Sword Coast Legends take place in the Forgotten Realms, a Dungeons & Dragons setting similar to the Middle Ages, but with magic and fantastic beasts. You are part of the Order of the Burning Dawn, a guild that provides support to professional adventurers. Lately, you’ve been plagued by nightmares and awaken to the sound of battle as mysterious assailants meticulously cut down your companions. Grab your trusted two-handed sword, your bow, or your spear, or all of them… it is payback time!
Playability: Muddy Sword Coast Waters
It’s never a good sign when a whole party of budding adventurers gets bashed on the head within moments of exploring their first dungeon on easy setting. The tutorial of Sword Coast Legends is woefully inadequate and can be resumed as right click to move, left click to attack (or vice-versa). This introduction is hardly fitting of the much vaunted 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide. The Dungeon Master’s tools are supposed to help create personal and original adventures, but their limited scope shackles imagination.
Annoyance: Nagging wife turning into knows better mother-in-law
When a video game forces you to do a lot of reading, it is only fair to expect the writing to be good. The thirty-hour long quest backed by a rambling script and inane dialogues is way too lengthy for a bored old video gamer. I’ve asked myself why didn’t I give up earlier (the sunk cost of the game? the imperative of completing the review?). Too much time spent already, got to see Sword Coast Legends to the end! The bland side quests feel as exciting as taking out the trash. There is a semblance of decision making but choices have little impact on the storyline. Read quest, collect artefact, kill minions, kill bosses, go back to quest giver, level up. Never has the adventuring life been so humdrum. It’s just a job after all.
Beauty: Magic magnifying lens needed
Playing Sword Coast Legends feels anything but legendary. There is little immersion as the game constantly reminds you that you’re just clicking a mouse and typing on a keyboard. The long load times are surprising considering the relatively low level isometric graphics (I ran the game on a solid state drive). Don’t expect the sound of footsteps on autumn leaves, the shriek of a wounded goblin or enthralling symphonic music. The voice over is a welcome relief, but even the best acting will be hampered by frivolous dialogues, barely legible fonts and dull visuals.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: A blabbering inexperienced Dungeon Master 5/10
Sword Cost Legends seems to exist in a world where legendary video role playing games such as Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights were never respectively created in 1998 and 2002 (many years already!). So I’m going to pick up my trusted D&D player handbook, a six pack, some munchies and walk over to play with some friends, somehow glad that Sword Coast Legends is no match for the warmth of human company.