Re:Legend is a new simulation RPG that epitomizes the phrase “wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle.” Developed by Magnus Games and published by 505 Games, it sees players taking control of a character who washes up on the shores of a small island in the land of Ethia with amnesia. After a brief conversation with the locals, the player is gifted an abandoned farm on the island’s outskirts for them to renovate and take as their own.
This setup will likely sound familiar to any fans of games like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, or Story of Seasons. Re:Legend offers many of the systems available in those games, such as farming, cooking recipes, crafting, and building relationships with the villagers across the island. Where Re:Legend aims to differentiate itself within the genre is in its combat and RPG systems.
Soon after arriving on the island, players are informed that the local Magnus—a wide variety of different creatures that are normally docile—have started attacking villagers unprovoked, and the player is tasked with helping deal with the issue. They are given a beginner’s set of armor and four different weapons to choose from, and then they are sent out into the wilderness to save a villager who is being attacked.
However, when the player arrives, they are able to tame the Magnus, getting themselves a pretty adorable and useful pet. Afterward, they have to fend off some less friendly Magnus, introducing Re: Legend’s combat system. This is where the cracks first begin to show. Players can choose between wielding two daggers, a greatsword, a magical staff, or a bow.
Each weapon has a short combo that is performed by left-clicking. For example, I used the greatsword, and its combo was just a simple swing to the left followed by a swing to the right. Players can also dodge in any direction to avoid attacks, and once their proficiency with a weapon type is leveled up to five, they unlock a weapon skill to use with a right-click.
That is effectively everything there is to the game’s combat, and it gets tiresome rather quickly. Eventually, players can equip up to two runes that grant various combat skills as well, like calling in a meteor storm. Still, they don’t add enough to the game’s core combat system to make it more engaging, especially for how often players have to grind killing the same Magnus repeatedly for loot drops to craft better gear or to level up to complete the next main quest.
Even crafting higher-level gear is not as satisfying as it should be, as it is effectively a skin that just has slightly higher numbers attached to it. Furthermore, crafting a better weapon does not unlock new combos or attacks but just changes how it looks when the player character does the same exact combo ad nauseam.
The lackluster combat would not be too big of a deal for this type of game if its numerous other systems were more engaging or fun, but that is unfortunately not the case. Farming is even simplistic compared to other games in the genre and quickly becomes little more than an afterthought. Fishing is an okay mini-game and allows players to grow captured fish in ponds to later have them compete in races, but there is little motivation to do so other than to say one did. Even mining and cutting down trees often feels like a repetitive chore that takes too long to be relaxing but is too simple to be engaging.
Re: Legends’ Magnus monsters and what players can do with them are supposed to be what makes the game unique, but even those fall flat mechanically. Taming a Magnus requires feeding it food that it likes and then playing a brief mini-game to break it like a wild stallion. Once it is domesticated, players can ride their Magnus and have it participate in combat either through fighting as an autonomous follower or by the player riding them as a combat mount and using their two attacks.
Players are also able to tame multiple Magnus and keep them in a massive cave barn while they are not using them. Inside the barn, they can be interacted with and fed to raise their affection, and the developers have plans to allow players to breed and fuse Magnus to create new species altogether. While those systems could help add some depth to raising and owning Magnus, as it stands, they are interesting at first but quickly end up feeling a bit pointless and tiresome.
The game is also let down by several other aspects, such as the map of its village and the islands players can later visit being so large and slow to get across that they feel lifeless and tedious, especially since every section requires sitting through a loading screen upon entering. The villagers throughout the game are also really bland despite their exaggerated over-the-top designs. Most of their personalities are generic and readily apparent when players first meet them, with some of them also falling into really unfunny stereotypes that border on offensive.
All in all, Re:Legend is a surprisingly massive game that has a ton for players to check out and do, but none of it really feels worthwhile. Most of the systems hardly interact with one another, if they do at all, and they are all so shallow that doing them feels more like killing time waiting for something to happen rather than playing a game. There are some interesting ideas in the foundation of Re:Legend that the developers can hopefully make work over time, but until then, it is far from worth the time, even with friends tagging along.
Re:Legend is available now on PC.