Elemental: War of Magic (PC) Review - PAGE 1

- Monday, August 30th, 2010 Like (4) Share



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Deliverer Aug 31, 10
I loved your review.

You covered everything that I was thinking about the game and then some.

I bought the Limited Edition. I've been buying games from Stardock for several years. Their customer support is excellent and they haven't let me down yet.

Thanks again.
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chautemoc Aug 31, 10
Thanks man! I'm a big Stardock fan as well. They're one of the few companies left that loves PC and understands the platform and business side, which is good for everyone. Always great value.

Glad you liked the review, and welcome to Neoseeker.
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Granath Aug 31, 10
quote chautemoc
Thanks man! I'm a big Stardock fan as well. They're one of the few companies left that loves PC and understands the platform and business side, which is good for everyone. Always great value.
Yes and I think that bias towards Stardock is well evident in your review. You did everything but go into full blown fanboy mode while offering to give favors to Stardock. You did a great disservice to your readers.

Given the state of the game, I find it highly unlikely you didn't encounter the same duplicate-able bugs, crashes and massive AI holes that every other buyer has experienced with the game. Also I find it interesting that you took the time to appropriately play the game with the 1.06 patch but managed to write a review within two days. But giving you the benefit of the doubt, let's continue.

Because there's still no way to justify giving a game 9 out of 10 as unintuitive as the Elemental UI is, never mind the drab art style or the disaster that they call a campaign/tutorial. Also, you fail to mention the lack of multi-player, the very basic nature of the tool set and the outright broken AI. Never mind the lingering known bugs, the lack of map seeds and the crashes to desktop when using ALT-TAB. How do all of these issues seemingly escape your review or don't impact the score whatsoever? There's really only two conclusions. Either you're too much of a fan boy to give a reasonable grade or you're been paid off.

Simply put, your review is a pathetic sham. This review should be taken down and reflects very poorly on Neoseeker. Try having someone who isn't in Stardock's back pocket write it next time.
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chautemoc Aug 31, 10
I'll just say if anything I'm more willing to criticize companies I love -- they disappoint me more when they fall off.

Not going to let you ruin the good vibes here, sir.
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Gazz2 Sep 1, 10
Don't take me wrong - I absolutely consider myself a fan and I do love the game as it its...

but this is not a 9/10 game. At least not yet.

The interface is generally quirky and in some cases buggy. Tool tips exist in many places but often they are vague or even wrong. Some features aren't explained anywhere and seemingly simple tasks like starting a new sandbox game are confusing - unless you have experience with the GalCiv games and can base your guesses on that one's interface.

Game balance is nonexistant. The magic system is very bland compared to classics like MoM and key features like spells gaining power through controlled elemental shards are simply broken.

Personally I don't have many hardware issues but some do have quite severe ones.

Elemental will most certainly grow into a 9/10 title but a casual player with a low tolerance for bugs or crude game interfaces should run away screaming.
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Krantos Sep 1, 10
quote Granath
the drab art style
They went for a different, storybook art style and you call that drab? You're going to be in the minority there.
Also, the secondary (or maybe primary) reason for the art style is two fold:
1. It makes the game a lot friendlier to lower end machines, making it, in turn, accessible to more players.
2. This is an Indie developer. They don't have a massive budget, so they chose to cut out one of the biggest time/money drains - HD graphics.

quote Granath
lack of multi-player

ROFLMAO!!!!

Really, you should do you're research before sticking your foot in your mouth. The multiplayer servers are going online this week. Given the choice of having less than good servers active on day 1, they chose to delay it a week so they could finish bug testing. I promise you're not going to die just because you had to wait a week.

The complaint I do have is that there is no Hot-seat, because 4X games work best multiplayer when you can play with someone in the same room.



Really and honestly Granath, troll much?

Sure, I don't think that the game, in its current state, warrants a 9/10, but really, you couldn't have come across as bigger ass if you'd tried. Pull your head out of your rectum, grow up and act like a big boy, because right now you sound like a pre-pubescent troll with an overblown sense of you're own importance attempting to sound intelligent.

You don't like the game, fine. Move on. It's not your business how Neo does their reviews, and just because you disagree doesn't mean they're wrong.
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chautemoc Sep 1, 10
Gazz2, I can respect your comment. Thanks for the perspective. I recognize the game is not at all perfect, it's just none of it really prevented me from getting swept up in the experience, to put it one way.

It's possible some of the issues people are having with understanding the mechanics are ones I'm not having because I've come from the beta and played the pre-release versions also. But this is also the first kind of game like this I've played -- I've never played GalCiv or any 4x game...tried HoMM and MoM and couldn't get the hang of them. So maybe I just work well with Elemental's style, but many others find it strange.

I do like the UI though. However improvements are always welcome and I know they're working on a new version of it.

I should remind people not to take the score too seriously -- we don't. If you read the review without it, does it make more sense? Numbers seem to create a lot of conflict with people...to me, games are silly to quantify in that respect, so it's understandable there would be debate. I just do my best with it.

Krantos, you're on about the accessibility thing, but I don't think budget is much of an issue -- Stardock is doing quite well for themselves. Based on my interview with them, it seems it's purely about the accessibility.
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Krantos Sep 2, 10
quote chautemoc
Krantos, you're on about the accessibility thing, but I don't think budget is much of an issue -- Stardock is doing quite well for themselves. Based on my interview with them, it seems it's purely about the accessibility.
Well, Brad made the comment at one point that Elemental's entire budget was less than what most AAA titles spend on cutscenes alone.

