Dark and Light Early Access Review – Magical Potential


Have you ever wanted to live in a fantasy
world populated with amazing creatures and wonders, to travel and explore with friends,
to build fame and tame dangerous beasts? Well, Dark and Light may be the digital answer to
your wishes. At least that’s what developer Snail Games wants you to think. The game released
in early access on PC this month after a long development process that also saw the game
rebooted from the ashes of a failed launch all the way back in 2006. With a new team
at the helm, does the gameplay hint at the potential we’ve seen in trailers and early
looks? Let’s conjure up some insights with our Dark and Light early access review. Ages ago, the world Gaia was attacked by dark
forces and collapsed, plunging the world into darkness. Many sought exodus to Alpha, one
of Gaia’s satellite planets, unwittingly bringing the dark forces along with them.
As a result, Alpha’s atmosphere has been adversely affected, causing some strange occurrences
on the planet during the night. During the day, Alpha’s landscape is peaceful, but
once the sun sets, the planet immediately plunges into chaos. The world setting of DnL is generic, but still
sufficient to satisfy most RPG lovers. It takes place in a medieval fantasy land settled
by humans, elves and dwarfs. The map is huge and beautiful, teeming with diverse fantasy
wildlife. There are awe-inspiring air islands and underwater scenes, dragons, centaurs…everything
you could hope for in a fantasy world. The concept of DnL is a little bit like Ark:
survival evolved plus some fantasy RPG elements. It’s a survival game, so you need to keep
your characters alive by collecting food/water/followers. You can fight environments, build houses and
mount animals just like Ark, but in DnL your characters can cast spells/Magic, that makes
the game more complex and interesting. In the game you will choose between one of
3 competing factions in order to defend them in their struggle against the others. The
game is a competition of resources, exploration and survival and you will have to be on your
toes against players from opposing factions. You will be staking your claims on land by
using magic to alter the landscape and ecosystem to suit your needs and protect against enemies
and the numerous wild beasts you’ll encounter as you explore. Magic is a big part of the game, with over
100 spells spanning a range of elements. It is an advanced magic system where you can
tame mounts, craft weapons, fight enemies and more. Magic is also used to build structures,
craft gear and transport resources across the world, making the entire magic system
a crucial part of the sandbox play. The game will also have over 14 different melee and
ranged weapons, including bows, swords, daggers, and more. The skill system is also impressive, no skill
points are needed, instead, you can gradually learn a skill through related activities.
This makes the grinding process much more tolerable and what kind of character you finally
get is all based on your playstyle. You may think that lack of proper actions
will make this game hard when fighting tough enemies, because how can you not dodge or
block when you fight dragons or element monsters alike? Ironically this is completely not the
case, due to another bug in this game. Poor enemy AI makes most of the creatures kind
of dumb and blind, and some don’t even fight although they are way higher than your level
and are supposed to be hostile and aggressive. The bestiary is impressive however and if
the AI gets sorted this will be a great element of the game. There is also some poor optimization. Each
time you run the game, DnL will take ten minutes or longer to load in. There are also some
oddities that are expected for an early access release, like skeleton animations and currently
there is only one action for all interactions, namely attack, harvest, etc which makes for
some odd moments. Furthermore, your character always looks at where your mouse pointed,
making him/her seem kinda silly. If you are looking for an Action-heavy game like Dark
Souls or Nioh, then this game is certainly not for you, at least not right now. These
all represent your typical early access hiccups. Despite all its good features and potential,
Dark and Light is still in its very early development stages, and is in certain need
of more polishing. Take graphics for example, although this game features so many great
scenes, there are still many objects missing correct mesh and textures. Once in awhile
you will notice a certain item: a boulder, a table, or wall that does not fit in its
surroundings. Instead they look like some kind of 16-bit prehistoric remains in a 64-bit
world. Some vendors in cities just stand there half-naked, because the developers have not
created clothing textures from them yet. This will no doubt be addressed but still worth
mentioning at this juncture. The cinematic soundscapes and ambient sounds are what you
would expect and fit the world. Dark and Light has promise, but has bugs and
weaknesses. However, the developers are putting effort into making it a better game. Within
the first week of the Early Access release, Snail Games has already released two major
patches, along with several small fixes. Some of the issues that showed up on Day 1 have
been satisfactorily solved. For example, in day 1 there was no PvE server and people were
being slaughtered quickly by much more PvP focused and high level players. But Snail
Games quickly patched this, along with task bug fixes and several other improvements.
The optimization problem mentioned before has also received the developer’s attention,
and we are promised it will be improved in the following patches. It is an early access
game, after all, bugs and other issues are expected. This is very similar to when Ark
first launched and given time and effort, it will get better and better. For right now
the jury is still out. Overall, Dark and Light has a ton of gameplay
possibilties but right now in its early access state it is incredibly raw and unpolished.
The bugs and crashes are incredibly problematic and sometimes make the game unplayable, which
is unfortunate because it has a solid core of magical, survival gameplay. If you are
interested in survival games or you like RPG games in general, keep an eye on this game
and think about picking up a copy when it has achieved some
more stability.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. I dont understand how you can review an alpha.Welcome to the generation of DLCs, early accesses and loot boxes. At the least I hope they payed you for testing ._.

  2. Looks like there is potential but to me most "Early Access" is just paying to Alpha/Beta test their game. I really want to give this game a whirl but I just don't want to see them ditch this game once they brought in enough money from Early Access.

  3. i would prefer dark and light NOT being online game. From what i see on youtube it would be a nice rpg single player alternative for pc gaming.

  4. I love NCS a tonne. I've been listening before they even had a million but this is not the time nor place for the music in the background. With this theme, I would suggest either the game soundtrack or maybe some Ross Bugden.

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