Life is Feudal: Your Own Review: Meticulous Planning
Greg Johnson / Dec 1st, 2015 No Comments
The world of Life is Feudal: Your Own is rife with possibility. Whether you’re looking to be a simple farmer offering goods or a solider offering your sword, there are multiple ways to play this game.
The premise of the game is similar to Minecraft, but comparing Life is Feudal to the popular blocky title would be wrong. Players must terraform and create the world around them, but the approach taken by developer Bitbox Ltd. stands on its own.
On a Beach Naked
First and foremost, players must understand that their characters do not transfer from server to server. The main reason behind this is so that players can’t create a server to quickly level up their character, then drop that character into another server to wreak havoc. What this means is that players should experiment quite a bit before settling on a server to call home.
Every player begins more or less naked on a beach with meager supplies. Having to work to gain power makes each character unique. It also means players will spend a good deal of time interacting with each member of their chosen server. With a max server size of 64, players will become close quickly and lone wolves will find it difficult to survive. This sort of close-knit community is evident on every server as communities have formed since the game’s alpha stage. Life is Feudal has all the luxuries of an MMO but there is a strong sense of community within smaller servers.
The problem with this is that you will feel like an outsider when joining a server. Many servers already have their own ruling groups, but most of the game’s players have a welcoming attitude and are eager to recruit new players to expand their own influence.
Punishment and Progress
Crime is a concept explored in Life is Feudal, and its system of punishment is an interesting one. Instead of actively spanking players for transgressions, the game sets it up for players to dole out their own justice. For each crime players commit (raiding, pillaging, murder outside of designated areas), they will gain notoriety as law-breakers. Players can eventually be permanently branded as criminals, allowing others to kill them without punishment. This bounty system provides some in-game checks and balances for players.
Possibly the greatest crime prevention method revolves around the game’s skill system. Players need one another if they wish to seriously progress. For example, if you’re a master structure builder, you could easily be defeated by an experienced swordsman. The game encourages players to team up with each other to survive — i.e. the architect offering his or her structures in exchange for the swordsman’s protection.
Life is Feudal offers players the ability to change their skill, but mastering multiple abilities is far too time consuming. Gathering resources and improving your skills requires dedication and time. Hours will be sunk into the game before you can even create your first home, and even then there is much to do. However, players who persevere feel the eventual payoff. A sword is more than just a sword; the time spent finding the resources and crafting said sword makes it feel like a personal effect.
Every item in the game has its own stats, with no two being completely alike. Two swords made by the same crafter in the same location will probably not be identical. Every tree and patch of dirt has its own resource value, which can be affected by the degree of skill the gatherer has. In order to get the perfect weapon, three parts must be perfect: the resource, the gatherer and the crafter. An expert crafter and expert gatherer can yield a highly sought weapon, but it will not reach its full potential without great resources.
This can be frustrating at times. Many players will find themselves at odds with honing their chosen skills. Experts at chopping wood can quickly gather fair amounts of lumber, but if they want the best the game has to offer they will need to do some exploration and comparison. As frustrating at it is, it also completely changes the way the game is played, giving each adventurer the ability to experience the game in a different way.
Life is Feudal is an incredibly meticulous game, but benefits by being unapologetic about this fact. Crafting and gathering systems are incredibly intricate but are also easy to navigate. The tutorial system is a greatest asset, and existing players will teach newcomers some things.
The uniqueness of Life is Feudal: Your Own comes from the multiplayer aspect of the game. It is strictly multiplayer, so you will be forced to interact with other players on your server. You may be tempted to align with the first group that reaches out to you, but there are factions of good and forces of evil. But relying so much on the community means the game could rise or fall solely based on its player base. The game is supposed to grow into a full-fledged MMO soon, and that will only make Life is Feudal better.
Life is Feudal: Your Own was reviewed on PC using a code for the game provided by the publisher.
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