REVIEW: MyWorld Action RPG Maker

May
08

REVIEW: MyWorld Action RPG Maker

Tinker, Tailor, Action RPG Maker.

Status: Released
Type:
Single-player
Online Multi-Player
Online Co-op
Genre: Action, Adventure RPG
Developer: The Game Creators
Publisher: The Game Creators
Release Date: Mar 17, 2017

A Skeleton Warrior and a Chicken Walk into a Bar…

Note: This review reflects the April 28, 2017 loot update.

MyWorld has great potential within the RPG making community in my opinion. If you are looking for an RPG-making program that has a Steam Workshop – based environment, along with more in-depth 3D options than other basic RPG makers out there, then this is something you should look at. It’s not going to be Witcher 3 levels of graphics and features, but there truly is a good thing going on with MyWorld. Just keep in mind, it is Early Access and that general feeling of something missing is still prevalent throughout level testing.

Right now, after the loot update, I’m enjoying myself substantially more than before. Suddenly, I have an urge to fight as many skeletons, wraiths, and bosses as possible just to see what loot drops so as to level up my character. It really transformed the overall enjoyment of the game. Additionally, the ability to change the difficulty and new class options for the main character fill the gaps that were previously there. Since it is still so early in development, I feel that this game can become an RPG maker of substance once it’s matured, and assuming it is updated regularly.

First Impressions

Start up the game and you’ll find a large portal in the middle of an open field, with more portals arranged in a circular manner. This is a 3D menu that is physically manifest within the game: a pretty neat concept overall, though sometimes I found myself wanting a regular menu. It’s called the Hubworld, and is the main area you use to access both the RPG worlds you create and other worlds created by the Steam community.

There are some pre-built worlds you can access through the central portal to get an idea of what you can accomplish using this software. That’s exactly where I headed, though I suggest watching the combat tutorial first, as I had a bit of trouble once several bad guys started showing up. The tutorials are on the left at a giant TV with red candy-colored buttons. It’s actually quite well arranged. You can also change out your character with some decent-looking hero choices, and the abilities of these heroes vary slightly across the selection.

There is currently no controller support in the game. I used my Steam Controller and rebound some of the keys from the options menu — I was very glad to have that key-bind option, to be honest. One critique is that the shift and tab buttons are used in the keyboard control setup and I had to reassign those to new keys because I kept accidentally activating Shift-Tab on my steam controller when fighting. Not exactly the best thing when I am stuck between a wraith and a skeleton and I suddenly have my Steam overlay pop up. I also don’t have the ability to jump, which is a little aggravating when I fall down and get trapped within some geometry.

My first pre-built world was the Blight; my guess is that this is a nod to Dark Souls. Anyway, exiting the portal, I arrived at a quaint farm with green slopes, a chicken pen, and a small house. There is a fetch quest to finish here by collecting eggs. This is actually a prime example of how fetch quests work within the game. It’s easy enough: run into the items and they are automatically given to you. After that, I had to kill a skeleton soldier. Again, this an effort at an introduction to game mechanics more than anything else. However, it’s worthwhile checking the controls for special power ups to avoid quick deaths.

Heading upwards, I crossed a portal into some real combat, and this had both good aspects and bad. The good is that combat is at a moderate difficulty. I’m not a fan of boring RPG combat. The bad is that the camera moves a bit when you attack and this can sometimes make it a fight between you and the camera to see what is going on. This was exacerbated by using my Steam Controller rather than a mouse; I’ll need to calibrate it a bit. But even without my Steam Controller, I still had some occasional camera issues, which became dizzying when several enemies surrounded me and the game wouldn’t lock on to the target I wanted.

The skeletons with clubs are two-hit kills, so be very careful when dealing with them until your armor levels up. My advice is to use the lock-on attack when confronted by just one skeleton and keep health flasks ready. If you die, you respawn at a campfire with full health and a temporary shield. The skeletons I killed stayed dead even if I respawned, which I think is great for those that prefer not to repeatedly kill the same baddies in order to proceed to the next checkpoint. If overwhelmed, remember to use special attacks, as that may be your only method of winning against multiple enemies.

The decorations like barrels, vases, stone columns, and gravestones are destructible, but the walls and light posts are not. If you have a need to smash something, it’s quite nice. While developing your own worlds, you can alter a fetch quest to destroy a series of items to find an object, or use destructible columns to secretly hide an area within a camp.

I reached the end of the world with a nice boss battle, which I completed more easily using roll and dodge attacks, health flasks, and power-ups. The battle controls are decent in my opinion, with a reasonable variety of ways to use combat beyond the often-implemented click-click attack/drink a potion method you see in some RPGs.

Building a World

This is the nitty-gritty of the ‘game’: creating a new world from a fresh canvas. The builder provides a medium-sized assortment of buildings, mountains, enemies, NPCs, and the like. Early on, you are introduced to a very neat feature: you can link these little worlds you make together in sections or join in with someone else’s world to play co-op. That alone stood out to me because here I can link worlds together to form a cohesive set of RPG chapters if I wanted to.

