Released (on Steam): 12 Mar, 2020
Genres: Action, Adventure, Indie, RPG, Simulation, Early Access
Developer: Fleon Games
Publisher: Fleon Games
Steam Price: £3.59 (50% off)
"Elmarion: Dragon time" is an RPG where the main character is a big mighty dragon.
The main idea of the game is to feel the power and strength of dragons - these grandiose creatures, which most often play the role of some kind of evil bosses in games.
As a Dragon you can burn out large troops of enemies and entire cities.
There are 4 types of dragons available in the game: fire, ice, green and electric.
Each dragon has 10 unique skills, among which there are 1) active abilities: various fireballs, snow balls, lightning, etc., 2) summoning friendly creatures: ents, guardians of lightning, golems, 3) improving abilities: increasing damage, healing, increased armor
Many of the items can be tried on the dragon, for example, a new shiny chestpiece or powerful iron armor on the back.
The game has many open locations: forests, mountains, islands, desert, summer, autumn and winter landscapes, cities and towns.
The game also has dungeons and caves (and dragons love them), in which you can often find many valuable treasures.
Various missions will await our dragon in the game, for example: help a squad of people pass through dangerous mountains and rescue one of their leaders (cover from the air); eliminate infected people, while trying not to kill its normal inhabitants; defend the city of people from the invasion of the undead for 30 minutes and other missions.
Completion: Completed once, started a second playthrough
Playtime at Review: 8.4 hours
Total Playtime: 8.6 hours
Achievements at Review: 5/13 (38%)
My rating: 5.0/10
The skills each have a very different feel and style.
Exploration is pretty fun, especially finding hidden areas and locations.
Even with all the Early Access bugs, it was still satisfying and enjoyable.
Ability to hide UI as a means of a basic photo-mode.
Translation to English isn't great (it is understandable though).
Music and sounds aren't fitting and get repetitive.
Mobs and items can be outside the accessible area (invisible walls).
Early Access currently has a lot of issues/bugs.
Since last playing and writing this review, the developer has made various updates that I've yet to try out. These include items to equip your dragon with, more music/tracks, new dungeons, secret areas and traps, a new dragon to play as, and a whole load of bug fixes, balancing, and general improvements. I'll update my review once I get around to playing it again.
Elmarion: Dragon Time tries to achieve something I've been wanting to see for a long time now, that I've not seen done successfully in any other game. A game where you're the dragon, soaring through the sky, causing death and destruction throughout the realm, or whatever you want really, you're a dragon after all! Elmarion seems to do it relatively well, but there is still a lot of work to be done for that great experience! Elmarion is in the early stages of Early Access at the time of writing this, and from what I can tell, it's a one man project, so from that point of view the game is very impressive!
You enter the world to a basic tutorial. You learn the controls, and about levelling up, attributes, and skills. The attribute and skill system is very basic, and should look very familiar to anyone who's played simple RPGs before. That said, the difference between skills is pretty big, and it was always fun unlocking new skills to see what they did and how they looked, although Fireball remains my favourite and most used through the game.
There's a main quest line (looks like the main quest has different routes) and some side quests, but it's quite difficult to follow some of the quests, or to see who the quest givers are, especially if you're in between quests. There doesn't seem to be any symbol on the radar/minimap, so the only way is to get close enough to NPCs and see if a name appears and if they'll talk to you. I found that quest givers are generally near key buildings and features in cities, which generally helped, but I also got a random side quest in the countryside at one point, so there's quite possibly others I've missed too.
Flying/Exploration is, naturally, a pretty big aspect. There are attribute orbs and crystals spread throughout the world, giving extra incentive to explore, but the quests tend promote a little exploration too, such as finding a cave with a crystal inside. That said, the quest told me to fly north when I actually had to fly east, but that's a minor detail. One tip though: Don't go to the cave at night. You won't be able to see anything! Something I respected but despised at the same time.
I came across a variety of issues throughout my playthrough, the worst of which was a flying bug, where instead of flying I was kind of just floating around at the same altitude. I was unable to go down and land, and if I tried going up, I shot off into the distance. I only really had issues with this on the Bahara map, but it started to become a regular occurrence and required me to save and load to resolve the issue. I also had a couple of game crashes in Bahara, but there was generally time to save during the stuttering phase before the crash. Others consist of being able to fly through certain features, some orbs being impossible to collect due to invisible walls, loading an earlier save keeps your active skills display as it was when those skills aren't available, entering maps sometimes puts you under the terrain, and once above the limit of the sky. There were other smaller issues too, but there's plenty of time for all of thee to be fixed.
The soundtrack seems very calming for the most part. A little too calming. Especially when destroying buildings and burning those around you. If there's a wave of enemies entering the map, it does sometimes change to something more fitting and dramatic, but that's about it. Some of the other sounds, such as the dragon being struck by an arrow, could do with being improved too. At the moment it doesn't seem right. Fireballs exploding on the other side of the map still make their full sound which often got me looking around in panic for no reason.
While Elmarion: Dragon Time is in Early Access, and has a lot of issues and bugs in the game at the moment, it is still pretty enjoyable and satisfying. The developer appears active in discussions and has been adding new features since entering Early Access, so I have some confidence that this game will be fixed up and become something more than it currently is. If you want a complete, problem free experience, I would recommend holding off for a while. If you really want to be a dragon and you're happy to help identify issues that need resolving, then go for it!
Posted on 27-04-2020