Sword Coast Legends Reviews, Quick Look

We have rounded up another batch of reviews for Sword Coast Legends, which offers a significantly more mixed picture than the day-1 reviews. Most of the complaints seem to related to the game's scope, and some reviewers also felt the game was a little too generic and safe in terms of writing and content. However, it's worth noting that the reviewers that weren't disappointed by the game's relatively small size found much to be liked in terms of flow, mechanics, and art.

PC Gamer, 55/100.

The Dungeon Master mode displays a similar lack of ambition. It allows you to do what the game does, constructing a complex cave network or temple to stuff with monsters and traps and either play against adventurers live or let them quest by themselves. But even this is a poor imitation of pen and paper. The dungeon master is limited to the same quest structures as the campaign, making it hard to craft anything truly personal.

There's the odd technical hiccup, like the invite button in Dungeon Master mode that doesn't do anything, faint input delay and stuttering without good reason. Nevertheless, it functions for the duration, reliably and all too predictably. The last thing a game of Dungeons & Dragons should be is unadventurous.

GameWatcher, 4.0/10.

Sword Coast Legends fails to deliver on its promises both as a solid RPG in it's own right and as a digital Dungeon Master toolset. The limited options available to creators are unlikely to yield anything memorable and the single player story section is marred by poor pathfinding, limited scope and shoddy writing. Overall an immense disappointment.

Hardcore Gamer, 4/5.

Sword Coast Legends is a solid loot crawl with more options than most games of its kind. It may not be the Dungeons & Dragons simulator many were hoping for, but it works well as just a straight video game. There are some hiccups, mainly in the graphics, optimization and customization departments, but its host of modes, delightful story, clever writing and the ability to play player-run and -created campaigns solo or with others, on top of having a creation suite for those who want to play the part of dungeon master, all make for a content-rich experience. The combat and overall gameplay mechanics can prove a bit shallow at times, never offering the depth or tactical veracity of Pillars of Eternity, but as a hybrid of Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, Sword Coast Legends is a game that mostly excels in all that it tries to do. Post-release will be an interesting time, though, as the limited and sometimes restrictive options are opened up and iterated on by N-Space. Until that time comes, however, it's a good game with the capacity to be great.

Game-Over, 65%.

In some sense, though Sword Coast Legends is no Baldur's Gate or NWN or Icewind Dale, I appreciate what they've tried to do here, even if the outcome could use some help. To their credit, they say in interviews they're going to stick with it and try and fix issues as they hear about them. Some of them, like the treasure issue in multiplayer, are very easy to fix. Others, like the single player interface, are tougher, maybe impossible. And as the wiki fills in, and I can figure out how to create some dungeons and get the in play, maybe you'll see me up there someday. I promise not to roast your carcasses over a slow spit unnecessarily.

Game Revolution, 3.0/5.

That said, Sword Coast Legends works best as a co-operative multiplayer experience with a knowledgeable and patient dungeon master either in dungeon crawls, user-created modules, or the story campaign. Its overall graphics and presentation are rough around the corners, but it's an enjoyable experience if you can convince friends to join your party. But if you're a lifelong Dungeons & Dragons fan and expect Sword Coast Legends to be the classical D&D experience it claims to be, you'll need to look elsewhere. This is one skill check it does not pass.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some impressions of the single-player and a full "Wot I Think" review article primarily based on the game's multiplayer. Overall, writer Alec Meer doesn't seem impressed:

It's definitely best to think of Sword Coast Legends not as Dungeons & Dragons (let alone AD&D) and more as a sort of low-key DIY Diablo. Even then, the core combat is too forgettable, and the DM mode too limited, to make a solid case for playing this instead of co-op Diablo or Torchlight or Titan Quest or Path of Exile if monster-bothering with chums is what you're after. It's not impossible that later updates will make fighting feel less underwhelming or expand the potential of dungeon-building, but I wouldn't want to bet on it.

It's absolutely true to say that you get out of Sword Coast Legends what you put in, but right now there just aren't enough reasons to put much in.

Fextralife hosts a positive review and argues that most negative articles are misguided and reviewed the game based on wrong expectations, rather than for what it is.

What excites me most about this game is that it is coming to console next year. Because the game is 4 player co-op throughout the campaign or dungeon crawl (5 if you have a DM), I really feel like this will appeal to the console market. The game is drop in drop out, so it should be relatively easy to find people to play the campaign with or run a quick dungeon. The game reminds me a lot of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, which is a game I absolutely loved (I still have both titles on original XBOX discs). Why they didn't make more of that series is, frankly, beyond me. But, SCL is probably the closest thing to that in 15 years, perhaps with more RPG elements in it and a bit less of that (arcade) feeling. I'd wager a hefty sum if this game was released on console first and PC second, you'd see a lot more positive reviews.

Finally, if you want a quick look at the game to judge for yourself, Giant Bomb recently uploaded a video of the game's multiplayer mode, played with the help of a DMing developer.

First impressions aside, it will be interesting to see how the game fares in the long run. If the developers support Sword Coast Legends with patches and additional content, and expand the scope along the way - if, in other words, the potential for this game is fully realized later down the line - I can see a devoted community forming around this game. Otherwise, I suspect the game will do decently enough but will be remembered by very few people as time passes.