With the new update, heroes now have some moderate class definitions between each other: a new and frankly much-needed change. I generally preferred to play as a tank, and managed to get an armor loot drop right away that helped with this. There are now several levels of difficulty, so I can play as hard as I like or at a casual pace. The game really shows some marked improvement with that, allowing the end user to be as hardcore or easy going as possible with combat. It would be great if there were some attributes to set here so I could make a custom difference in abilities from one hero character to the next. I’d also love to see some options when picking outfits or skin tones. While the main characters you choose are animated, the NPC’s are almost like statues and that keeps them feeling quite basic. If there was an animated rest-state for NPCs it would add a lot to the atmosphere of the villages and quests. Hopefully, there will be an upcoming patch down the road that addresses some of these issues.

I’ve seen some discussion in the community about the degree of damage, loot upgrades, and difficulty settings being somewhat unbalanced. I’m sure that will be tweaked soon, but it’s quite nice to see the relationship between the players and the developers.

Quests

Quests are limited to fetch or kill quests. There are no puzzles to solve, no levers to turn, and no traps to lay out. There needs to be some more variety here. I don’t mind doing these two basic quests, but for the game to really shine here, I feel adding that type of variation is key to developing an enjoyable RPG world. We need spells, some imps, and most certainly some dungeons or caves to explore while questing with hidden dragons guarding an NPC character in distress, or something along those lines.

The text involved seems to be of the sort where you fill in a bit of story in relation to a quest. There doesn’t seem to be an area where we can add a narrative or intro story to give someone a point of reference in our worlds. It would be nice to be able to write about the land of “so-and-so” with the hero “what’s-his-name” fighting against the evil “mr-chicken-pants”, or whatever. I can imagine being able to set up a storyline to start a world off, quests with selectable text choices for replies, and some taunts from bosses. That would be a very welcome upgrade at some point.

Sound

With all the skeletons and wraiths attacking, I kept thinking the pre-built worlds were missing some sound effects and atmosphere. Beyond the swish of the sword or crack of a club on the ground, the world outside could use some variety: differing tones of grass underfoot, water splashes, or weather conditions could all be added. The bird sounds are amazing: almost as if I’m in a bird sanctuary, including some of the best chicken sounds I’ve found in a game. However, if I add a winter environment there is snow but no snowfall, the footfalls are too similar to the sound of grass, and the bird sound effects are still there. It’s missing that focus on weather. If I want to recreate the scene of the avalanche from the mountain pass from Lord of the Rings, it is going to be a little sparse and filled with singing birds.

Graphics

Some people may not like the graphics in this game, but I rather enjoyed the art style. It’s not overly complicated with high-resolution terrain and drop-dead gorgeous animations. Instead, what you get is a very relaxing game world that centers around what you can change rather than the gloss and shine of a visual tech feast. I really don’t think there is much to alter to the graphical look at all, as it’s fitting for the style and presentation of the game. If anything is added, it should be content like caverns, ponds, lakes, snow peaks with clouds, rain effects, and the like. I’m looking forward to seeing what enhancements are made to the default assets in this vein, rather than any changes to how it catches my eye.

Final Thoughts

It’s a daunting task to tackle an RPG maker such as this. From what I can see, there is some rather personal interaction within the community among the players, as well as with the developer. That type of feedback is essential if MyWorld is to succeed. The tutorials are very helpful and give you some direction in terms of what kind of RPG you may be able to make. I do see a lack of system compatibility with Linux or Mac, but perhaps that will be worked out in the future.

Most importantly, I see an RPG maker that has the possibility to shine on Steam. All the basic assets are there; the game only needs time and updates to move beyond its initial Early Access criticisms. With online gameplay including up to four player co-op and eight player-vs-player options, it even allows for battles and some serious swordplay. The ability to chain worlds together with portals, and an appealing game world to build with, strikes me as a good starting point. After the April 28th loot update — a major content addition — you get quite a lot to play with for the $14.99 price tag. While I can’t wholeheartedly say go buy this game right now, I can definitely say it’s worth trying if you enjoy RPG makers, due to the prospective future it has. If you want to be part of a gaming community and help shape an Early Access game, it’s a good choice.

Rating: Save for Later and keep an eye on things to come.

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About dangerhighdoltage

I wish I was a gravelly-voiced action hero with a scar on every corner of my face from all the ninjas and zombie hordes massacred along my path of destruction. However, I'm rather clumsy. I can walk and chew gum at the same time at least. My favorite genres of late are butterfly field simulators and co-op Plinko carnival games. The occasional puzzle-platforming-RPG-hacknslash-owwwmyheadhurtsfromthisdamnpuzzle-storydriven game is fun too.

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