sins_of_mosin's Elemental: War of Magic (PC) review

Pink in the center.

Some people like pink in their food and others like it when its more gray.  When it comes to video games, I think most of us would like a really good gray aka finished game.  I think after a few more patches, the game will be finished but that don't mean its worth playing now. 
Currently there are three updates not including a hot fix that was added to the second patch since it broke a unit or two.  They aren't just patching bugs but also the UI and other things in the game.  Its nice but makes you wonder how long they play tested the game.  Nobody would argue that another month in the oven would have done this game so good. 
The story campaign is brief and not very helpful for new players.  It barely teaches you any of the games functions and you don't have to research anything as it will just unlock during the story.  Some of the things you are supposed to do aren't very clear and might take a lot of searching or a Google search to find what you need.  You could skip this whole thing and not miss anything important or that fun. 
You need to go to the sandbox or 'New Game' to get the most out of this game.  This is where you can set the size of the map, difficulty and pacing, you character, and other options.  This is the meat and taders of the game for this is what they hope people will come back for again and again.  Remember, there is no actual tutorial so the first game or two will be a lot of trial and error.  You would thing the game would do a better job of telling you how to do something but you will eventually learn that you will have to do the work for everything. 
I know they are still working on it but the AI can be dumb, real dumb at times.  I've seen some who will sit in the same spot, never build anything, or get free loot the whole game.  Other times, I've seen an AI that I was at war with keep saying we should make peace but I couldn't afford it because they wanted 1000's of gold when I barely had 100.  Thou, it wasn't bad as the AI only attacked me once on their own.  The AI will also put in harm their main guy who if dies, they lose the game.  Just a lot of dumb things.   
I don't care for the research system they got.  It can also becoming very annoying if you have a lot of research points so it gets done in a couple turns, it will keep popping up with stuff you don't care for.  This is another part were some info would've been great because you barely know what things do.
They have improved the UI quite a bit but the mini-map is worthless.  Thankfully you can zoom out to a large overview that works fine.  The visuals are nothing special yet they seem to bog down people's PCs according to their forum.  This could be a fault with the game and they have been fixing it.  I've noticed that the game starts to 'pause or lag' after a few hours so I'm hoping they fix that.  I also noticed that saved games do not work with a new patch. 
You might think the game isn't fun but it can be at times.  Once you have a couple games done and you know what you should be doing, it gets a bit more fun but it's not Civ and you will keep thinking that.  People have bet that they released the game because they wanted to get out before Civ V.  Thats understandable but the game wasn't ready.  They are doing a great job supporting the game but they need to lower the price and get things fixed. 
I would not call this game a poor man's Civ as they want $50 for it.  If you don't mind bugs and slow down, you could give it a go but if you can only buy one PC game in the next few weeks, wait for Civ V.  I'm sure this game will drop in price soon enough and might be patched to a finished state.
9 Comments Refresh
Posted by Eric_Buck

Steak and games don't make for a great analogy...

Posted by LAR

It's like they worked on the AI for less than six months. *wink*

Posted by Rowr

pink and gray food? what the fuck are you talking about...

Posted by tutuboy95
@Rowr: Steaks. Pink = Rare, Grey = Medium Well - Well Done.
Posted by wrathofconn

I don't think this is necessarily a bad review, and the analogy works, but it doesn't seem like the quality is on par with what you want to see on the front page of the site. But hey, not my choice. Nothing personal, duder.

Posted by eqaddictedfool

i still dont know what kind of game this is

Posted by Yummylee
@eqaddictedfool said:
" i still dont know what kind of game this is "
I gather it's an RTS/City Sim. But judging only from the occasional comparisons to the Civilisation games...  
Yeeeah it's not such a great review, being honest. Sorry. =/
Posted by Vodun

Oh come on, it's a perfectly fine analogy.
I agree with your thoughts on the game, but I must have found it's lack of introductory elements more jarring. I couldn't push through the hurdle of learning it and abandoned it fairly quickly after a few hours. It felt like it had great potential but too..."eastern-european-indie" if that makes any sense? Really good ideas but not enough follow-through.
So yeah, a pink game. Let me know when it's been on the grill a bit longer cause I like my games well done.

Posted by kitsune_conundrum

too high a score for a incomplete game.

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