Legends Of Aethereus’ Combat Looks MEATY

By John Walker on April 18th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

We’ve not posted about Legends Of Aethereus before, because THERE ARE TOO MANY GAMES. But coo, the RPG looks like it’s trying to do something interesting with its combat. Physics-based, no auto-lock-on, real-time choppy-chop action. And where improving attributes actually affects the fights you experience.

So what is Legends Of Aethereus? Gosh, they’re obtuse about explaining that on their website. But the best I’ve worked out is that it’s an online RPG, with a focus on up to four-player co-op, with story-based quests and procedurally generated “exploration quests” (which sounds great!), along with PVP somehow. It’s a muddle, but it sounds interesting. There’s also an awful lot of lore in place of a useful explanation of what the game’s actually about – “The recent unearthing of The Gauldron Tablets has revealed the existence of The Seven Ancient Skyfall Relics” – that sort of thing.

But ooh, they successfully Kickstarted last year I’ve just spotted. Maybe the pitch video explains.

Kinda.

It’s interesting to note what we accept as normal, just by seeing the abnormal. As you’ll see about halfway through the video below, increasing your character’s strength actually has a noticeable effect on the combat, rather than just meaning you don’t die when fighting a higher level enemy. Certainly I’ve often lamented that so many RPGs see levelling your own character as the way to keep everything identical when fighting tougher baddies, but I’ve not given much thought to the idea that I should at least get to see my increased strength demonstrably. Now I just have to wait for a game in which enemies actually get weaker the more you damage them – imagine if any game ever actually flipping did that. Anyhoo, here’s the video explaining the combat in great detail:

The game’s inevitably on Greenlight, and there’s a $25 pre-order that allows instant access to the beta.

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25 Comments »

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  1. kadeton says:

    There’s a reason most games don’t make you weaker as you get injured – it’s not fun. It creates a “death spiral” where if you start losing, it’s harder for you to fight back, so you lose even more, and so on.

    Preventing opponents from becoming weaker through injury may be poor simulation, but it’s good competition.

    • John Walker says:

      No, no, *I* don’t want to get weaker. I’m magic. I want an enemy with 1 blip of health left to not be at full strength.

      • Pofruin says:

        But I am magic! I am being that pulls on strings of that pile of pixels that gets one of its numeric attributes diminished when another numeric attribute falls below some threshold. Whilst this happens “I” don’t get weaker. Just annoyed.

        Couple that with the fact that mechanisms of getting weaker with damage are not really so clear on this side of screen. That with blood loss weakness and various disabling conditions being effectively countered by stress/shock state in ones body (at least for the encounter). And you get people wanting implement design flaw on dubious idea of Realism (which is coincidently not Realistic).

        This design flaw CAN be implemented successfully (like chess for example), but the reasoning for that must not come from Realism side for it to be fun.

        P.S. First comment.

      • heker_88 says:

        Well you should try DF adventure mode. Its about to get a huge update (I mean huge) and I have yet to see an enemy stay just as versatile after I’ve lopped a few limbs off.

      • Max Planck says:

        Dark Messiah of Might and Magic kind of works like that, the story and voices are cheesy but the combat is fun. If you beat someone up real nice he’ll run away crying and you can poke him and trip him and stuff.

    • CaptainDeathbeard says:

      Your point is valid, but its still totally doable, if you’re careful about it. I shall prove it.

      I will even go one further and say that its essential to a meaningful fight. In a good movie, a fight ends up with the characters crawling around wounded and bleeding while trying to finish each other off. How crap would a film be if they had video game style fights where they just hit each other until one guy suddenly drops dead, and the hero wanders off injury-free?

  2. Choca says:

    Melee anims look pretty weak to me and you can already see that ranged combat is going to be annoying with the character standing right in front of where you’re supposed to be aiming.

  3. razzafazza says:

    i didnt back it but have to say i ve been following this game for a while as it looks pretty interesting.

    ….but whether i ll buy it or not will all boil down to whether the singleplayer will be worth it – not interested in any MMO stuff, especially not from a small budget KS project that ll likely have at most 10 people playing it.

    have to say considering their budget the game looks pretty damn great – i know 2 million $ kickstarters that look far worse :p

  4. His Divine Shadow says:

    interesting concept, but i think their animation system needs aethereus improvement

    • Sian says:

      Well done, sir.

    • sidhellfire says:

      Well attacks are quite fast, so I guess parrying and blocking would focus on build-up sequence, and that needs a lot of variation, or old Mount&Blade system will remain superior. And of course lack of finesse is obvious. The way animations switch is crude. Otherwise game looks promising.

  5. Sian says:

    The Nexus City Guard is apparently running out of funds. They don’t even have the money to put decent armour on their captain.

  6. Fred S. says:

    Was that a female form with exposed skin? Not to mention that scandalous character customizer. Heavens, I must find my fainting couch.

  7. -Spooky- says:

    Beta Arena Gameplay looks nice. *bookmark website*

  8. Narbotic says:

    ack – that intro description had me thinking this was another kickstarter ARPG from a ways back which had much physicy combat. Looked very ambitious. Which means it may never see daylight.
    But it had a name … anyone?

  9. Strangerator says:

    As much as the animations could use some work, at least it’s not yet another auto-attack game. I’d prefer things to look kind of awkward while keeping me actively engaged, than to look really good and be yet another auto-target cooldown management game.

    Got a good chuckle seeing where the coding was taking place. Can’t imagine the rent is cheap there…

  10. Tally says:

    Definitely a solid basis but the animation needs to be much improved if they want to properly convey the physicality of the combat and make it fun to watch.

    • 11temporal says:

      Attacks look ok to me, but knockdowns look way too “ragdolly.”

  11. sidneymcdanger says:

    I appreciate what they are trying to do, but they’ll need much more polish to make this work as well as I’d need it to. I have trouble seeing what this project offers that Dark Souls doesn’t, besides co-op.

    I guess what I’m saying is, “co-op Dark Souls-style RPG which is as good as that game, please.”