Developer: Novacore Studios
Publisher: Kalypso Media Digital
Legends of Pegasus comes to us from Novacore Studios, a very fresh team from Germany. The game is your typical grand scale space strategy game with lots of empty areas, dazzling stars and little dots that signify your ships and planetary properties.
Now like other strategy games of this sort, it has some bugs. I mean, even Endless Space had some rough edges when I reviewed it.
But, I’ll get to that later. Let’s start off on a decent foot with the game’s setting and story. The first episode of Legends of Pegasus assigns you to the captain’s chair. Earth has been attacked and successfully invaded by aliens. Your armada makes an exodus from home in order to protect the last surviving humans. From the get-go I get a Battlestar Galactica vibe, which is always a good thing.
Shortly after arriving in a new star system, you’re tasked with colonizing the planets like a good little boy. Now and then you’ll have to route some mosquito bite fleets that “threaten” your colonies. Honestly, they just hovered around my planet for five turns until I noticed them. Didn’t seem so bad.
The game’s art direction is bland. I’ve come to expect this from space strategy games but Legends of Pegasus in particular is shallow. The human forces have the same generic cruisers and battleships you’ve seen hundreds of times before. The alien races have sharp ships with spiky bits coming out of them and a scary, broken feeling to their design.
The cutscenes are the best part of the game. They are half-static cardboard scenes with panning and motion on the part of the cutouts. What’s annoying is that the camera seems obsessed with rotating everything in a weird angle in order to give the scene a weird funhouse mirror look. It’s as if Paper Mario was in space and wanted to make you seasick. Quite a feat, you know, because of the whole space thing.
On to the gameplay..
The tutorial is unhelpful. It seems to go out of its way to be unhelpful actually. The most basic problem is that the quest or tutorial text is hidden on the side of the screen. It actually flows over the border past the edge of my game screen. What this amounts to is that I have no clue how to progress at all in the tutorial.
Instead of breezing past the tutorial in no time at all, I had to guess at what the tutorial text means:
“- The Helios must..”
“- defeat the enemy..”
I fiddled with resolution settings for half an hour in order to fix this problem. Nothing worked out.
Stumbling into combat, I wasn’t happy at all with how it handled itself. This is supposed to be the fun part that was much advertised; Legends of Pegasus is a 4X space strategy game with real-time battles. How exciting!
Though it has grand plans, Legends of Pegasus’ battles were oh so simple. The game switches from your turn-based strategy into a real-time battle. Your ships automatically locked onto and gunned down the closest enemies as you moved them around. The AI would do the same to whatever was closest to them. This means that just by weaving fresh ships into the battle and mildly retreating wounded ones, you could win every encounter. Hardly difficult and hardly satisfying.
I will say that I at least appreciate how the game didn’t switch into a new screen for combat. You stayed in the same view during strategy and combat. This gives the game a slight feeling of authenticity whenever you find enemies to crush.
The economic management portion of the game was confusing. There were a lot of attributes that worked together but the UI didn’t give any real importance to one thing over another. I knew that I had to balance everything but I felt completely overwhelmed with no guidance at all.
There was a moment where the game tasked me with building two more buildings on my two colonized planets. I made my plans and hit next turn only to find that the game had nothing else to say to me. I had to hit next turn maybe twenty more times before my buildings were finished and the game decided that it could move on. In those twenty turns nothing else happened. I looked at my settlements and saw no need to do anything. My research plans were in motion but didn’t need any supervision. I wasn’t getting attacked at all (and if I was, the aliens would happily wait until I noticed them and made the offensive move).
That’s when I fully understood that Legends of Pegasus has no meat to its gameplay.
I am no stranger to buggy games and failed launches but Legends of Pegasus really threw me for a loop. As I was reviewing Endless Space before, I remember some hype in the 4X community about how Legends of Pegasus would trump that game.
I’m sad to say that this game is nowhere close to fun. Legends of Pegasus serves as a warning to developers of how not to make a game. It also serves as a warning to buyers. Don’t buy a game unless you’ve seen how it runs. Your wallet may regret it.