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Jun 16, 2015

Life is Feudal E3 2015 Preview


Life is Feudal has been on Steam Early Access since September 2014, but the game is getting some serious improvements, such as moving from Direct X9 to Direct X11. And beyond that, Life is Feudal is a complex, challenging, but very rewarding game that deserves your attention.

Taking place in medieval times, Life is Feudal allows you to not only craft, but terraform as well. With an average playtime of 35 hours, and over 200,000 downloads for a $40 game, developer BitBox finds themselves pretty successful for an Early Access PC game.

Whether you’re running a dedicated server, or something player hosted, there’s always a server to join. It can be as safe or as dangerous as you want it to be. Most of the players right now like to play it in its purest form, if they can help it.¬†Players can find themselves building, and improving their world while other players are fighting to protect that same land. The game is dynamic, vulnerable, and immersive. Though it’s complexity can be off-putting at first glance.

The developers are working on a complete graphical overhaul, upgrading the game from Direct X9 to Direct X11. While the game looks completely fine and serviceable as-is, it’s amazing to see the side-by-side comparisons that really freshen the game and give it a necessary upgrade.

Roads can be paved, but the benefits are just not aesthetic, they provide movement benefits as well. Quality of tools and materials play a major role here. So if you have food of a poor quality, planting seeds of that will produce poor quality food items going forward. As time goes on, there is a noticeable day/night cycle. This is beneficial when planting and harvesting foods. The built quality of armor made from poor materials will give the armor its rating.

Guilds are important, allowing you to create a circle of influence where no one can build on that. Guilds can also build a monument to cement that stake in the land, where it is necessary to be near the best resources.

When you are raided, killing other players does not affecting your social standing (such as making you a criminal). This is because you are killing in defense of your homestead, rather than killing indiscriminately. The social ranking also extends to praying, and if you do it often enough, your piety will raise. And players can become cardinals if their piety reaches 100.

There’s so, so much more to Life is Feudal, but it’s incredibly complex and somewhat confusing. This is the type of game that must be played to be understood. There also Wikis to be read, and forums to go on. But I’m impressed with what’s there. There’s elements of DayZ meets Minecraft here, and it has me excited in ways I didn’t think games like these would go. I’m very interested in playing it myself, and joining a random server to see how I do. And see, much like DayZ, if you die, you lose it all.

The subtitle to the game is “Your Own”, but the developers are also teasing the idea of an “MMO” version which will drop many more players into the game for a FFA type of experience – that will most certainly be interesting to see.¬†Life is Feudal is planning on leaving Steam Early Access for a full release this fall.