RE:Legend: A Farming Adventure – Early Access PC Preview
When it comes to monster collecting games, I’ve always veered toward the more obscure takes on the genre. Battling to be the best remains a fantastic iteration, yet I yearn for more intimate connections with the worlds in which these beasties roam. Games like Monster Rancher opted to explore mundane life, which sounds astounding when dragons and robots are thrown into the mix. Magnus Game Studio want you and your friends to experience farm life with an assortment of super-powered critters in the soon to be released Re:Legend.
“The collection of Magnus is quite adorable and functional, with each feeling unique and at home in their environment.”
What stands out about Re:Legend is the balance between farming sim and creature care. Magnus, the moniker for the various monsters, need to be fed and socialise to be at their best. Each Magnus species has food preferences, naturally fueled by your farming endeavours. You cultivate crops in the field and pond, fish from bodies of water, and hunt meat from wild Magnus. Some species even prefer ore and wood. Happy Magnus can drop items in the barn overnight, giving players the choice to play more passively or lean into combat.
The collection of Magnus is quite adorable and functional, with each feeling unique and at home in their environment. Up to two Magnus can roam with you assisting in both combat and farmsteading. It seemed my partners grew more active in combat as their happiness increased but this could have been related to level. Either way, it leaves the impression that dedication is rewarded as it feels great fighting together with your team.
“Unfortunately, Re:Legend gives you a lot to work with while explaining almost none of it.”
Combat is simple, and likely what you would expect from the art style that screams chibi MMO. You swing your weapon several times before dodging a telegraphed attack and moving back into position. Your Magnus can trigger special attacks or heal the party, adding versatility to any playstyle.
Occasionally, you will be too close to your target to land attacks or auto-targeting will stray off course with ranged weapons. The dodge offers the needed mobility to make battles fast and engaging. You can even ride your Magnus into battle and trigger their special moves, which is brilliant.
Farming follows the same formula as caring for creatures; Maintain and water to harvest for profit. Regrettably, the controls work against you as it becomes a struggle to sustain your crops. Getting the character to line up with a plot is a tiresome task as the marker always seems to jump right after centring on the target. Thankfully, the watering process is simple as you’ll be doing this a lot.
Farming and harvesting are their own skills and are raised by performing each action. Similarly, there is cooking, eating, and sleeping among other life skills as well. Raising most skills increases the max stamina, giving you the precious energy needed to perform most actions. There was a survival skill, though I never got it to rise. Unfortunately, Re:Legend gives you a lot to work with while explaining almost none of it.
“With multiple systems at play, slow introduction, and a jarring lack of information it’s difficult finding your bearings.”
Stamina management feels challenging in the opening levels, though, I found it eased up quickly. With multiple systems at play, slow introduction, and a jarring lack of information, it’s difficult finding your bearings. For example, I think the point of the two ponds is to mature fish for races. Since races are so infrequent it’s too hard to prioritise them.
Maintaining fish is also a chore. The feeders are needlessly out of the way and can only hold five days of food. I forgot to feed my fish for a few days and one died. This triggered all the other fish to refuse to eat in protest of my cruelty. Fortunately, the fishing mini-game is well put together, providing you with cooking ingredients, making it worth the time.
Likewise, crafting is both basic and barren. There are few outfits you can make and a weapon for all four styles at eath fifth level. Disappointingly, there is little reason to spend more resources once you’ve settled on something you like. You can enhance your gear, but need to visit a specific shop and pay a hefty two thousand gold. Keep in mind, there is a good chance of it failing. This trend of punishment for trying new things can also be found in cooking. A failed recipe is less harrowing when you craft dishes one at a time. Of course, this safety net eats into your precious time and discourages trying new recipes until you can avoid failure.
“Needing to search outside the game for information on evolving Magnus didn’t sit right with me.”
With seventeen minutes in a day, the cracks in Re:Legend shine brightly. Losing half a crop trying to split the bundle was devastating. I only grew more frustrated when it happened again. Most actions being limited to a single button creates unnecessary stress. Often, I mounted my Magnus, instead of performing the intended actions. It’s adorable that they wish to be so close, but a dedicated button already exists for dismounting.
Needing to search outside the game for information on evolving Magnus didn’t sit right with me. Considering the specific conditions for evolution, there should be details available. Instead, the game chooses to throw the player into the deep end. With so much to learn and experiment with, not having clear signs that you have reached a benchmark is troubling. This problem was apparent in the dungeon, as it took me days before realising a certain room was a puzzle.
The best example of where Re:Legend falters is the previously mentioned puzzle. It’s a poetic story about a travelling dragon, and it was to my dismay that what read as north on the map was south concerning the room I was in. This oversight was likely due to the fixed camera but it’s only an occasional nuisance. However, it does highlight the roughness of Re:Legend.
Re:Legend is, by no means, a bad game. Unfortunately, too many parts slow it down, making multiplayer feel almost mandatory. I’ve enjoyed most of my time with Re:Legend, but at this stage, I think it’s best to avoid most of the farm-sim aspect, as it just isn’t fluid enough to stand on its own when playing solo.
You can check out RE:Legend on Steam Early Access here.