Relic Hunters Legend (Alpha) Review – A Decent Beginning

    Title: Relic Hunters Legend
    Developer: Rogue Snail
    Release Date: TBA
    Reviewed On: PC
    Publisher: Rogue Snail
    Genre: Top-down Shooter

There comes a time when I need to take a break from AAA games. Don’t get me wrong, I do love what they offer, but sometimes, I want to play an indie game from a small, tight-knit team that I can tell was made with a lot of love and passion. This is what I had in mind at when I first played a bit of Rogue Snail’s upcoming follow-up co-op shooter, Relic Hunters Legend.

Now, though, the title is now in alpha, bringing a slew of new content for me, and other players, to check out. In the current state it’s in, multiple features, like levels and even characters, are under development, but still, all the core game mechanics are here to at least get a good gist of what the full game will offer. Playing with a couple of pals is undoubtedly where the Relic Hunters Legend alpha build shines brightest, and its cartoony world is fun, but lack of content found within may turn away players from wanting to be a true relic hunter legend.

The alpha build does not grant access to the campaign for Relic Hunters Legend. Unfortunate, I know, but essentially the premise is that there’s a time-traveler, Seven, who suffers from amnesia. Seven joins a group of relic hunters who all want to put a stop to the evil villain, Duke Duncan — a duck that has literally stolen the past. As a relic hunter, you’ll end up uncovering the mysteries of the past, learn more about the colorful cast of characters in your journey, and strive to save the galaxy altogether before Duke Duncan quacks it all up.

Ultimately, being a mighty duck-butt-kicking force not to be reckoned with is what Relic Hunters Legend is all about. In this online co-op shooter that supports up to 4-player heroic gangs, players can choose to play solo or join other players to battle it out against the Duncan clan. Before going out an epic intergalactic adventure, a relic hunter must be chosen from a small selection of characters (the alpha build has 4 hunters in total: Ace, Jimmy, Pinkyy, and Raff.)

RHL hunterscreen02

While the selection is tiny, each hunter is different from one another as they each have their unique set of abilities and skills, and there’s a slew of RPG systems to tinker with to make each hunter fit your desired playstyle. For me, I found Pinkyy, who’s known as “The Fearless Leader”, to be the cream of the crop out of all the available hunters since she has an awesome shield that can be unleashed to block enemy bullets, and she’s also pretty quick on her feet. With Relic Hunters Legend, all players are bound to have a favorite hunter since each one is so much fun and different in their own distinct ways.

Some players, though, especially the ones not used to looter shooters, might be a little perplexed with Relic Hunters Legend‘s RPG systems. They’re somewhat deep given how stat-focused each one is, for instance, every piece of equipment — whether its guns or armor — has multiple stats to check out and keep in mind, Now, this is perfect for those that want to fine-tune their hunter to be the best duck-hunting machine possible, but this, of course, does require the player to really have to figure out all the pieces that makeup what would be considered a “good loadout.” With hundreds of pieces of equipment to collect, like weapons and items, players have to spend a good chunk of time managing and leveling up their hunter. Hopefully, the full build will have some sort of “optimal build” mechanic that when used, gives players an ideal character build — which would be great for the players that want to casually play through the game.

Regardless of this, all players can have a blast running and gunning in all the missions in this charming adventure. Simple and accessible yet addictive combat takes center stage with Relic Hunter Legend as it all comes down to shooting and looting to your heart’s content. Most of the grunt, lower-level enemies don’t up much of a fight, but the kicker is that there’s usually a whole squad of them to worry about. Throw in bosses into the mix, and well, you get yourself one bullet hell firefight that has you shooting in multiple directions, using abilities whenever possible, and whipping out healing items when in a pinch. Since weapons each have their own stats, like fire rate and damage, choosing which weapons to have in your arsenal and how to best use each one needs to be taken into consideration — adding a slight layer of complexity to the game’s combat. But still, going right in and playing is easy for all players.

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Relic Hunters Legend not only has the vibe of a cartoon show, but its combat takes you back to the golden era of arcades where everyone played 4-player co-op games together. With this being the case, playing with friends in Relic Hunters Legend is the way to go, but even so, I was still able to have fun duck hunting solo. 

There are still a few issues I had with the alpha build of the game, however. I’m sure that the developer decided to not include the ability for all hunters to jump as a means to make the hunter that can jump more unique, but it ends up hurting the flow of combat. Verticality is one of the game’s key features, which is fine as it doesn’t make the game a side scroller shooter of sorts, however, not being able to jump up to high-level platforms makes the verticality in levels kind of troublesome to deal with. Thankfully, slight leaps can be made with certain ramps, gaps, and other obstacles, which lets traversing across levels to be not as much of a hassle.

While the content that’s in the current build of Relic Hunters Legend is great, some players may find that it’s not enough and could find the game to be repetitive pretty quickly. As of now, there’s one location, along with two mission types — Skirmish (defeat all Duncans to win) and Scavenge (capture all areas to win) — and difficulty levels (Normal and Hard). Now, this is an alpha build, but, it definitely falls more in line with being an early alpha as much of the content is inaccessible. Still, though, it’s clear that there’s much to look forward to for the game’s full release as the developer plans for it to have six regions, an Epic difficulty level, and other games modes, like Payload, which will have you escorting a train safely from point A to point B.

RHL screenshot 01

Relic Hunters Legend is very much a work-in-progress at the moment, but hey, at least I was able to give it a try (the full release will be free-to-play, by the way). Regardless, at this point in time, Relic Hunters Legend is a blast to play with friends or solo in short bursts. With its colorful, cartoony vibe, and simple yet addictive combat that’s paired with multiple RPG systems for players to tink around with, the alpha build of Relic Hunters Legend is worth your time.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Brad Crespo

Editor-in-Chief - On a quest to play as many new games as possible while trying to finish an endless backlog.