Having a smaller budget frees them up to do more niched games that don't appeal to such a wide audience as AAA titles need to. It's not necessarily a bad thing, really. It's why I think that Indie devs are the future for Hardcore gamers.
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chautemoc Sep 2, 10
Yeah I think I heard that, but I mean, maybe that's just a biproduct of building for low/mid-range hardware? Here is the interview -- Brad talks about how games requiring high-end hardware is the biggest reason they don't sell great on PC (versus the common conclusion: piracy).

I really like the focus on gameplay versus graphics anyway, it's refreshing (though I do love games with great gameplay and great graphics too, of course). I just appreciate the simplicity.
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Granath Sep 2, 10
quote Krantos
They went for a different, storybook art style and you call that drab? You're going to be in the minority there.


Also, the secondary (or maybe primary) reason for the art style is two fold:
1. It makes the game a lot friendlier to lower end machines, making it, in turn, accessible to more players.
2. This is an Indie developer. They don't have a massive budget, so they chose to cut out one of the biggest time/money drains - HD graphics.
Not seemingly. Read virtually every other review. Many don't like the art style. It's most definitely an opinion, just one shared by many people including most critics.

quote Krantos

ROFLMAO!!!!

Really, you should do you're research before sticking your foot in your mouth. The multiplayer servers are going online this week. Given the choice of having less than good servers active on day 1, they chose to delay it a week so they could finish bug testing. I promise you're not going to die just because you had to wait a week.

The complaint I do have is that there is no Hot-seat, because 4X games work best multiplayer when you can play with someone in the same room.
Raving fan boy much? Did the promised multiplayer launch with the game? Nope. Is it in the game over a week after launch? Nope. Is it delayed yet again? Yep. As such, the only person who stuck their foot in their mouth is you because a promised feature upon release still isn't there. As of today, right now - there is no multiplayer. That's what I was referring to and thank you for proving my point.

quote Krantos
Really and honestly Granath, troll much?
That term doesn't mean what you think it means. Ironically, your post is a prime example of trolling.

quote Krantos
Sure, I don't think that the game, in its current state, warrants a 9/10, but really, you couldn't have come across as bigger ass if you'd tried. Pull your head out of your rectum, grow up and act like a big boy, because right now you sound like a pre-pubescent troll with an overblown sense of you're own importance attempting to sound intelligent.

You don't like the game, fine. Move on. It's not your business how Neo does their reviews, and just because you disagree doesn't mean they're wrong.
Thanks for your post, in which you just made an entire ass of yourself by trying to take something personally which:

A. Was entirely factual
B. Wasn't directed at you or any other person, but a computer game.

Now go back on your meds because it's obvious you need them.

And back to the original review - talk about an outlier! The next best score is currently 65 on Metacritic. As for the other reviews? C on Gameshark. 2/5 on GamerNode. 6.5 on GameInformer. 2/5 on G4. 58 on 1Up. 5/8 on OutofEight. 6/10 on GameEnema. 57% on iPon. 6.5 on Merristation. 30 on GameKult. This isn't a cherry picked list, this is the entire list!

So it's quite obvious that the poorly-written review on this does not reflect the general sentiment of virtually every single other professional review out there. I guess some people liked Battlefield Earth too.
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Granath Sep 2, 10
And lest anyone think I'm trolling, let's hear from the developer himself - Brad Wardell

quote Brad Wardell
I don't think people yet fully realize the completeness of Stardock's fail on Elementa's launch.

I'm going to write more about this but not only did we think v1.05 was ready for everyone but we felt v1.0 was too. That's the level of disconnect/poor judgment on our part we're talking about.

If the game had come out in February, it would still have been a disastrous launch because lack of time wasn't the issue. It was blindness, sheer blindness. We felt the game was finished. And I speak of v1.0, not v1.05. Blindness.

There will be massive consequences for Stardock's game studio. I'll be talking more about this when I get back. But the game wasn't released early. The game was released poorly. Head in the sand syndrome imo. I've read the reviews as much as possible given my hideous internet access up here and I agree with them. We just didn't see what they were talking about. We thought any complaints would be about polish points or something.

The point is, the issue here is far far worse than many of you think it is. I wish it was an issue of the game being released too early. That's an easy thing for a company to "fix". Elemental's launch is the result of catastrophic poor judgment on my part.

EVERY competent software developer knows that the programmer must never be the one deciding whether the program is done. Yet, my love of Elemental broke my self discipline and I began coding on the game itself in vast amounts and lost any sense of objectivity on where the game's state was. I normally only program the AI on our games so I can keep a level of distance from the game itself to determine whether it's "Ready". On Elemental, I was in love with the world and the game and lost my impartiality.

We'll do better.
It seems even the developer disagrees with the review score.
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chautemoc Sep 2, 10
Interesting. Got a link for that?
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Granath Sep 2, 10
quote chautemoc
Interesting. Got a link for that?
forums.elementalgame.com/394855/page/2/#2753014

Now perhaps Neoseeker should pull the review and assign it to someone a little less emotionally invested in Stardock.
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chautemoc Sep 2, 10
It's not going to happen, so you can stop trying.

I feel differently than he does, at least in part.
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