Alaloth - Early Access Review

Lolozaur

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Sounds good, if it wont be abandoned in EA, could become really good. Also i expected mixed reviews on steam at best, but 74% is a surprise. Ill give it a shot when mouse is fully supported. When i see that big map, reminds me of the first Sacred.
 
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Carnifex

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I'm also thinking this will be excellent, and I seriously doubt it'll be left to languish in early access. These folks seem determined to finish.
 
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Couchpotato

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After reading countless opinions and early reviews I can say this game is a mess. I decided to try the Early Access version and every negative point mentioned was correct.

Basically just full of fetch quests in a boring sandbox world. Also it's best played with a controller so bad PC controls. Not surprised given it's troubled development.:(
 
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JDR13

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Downloaded this two days ago and haven't touched it yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it later today.
 
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SirJames

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(Didn't watch the video.)

I dunno, look, a quest is a quest. When you break it down to its basic components it's simply "has this condition been met". In a game that has to be something like "did the player kill this enemy or get this item or move to this point, etc". In Alaloth, they've all got their backstory with its place in the world. Personally, I don't think you make quests special by trying to hide that its just a check list of competing game systems. I think you make them special by having very few of them, having them very rewarding and making them hard to find like secrets. I'm just as bored by quests in most games. Elden Ring is the only recent game that comes to mind that does it right.

The thing about Alaloth, the "sandbox" is really just freedom. It's not like Garrys Mod or something. What you might have been expecting is a long chain of quests to hold your hand through a story and as a result every quest feels like a sidequest you'd usually skip.

I've still only played 8 hours and can't really give it a proper review yet but my feeling at the moment is that its kind of at odds with itself. There's too many towns. They've put so much effort into making towns to walk through when they could have been making more Fighting Areas. I'd like an option to not enter a town and just get a menu appear with a few buttons like "shop, quests, rest" so I could spend less time walking around and more time fighting things because the combat is the games strong point. It feels like its trying too hard to be an RPG when it's more of a coffee-break action game. It should take just 10 Fighting Area encounters to reach the max level of 4. They take about 5 minutes to complete. That means the real game length is about an hour. Then the RPG stuff; wasting time in town collecting quests, repairing your 3 durability items, random encounters on the world map, etc is padding. The FAs aren't randomized so they'll probably not be great for replayability.

As for Early Access and looking into the future, I don't think the games sold that well. Player peak is like 300. It sounds like the old publisher had some issues with the developers vision for the game so the devs bought it back somehow to keep going in this direction which I think is at odds with itself. Maybe the publisher was right? It took WAY too long to make a game with, like, 10 5minute maps to clear.

Again, I do need to play more to fully evaluate if the game works. But, at the very least, I'd say there is hope the game can be "saved". The combat is pretty fun. I think they should add a co-op multiplayer arena mode where you just fight waves of enemies, level up and eventually die and get a score. That would be more fun. Maybe a mode where you just co-op all the fighting areas in a row. All this tedious walking around towns, with no quick-exit option, is just wasted effort on both our behalves. But you could make a fun game with this combat system.

Maybe turn the town maps into Fighting Areas? Would be cool if that happens at some point in the game. Doubt it, though. :)
 
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JDR13

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I think they should add a co-op multiplayer arena mode where you just fight waves of enemies, level up and eventually die and get a score. That would be more fun.

You have a strange idea of fun. ;)
 
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SirJames

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You have a strange idea of fun. ;)

Maybe you do? :)

I mean, 300 player peak is about fuck all. I'd bet you if the game was just a co-op arena mode, and lets just throw in free2play with some store cosmetics for monetization, it would easily get over 300.

I made a Lost Ark thread here and it was pretty much ignored yet it was the second biggest launch in steam history with something like 1400000 peak players.

Maybe my idea of fun is more mainstream?

Honestly, in this day and age, for better or for worse, saying "I only play single-player games" is actually the strange thing. Look at Steams most played games. Let's look at the top 10 right now.

CURRENT PLAYERS PEAK TODAY GAME

819,646 841,259 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
591,527 648,051 Dota 2
331,110 345,422 PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS
302,169 314,300 Apex Legends
249,689 274,205 Lost Ark
202,148 220,599 MONSTER HUNTER RISE
131,201 135,344 Team Fortress 2
124,677 125,657 Grand Theft Auto V
123,619 136,939 ARK: Survival Evolved
89,484 92,230 NARAKA: BLADEPOINT

Multiplayer games. Every one of them.

Now how's Alaloth going?
132 players right now

225 24-hour peak

472 all-time peak 5 days ago

Is it dying already or did it never actually live?

And, it's like, Diablo Immortal may have got a 0.6/10 user score on Metacritic but for all it's flaws it had 10,000,000 players at launch and brings in over 1 million USD a day. I'm sure if Alaloth could make that kinda profit we'd have some hope but as much as it's got a lot of potential you'd have to say it bombed pretty hard. It just doesn't have enough mainstream appeal.

But I think the combat in Alaloth is better than Immortal. They both give you 4 active abilities but where diablo has left-click spam combat Alaloth has far more depth with the resource management, block, parry, dodge, stamina breaking and window to regain your recently lost HP by attacking, like Bloodborne. They've done their homework with the combat system and I think the combat alone would be enough to carry a straight action game well beyond 472 player peak.

And the price on Steam is very reasonable. Even at $20 it's not selling.

So, are the RPG players not buying or the Action game players? I'd say clearly the action is better than the RPG. Should focus all on that. And the online multiplayer makes sense because once you find a companion it gives you the option for couch co-op where someone can control the companion. Seems like online is something they should have focused on instead of making 100 empty towns. Even if that would mean scaring away the 1 or 2 RPGwatch people interested in the game who only do single-player and think people who like 4 player co-op action games like Left4Dead2 are strange.

