Legends of Dawn

A demand for an old school RPG has been made. Can Legends of Dawn deliver?

By AlexM, Posted 07 Nov 2013

Legends of Dawn in an open-world Action & Adventure RPG developed and released by Dreamatrix Game Studios. Players will enter a brutal northerly setting entitled Narr and will have one main objective: survival. How it will be carried out remains for each to decide, be it by the blade of a sword or the power of magic.

Legends of Dawn, Game Review, RPG, Dreamatrix Game Studios, Open World

Freedom of play is a key feature that sets Legends of Dawn apart. You may enter the world as a Human, Elf or Danian. There is no right or wrong path, only what the player wishes to carry out, in the form of quests, to weave a personalized story of glory. Narr is a large world full of possibility and adventure, each zone explored bringing a multitude of quests ranging from the simple “fetch a poor solider a bottle of ale” to the more elaborate situation of slaying monsters and retrieving a certain item from one of the many dungeons available.

Do not expect to be pointed or driven in your quest. You are dumped into this world and are expected to figure out your own way. Movement is made through the WASD keyboard configuration but there is no support for point-and-click which makes movement, later on, tiring. The camera is controlled by right-clicking and holding down which results in some awkward situations if the cursor passes and interactive object, it may become stuck until right-click is pressed again.

Legends of Dawn, Game Review, RPG, Dreamatrix Game Studios, Open World

Quest dialogues are full of content but, in some areas, poor translation or organization detract from the quality. For what it loses in quest quality, it makes up in heavily packed lore. As mentioned above, you are in a world without direction and it is expected you make very much use of the manual. It is recommended that the player takes a good read as it explains races, attribute and gods. 

Graphics are not very impressive as it does a good job at looking acceptable. Cranked up to maximum details, awkwardly, it is GPU-intensive for what it provides. My ATI 6970 had a hard-time not tanking frames down to the level where it got a little annoying. Optimization is not at its very best but I hope it will be looked at in future patches. Animations are of a mediocre level and buggy. My character has fought bigger battles with the doors of taverns than evil critters. Melee combat animations become repetitive quickly and do not express weight and momentum put behind a sword or dagger.

Spells are created using runes and runes are gained by loot that is either dropped or found in different containers. There is a lot to loot –most boxes, cupboards, drawers, barrels are lootable and may contain precious loot or just plain garbage. Each rune corresponds to a certain effect. You select the spell type (protection, missile or ward) and add up to six runes per spell. The more runes are added to a spell, the more faith it requires. Faith is Legends of Dawn’s mana system. For example, using a heart rune and a fire rune on a ward will add both increased vitality and fire protection. Using the same type of rune multiple times in a spell will increase the effect of the spell. The ability to design custom spells adds a lot of depth and flexibility to magic combat.

Legends of Dawn, Game Review, RPG, Dreamatrix Game Studios, Open World

The general user interface is well done and smartly animated. One feature that is outstanding is the mechanism behind locked chests. There are sets of different colored tiles with multiple icons, when you open a locked container you find a grid of symbols with two of them highlighted requiring you to make a bridge between using the runes in your inventory. Each lock has a certain color associated with it and you have to use the runes of the correct color on the container you are trying to open.

Jumping into the world of Legends of Dawn is a cruel and encumbering task from both technical and gameplay viewpoints. Due to its rough form, it feels like a beta with a large array of technical inconveniences (lack of point-and-click, buggy camera, buggy animations, etc). Gameplay-wise, it is not for everyone as it makes little to no effort to help the player and will require heavy exploration, understanding and good use of the manual. Coming from an indie team, one cannot expect the level of polish and attention that a triple-A title may receive. Legends of Dawn is receiving continuous support from Dreamatrix in the form of patches and improvements. In the near future, it may evolve to meet the call for a proper old-school RPG.

Alexandru-Valentin Mirea, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Dreamatrix
Developer(s): Dreamatrix
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2013-07-02

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