on replaying the game which is great, as your character with different skills explores different parts of the story (slightly). Its also terrible, as you're stuck with dealing with the extremely slow combat system again and again.
My suggestion would be to buy it if you like these sorts of games, and hope that the game gets more polished as time goes on.
*Combat is turn based, slow, and follows an *EXTREMELY* predictable set of actions\/moves. You have 3 bars, health, stance, and stamina. Health is obviously important, and stance is critical to both defense and offense, and stamina is basically useless as the Romans rotate their troops throughout the battle. You'd think this would mean your opponents would be worn down over time, and you'd be right, except its so minor it basically doesn't matter. You also have no idea of how the overall battle is going, and if you get rotated out of the line before you kill your opponent you get nothing. The game doesn't care if you've knocked a guy down to 1 hp every time you rotate forward, the only thing which counts is kills.
So combat is basically this - you feint to lower your opponents stance, they do the same, and whenever someone is more than ~25 points below max stance they spam recover (with recovers your stance...). Sometimes you click attack. All of this is buried under at least 1 menu. Seriously, its horrific, but the story is almost good enough to justify it.
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