I've only recently seen Ultimate ADOM fail. So much potential, ADOM was a pretty decent roguelike. I imagine just ADOM only fixed with more QoL. Then they drop a turd on us and the shit sales were a clear sign the game would never meet it's potential. It sucks that Alaloth looks like it will go the same way. Another waste of potential.

I dunno. See how it goes. Seems like a pretty hard launch to come back from, though.
 
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Lolozaur

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Well, who launches a game in the middle of steam summer sale?
 
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rjshae

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I thought I might be interested in this game, but it's not looking like my cup of tea.
 
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JFarrell71

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And, it's like, Diablo Immortal may have got a 0.6/10 user score on Metacritic but for all it's flaws it had 10,000,000 players at launch and brings in over 1 million USD a day.

Meth is also popular and it serves pretty much the same purpose as Diablo Immortal and a hundred other such games. Being good at giving people a drip feed of dopamine doesn't make them good games.

Alaloth looks dull. That's the issue with it as a single player game. Dull as dishwater.
 
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Morrandir

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Downloaded this two days ago and haven't touched it yet. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it later today.
Looking forward to reading your impressions!
 
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SirJames

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Meth is also popular and it serves pretty much the same purpose as Diablo Immortal and a hundred other such games. Being good at giving people a drip feed of dopamine doesn't make them good games.

Alaloth looks dull. That's the issue with it as a single player game. Dull as dishwater.

Dull as meth? :p
 
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Couchpotato

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Alaloth looks dull. That's the issue with it as a single player game. Dull as dishwater.
Exactly the main story is introduced in the intro and that's it. After that you basically choose wherever you want to go with no guidance in a boring sandbox world.:(
 
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Morrandir

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Exactly the main story is introduced in the intro and that's it. After that you basically choose wherever you want to go with no guidance in a boring sandbox world.:(
Is that how the final game is supposed to be?
 
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JDR13

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Looking forward to reading your impressions!

I played it for a short while today. I don't agree with SirJames's opinion that the combat alone could carry it. The fighting areas felt repetitive to me, and I didn't even play it long. Random encounters on the map all take you to the same battle map or at least in a given region. I only explored a couple of fixed locations, and those were very linear.

I do like the concept of having competing heroes though. I think the game has potential if they continue to polish it. They need to add better M&K support, and more variety to the encounters. Also, NPCs in towns have no interactions unless they're a quest giver or a merchant.
 
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JFarrell71

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Is that how the final game is supposed to be?

Early Access rarely if ever dramatically changes the very nature of a game. Usually for RPGs it's more of a vertical slice, where lots of stuff is implemented over a small area rather than hardly anything over a large area. Think Sunless Skies, which started with the Reach and expanded outwards, or Torment: Tides of Numenara, which started with the first major city and added the rest of the game at launch.

In other words, though they may flesh it out somewhat, I wouldn't expect the amount of type of content to change radically in the areas the EA version covers.
 
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Couchpotato

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Is that how the final game is supposed to be?
Who knows I shared a post on a past thread about the games troubled development. The developer claims this is the full game but will get new content over the next year.
 
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SirJames

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I played it for a short while today. I don't agree with SirJames's opinion that the combat alone could carry it. The fighting areas felt repetitive to me, and I didn't even play it long. Random encounters on the map all take you to the same battle map or at least in a given region. I only explored a couple of fixed locations, and those were very linear.
I'm talking about the combat gameplay itself rather than the encounters. The replayability of of the FAs not being random, wave based arena mode, etc.

I think with the right skinner box addiction mechanics even the most repetitive games will hit a higher player peak. I mean, there's people with hundreds of hours in "clicker" games where the damage scales up to numbers so high they wouldn't fit on the screen and the numbers are about all that changes.

I think having a level cap of 4 and 4 abilities isn't enough for an RPG. It might be fun to replay and try and a different 4 but I wouldn't want to slog through all those towns collecting the quests again. I'm not sure you'd have to, though. I haven't been back to play more. Not really feeling the motivation.

But, if the co-op arena mode existed and some friends suggested a game I'd be happy to have a go at that high score. :)

In other words, though they may flesh it out somewhat, I wouldn't expect the amount of type of content to change radically in the areas the EA version covers.
Yeah, and fixing whatever bugs and polishing things up wont really do anything for sales either. People would have bought it already if they were interested.

There's this RTS game called Dawn of War 2 which released this The Last Stand mode which turned out to be pretty popular so they released it as a stand-alone game.

[/quote]Dawn of War II, Last Stand is a three player cooperative survival mode that is also available as a stand-alone game! You select a single hero and face off against waves of enemies with up to two other teammates.[/quote]

It didn't take much effort because it just used the heroes from the main game who already leveled up unlocking new abilities and had a little inventory for items. Same units from the game.

I think if they just worked out the multiplayer sooner they could have whipped up something like this really easily using their level 4 cap system and the monsters and bosses they already have.

I feel like there's a good game in there, somewhere, but they need to go keep the action up and stop wasting players time walking around so much. At the very least give us a way to instantly enter the world map from anywhere. Not having that feature just screams artificially inflated play time. They just gotta accept the game takes an hour or two to get to level 4 and win and improve the quality of life by making it quick and easy to play.

Replayability of the maps I'd need to play more to really know for sure. I was taking on the 4-skull ranked areas straight away and some were easier than others so I feel like there could be some fun in planning an easy route through high-level maps, power gaming it like that. There are some big quests that have very good rewards. Pick up just them. Make a bee-line to the most OP quest reward, easily beat the map with one of the OP skills. That kinda thing.

The 24 hour peak is down to 170, though. Looks a lot like RIP Alaloth.
 
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