E3 2015 Hands On, Sword Coast Legends, The Ultimate Digital D&D Experience
Sword Coast Legends seeks to be your digital replacement for the traditional table-top experience, and for all intents and purposes, it succeeds. The early build here at E3 impressed us immensely.
Sword Coast Legends is the authentic reproduction of classic D&D into the digital realm.
D&D in it’s true table-top format has had an exclusivity deal with your imagination and brain. That’s the only platform that the definitive experience has been on, needing a good amount of suspension of your disbelief to truly enjoy it to its fullest. Other RPG’s , Planescape, Baulder’s Gate, and Icewind Dale have all taken a stab at showing us the underlying lore, and they’ve been fantastic. But there’s always been one thing missing; the real bona-fide group aspect.
In a word, the gameplay is smooth and intuitive. I played a necromancer for a brief period on the PC, and it was incredibly enjoyable. Switching between spells was easy and using them even easier. Once I found my niche and helped our group by burning our enemies into oblivion, we were set. The developers set some traps for us to find, but our ranger kept constantly searching to keep us safe, and disarmed them swiftly, though any class can disarm traps. Funnily, just as we were entering the dungeon, the first enemy didn’t seem to die “correctly” and stayed upright, blocking our path. Probably a forewarning we should have heeded.
Sword Coast Legends can actually provide the entire experience you’re looking for, right up to the almost authentic dungeon master role. Sword Coast Legends recreates the dungeon master in nearly every way imaginable. You can make customization quests with quite a bit of detail, all within mere minutes. Obviously the backstory itself takes some time to imagine and write, but everything else is very simple to do. But you can indeed add an extensive backstory and narrative just as you would on the table. In fact, everything you’d do in the traditional setting is now here, waiting for you to make the most of it.
Drop enemies on the map with ease, customizing how they look, the spells they have access to, the weapons they wield, the items they have and even what level they are relative to the players. Plop down an NPC and give that character a prompt to start a quest when spoken to, then you can set it so that an area of the map is suddenly revealed as a result so more story within your own quest can continue. Then do the same for the rest of the areas you want.
The best part is that the entire customization process is extremely simple while still maintaining the fine grain control that dungeon masters enjoy. While you can’t world build per-se, the options and variations you can create are virtually endless.
Sword Coast Legends wants to bring the true dungeon master experience into the digital realm, and I truly think it’s succeeded. Already in this early form it has all the features you’d want. The direction they’re taking is phenomenal, and it allows for new ways to enjoy D&D, beyond the table and with absolutely everything you’d want.
If you’re a D&D fan, then this is for you. It’s much more than the screenshots show. It’s releasing September 8th 2015 on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam and we’ll even see it Q4 2015 (so, around the same time a the PC release) on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Sword Coast Legends presents the most true-to-form representation of classic tabletop adventuring ever realized in a cooperative multiplayer video game. The game’s highly innovative Dungeon Master Mode introduces players to an entirely new way to play Dungeons & Dragons with a real-time, active and reactive Dungeon Master in cooperative multiplayer sessions and campaigns.
Set in the lush and vibrant world of the Forgotten Realms, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons as a shared storytelling experience. With a deep narrative developed by a team of long-time industry veterans and a partnership with Wizards of the Coast, the single player campaign of Sword Coast Legends brings the world of Faerûn home like never before.
- Massive story campaign
- Complex storyline weaving throughout the exotic Forgotten Realms’ Sword Coast
- Deep character customization, engrossing party-based gameplay and NPC interaction
- Highly customizable combat and challenging monster encounters
- Campaign creation tools for extended multiplayer adventures
- The latest streamlined fifth edition D&D rules
- Robust post-launch module expansion program
- Epic orchestral soundtrack from composer Inon Zur