E3 2019: Re:Legend PreviewStardew Valley meets Pokémon? I'm in!06.26.19 - 1:25 AM
Since picking up Stardew Valley last year, farming simulators have sucked me in, so I'm always ready for a new one to come along with a couple of twists on the formula. Re:Legend sees this wholesome genre expanded with a few new cuddly elements which are sure to pique the interest of many farming enthusiasts.
Re:Legend doesn't stray too far from the standard to begin with. The game starts as you acquire your new farm in the world of Ethia and you're left to your own devices. You can choose what to do on your farm — whether you want to grow crops, craft items, go fishing or help out the neighbouring town of Vokka, it's up to you! The game seems to focus on this choice, as the farmland you're granted can expand, but it's significantly smaller than the land you can get in other farming games. You can even grow bigger crops by planting four of the same crop together; in Re:Legend's case, if you over-water this giant crop, it can grow out of hand, so you need to be careful while raising your farm. Aiming your cursor, farming, and taking out tools felt a little bit awkward on the keyboard controls, so hopefully controller support will be added when the game is ready to launch.
There's a lot more to Re:Legend's world beyond tending your farm. The player can easily leave and explore the areas around them. In fact, Re:Legend's world spans multiple islands, and each island has a different ecosystem. I was shown the basic island, where your farm is based, and also a beach area, which was much more tropical. There are snowy and desert areas to come too, each with their own items, loot and creatures. Going to these different areas opens up new crops and new opportunities for your farm, such as growing unique plants and getting new materials to create the best items from your farm and produce.
You also need to fend for yourself in the wild, which means engaging in real-time combat with your enemies. Beyond that, there are short dungeons which contain bosses, and these bosses can pose a challenge if you aren't prepared. Boss battles involve a lot of quick dodging and health management, but once you defeat them, you can progress through the world even more. Even if you lose all of your health, don't fret. You don't lose anything in your inventory! You simply lose a day of playtime. You can level up and upgrade your skills as you fight bigger and stronger enemies, but you don't have to fight everything alone! The game can be played single player or cooperatively, meaning you and a couple of friends can get together and help each other take down enemies or raise each other's farms to make everything that little bit quicker.
The biggest selling point of the game for me is the ability to capture and raise your own monsters, called Magnus. You can find these out in the wild, and in order to capture them, you have to find out what food they like. Once you give them the right food, you can mount them and, if you're successful, you will tame them. These little creatures are utterly adorable, and all have different uses. They can follow you around as you explore the world, or you can keep them on the farm and they can do tasks for you. While you have your own stats like HP and stamina, these creatures also have their own and can be leveled up.
Each Magnus is better at certain things, but you can also customise their skills to make them more powerful or better at different tasks. The blue lizard I saw was good at watering crops, so with over 300 monsters to tame, there are many possibilities. You can take two monsters out with you at any one time and keep some more back at the farm in the barn. Magnus can also evolve up to three times by giving them specific items, and these evolutions have branching paths (like Pokémon or Digimon) so there's more than one possibility for each creature. Again, each evolution is better at a different thing, so you need to study each Magnus to find out what they will be most helpful with.
There's even an affection system to get to grips with for the villagers, and while the developers didn't give anything away in terms of marriage, they did confirm your relationships with members of the neighbouring town will have a massive effect on the town itself. The more you help people out or talk to them, they will start rebuilding and expanding the town, making new or larger shops for you to peruse.
Re:Legend is shaping up to be another adorable entry into the farming simulation boom that's come about over the last few years. There's so much to see and do, and I really hope Magnus Game Studio can polish the controls up and make this a fun, friendly game that everyone can enjoy. Re:Legend is stated for release on Steam sometime this year, with console versions, including Switch, coming afterward.