Legends of Pegasus review
There are days when a reviewer can really hate his/her job. Legends of Pegasus review day is one of them.
There is a rule of thumb for reviewing games on StrategyPrime; if they are really bad and not worth wasting (y)our time, we do not write about them. Generally, a game that gets a score of 3 out of 5 is good, decent game, nothing that will get your knickers in a twist, but it is still fairly valuable and fun product. Anything below that, we usually pass on it. Why waste our time with sub-par games? There are too many of them out there, anyway.
With Legends of Pegasus, however, we made an exception. Having felt the fresh air for 4x genre, we foolishly assumed (like many other players as well, apparently) that the upward trend of Endless Space has somehow imbued all the similar games with additional quality, up to the point where we were close to believing to be experiencing a Renaissance of the genre. Legends of Pegasus was the next big thing, it seemed.
But instead, it was the next big bug thing.
Some unfinished business
If you are still keeping up, then you are probably expecting us to name some reasons to truly disregard the possibility of purchasing this game. Piece of cake; the biggest problem is to chose which ones to list, since it could turn out to be one looong list. But overall, it can be easily reduced to the following statement: Legend of Pegasus is prematurely released, unfinished and bug-ridden, sad excuse for a game. Hmm, yes, that sounds about right.
LoP is a 4x space strategy with turn-based gameplay and real time combat, with the standard planet colonization, research and diplomacy as most of the games from the genre. There is little to no need to eXpand on that issue (harr,harr!), so we can start with the critics right away. It is obvious that the developers wanted the players to follow a set progress throughout the game, starting with humans, divided in four episodes, then continuing wit two other alien factions. In our humble opinion, all 4x space strategy games should set the playground and let player how to progress within that sandbox. Story? In a 4x space strategy? Campaigns? We’ll pass, please, thank you very much.
It surely doesn’t help that the story itself – as much as we were able to witness – is on the level of something a 4th grader might write. The initial intro, attack of mysterious aliens (was it meant to be a black screen with screaming people, or is it another bug? we might never know for sure) and a tiny surviving fraction of human race is hurled into a far corner of galaxy, Battlestar Galactica style, to rebuild everything from the scratch. This is also your tutorial for the start, and sadly, it is as far as we got in several hours of gameplay.
Did we mention that the game is buggy as hell? It can’t be emphasized enough. We experienced a lot of CTD’s, frozen screens, getting stuck in some views and being unable to move and thus being forced to restart the entire game. But when we didn’t get those, the tutorial was doing its best to confuse us and be as piss-poor as it only can be. No biggie, you’ll say, you are experienced in the genre, you will figure it out or guess it on your own. No worries, the tutorial will have you on your knees, sooner or later. Trust us, instead of paying good money to experience this pain first hand.
Even though the game enables the movement of the camera in 3D space, the gameplay in Legends of Pegasus is in 2D. Once you have colonized your first planet, you may start building it up and start doing some research. Research is confusing, insufficiently explained and more of a “let see if I get lucky” affair. But the first and only mission/tutorial will eventually break your neck and spoil all the fun you might experience. There are virtually several game breaking bugs in the starting tutorial (aside the fact that tutorial itself is pretty much useless and uninformative) that will make you drop out of the game. These, by the way, are not isolated cases, the forums are full with reports from players that were unable to go past the first human mission. It is almost impossible to catch them all, much like the elusive Pokemons, so we’ll stick to only some bugs we can recall from the top of our head. The portraits aka “talking heads” stick around into the sequences and do not blend out. Clicking on a bigger planet will often transfer you inside the planet (which makes the planet “disappear”) and you have to zoom out to see the planet. You can also quite comfortably zoom inside planets from time to time. Selecting ships themselves is often a chore and sometimes the classic drag and select won’t work, for whatever inexplicable reason, and you will have to shift+click single ships into a fleet. Selecting a fleet also doesn’t work as it should. At the very beginning of the game a player should be able to set up the turns to run automatically until something happens (completed construction, research done), but there is no such feature. Oh, and if you try to skip the sequences, expect to break the game or even CTD.
After experiencing few CTD’s, we finally got stuck on the task of flying across the system and looking for alien ships. As the story goes, you will have to take your fleet on patrol to a small green circle that indicates a first waypoint you need to travel to – before you ask, no, you can’t actually set waypoints for your fleet to travel to, just as you can’t set the patrol points for your fleet. The problem is that the said waypoint will disappear from the game if you happen to save and load your game at any point, so you are stuck in the tutorial. Solution? Play from the start. We managed to coax the game and load an autosave where the green waypoint actually appeared, but even after we got our fleet there several times, the “trigger” didn’t go off, no next waypoint was spawned and the tutorial wouldn’t go on. So, we did it from the start. Next time we were there, the game simply crashed on us.
Smells like Sword of Stars 2
Legends of Pegasus experience is certainly both highly disappointing and frustrating. How a game could be released in such unfinished, bug-ridden state is beyond comprehension. Seeing that it was provided with quick fixes already within the couple of days since it is released should be enough to alert anyone to the sad state of the affairs here. It is a shame, really. LoP felt a bit like Gal Civ 2 and some features like the ship editor were showing promise, but the completely disfunctional game, bugs, poor UI, murderous tutorial among just nearly everything else make this game a failure of not epic, but legendary proportions (if you’d pardon my cheap pun). All that remains now is to observe if the developers will fix the game to any extent, but everyone who has ever had that dreadful experience with Sword of Stars 2 knows that it is a long and winding, rocky way to restore even a fragment of trust from the player’s base once it is ruined with a messed up release. It seems that this first big project will be also the last for the Novacore Studios, but we will be keeping an eye on the state of the game and its fixes during the coming months. Not that we are harboring any great hopes, though. Or even small ones.