Legrand Legacy is a new RPG Adventure game, developed by SEMISOFT, boasting a wide array of genres, beautiful cinematics and a homage to RPG games of the past. With a unique style and company unheard of until now, Legrand looks both interesting and dangerous. The new take on graphical design and the amount of work poured into a new IP is refreshing, especially from an Indie developer.
Legrand Legacy puts you in the… shoeless protagonist of Finn, as he is forced to fight within an arena as a slave. An amazing FMV shows this fight to us, with Finn being overpowered, only to have his eyes burn red with rage and his attacks infused with demonic power as he cuts down his opponent. Even though his display was glorious, it was not what his owners wanted, and so he is punished for his prowess in the arena. Thankfully, an onlooker did appreciate his skill, and Finn is soon bought from his previous owners to become a bodyguard.
Twists and turns later, Finn is given arms and armour, to better protect his new master and travel the world. Though like any other RPG, life is not easy and the world is against Finn, a man who should have lived within his cell. Cursed with amnesia, though gifted with fighting ability, Finn will meet up with new allies in the form of Norn, a magic using race of humans, Ahriman, Lion-like creatures and more. Though the story isn’t all focused on Finn, as even secondary characters play a large role as Finn and friends set off to save the world like any other RPG does.
Legrand takes a while to get going, with the early segments including way too much walking around and talking to people over and over again. However, as you move through the story it will speed up somewhat, with more interesting plot-hooks and spectacles on offer, even if Finn is one of the dullest, annoying and whiny protagonists I have ever encountered.
Gameplay in Legrand is rather simple, it plays like many other RPGs with a turn-based combat system. You have normal attacks, up to 4 grimoires that can be equipped for attacking spells, buffing, debuffing and healing. Blocking is also included but each character has a secondary effect for their blocks, Finn reflects damage, whereas Aria can charge the parties AP meter. Enemies can be scanned at will to see their resistances, alongside items being used in battle. You can only make 1 decision per character in combat, of which you are allowed 3.
Besides the normal actions, you can use devastating attacks when your AP gauge reaches its peak in the form of Arcana attacks. These range from blows that hit a row or column of targets to even healing and buffing the entire team. All actions besides healing, buffing and item use also allows the player to input an ACT command, basically a quick time event. You will have to press from one of the face buttons on the controller within an Orange or green portion. Orange grants higher damage, with green granting even more, along with more AP for the action. If you hit the ACT well enough you will gain additional EXP for that character after the battle.
As you win battles you will be rewarded EXP to level up, to all characters, alongside loot. As you level up you will be able to use ATP, 2 per level, to increase your STR, VIT, AGI, INT, LUK, increasing damage, health and the like, and if you reach a certain amount of these stats you will also unlock new grimoire to equip in battle. This unlocking mechanic does force your build somewhat, until you get them all, though that is a long way off.
You do not gain money, Danaar in this game, from killing enemies, you will need to complete missions or sell loot to do so. The best way to make money, it seems, is to craft items from the materials you gain from battle. Simply take materials to the crafting merchant in any of the towns and you can create items for which you have recipes. This works the same for your gear, take the materials to a blacksmith and your weapon and armour can be upgraded or swapped for a new type, changing your damage, defence and certain stats.
Legrand continues to add in new mechanics as the game progresses, from a simple fencing mini-game that is almost like Rock-Paper-Scissors where you have a light or strong attack and a counter. Fencing forces you to make a choice within a certain amount of time, and if you wait long enough your opponent will use a text phrase that will alert you to what action they will take, making fencing pretty easy when you learn the phrases and attacks.
Later on, you will also take command of armies on a larger board, moving them around on hexes. Each army has their own attack type from cavalry to archers, each with their own weaknesses and strengths. The main aim of army battles is to destroy the morale of the opposing force, from killing their armies and capturing their encampments. Alongside fencing, these new mechanics can feel a bit tacked on at times, as they are somewhat straightforward, but they do feel pleasing when they break up the monotony of normal combat.
Even further into the game, you will be able to help rebuild a town, with hiring craftsmen, completing mini-games and taking on quests. But by the time you get to this point, you may have become tired of the previous mechanics. It is a nice addition to the game, and again, breaks up the monotony of normal grindy combat.
Legrand has an amazingly fantastical soundtrack, utilising plenty of emotional tunes and sounds to get you invested in the areas and people you meet. From dusty tracks for the desert to downtrodden music for the low quarters of the world. The battle music is action-packed, but becomes way too repetitive too quickly, especially with the longer fights and more complex dungeons. The sound effects suffer from a lack of quality at times as well, from simple footsteps being too loud or forced, grating on your ears, to shouts and attack effects sounding off or unsuitable.
The graphical style of Legrand is beautiful, going for a mix between 3D cartoon and hand-drawn animations. The FMVs are even more gorgeous to look at, but without proper voice acting they end abruptly too often or don’t carry enough weight sometimes. The in-game cutscenes and animations also suffer harshly, from people awkwardly climbing stairs to battle-cutscenes looking very stiff and clunky. The animations in encounters are acceptable, though again they sometimes end abruptly or are too short for what they entail.
A major issue I found with Legrand is how it handles grinding and difficulty curve. Ordinary battles take way too long to finish, with new areas throwing enemies with much higher defence or attack capabilities. One minute you are easily winning battles, the next you are spamming revival items to stay in the fight. EXP rewards are also diminished as you gain higher levels, so grinding is stunted if you do not progress. Legrand also features way too many unwinnable battles, to the point where it feels like any new boss is meant to be lost to.
Overall, Legrand Legacy gets a 7/10, it is a very enjoyable game at its core but features too much repetition, with not enough focus given to major parts of its mechanics. The fencing feels tacked on, with army battles becoming too linear at times with just a race towards encampments. The turn-based combat becomes boring after a while, though the ACT does add to the engagement. There isn’t a good enough build to the difficulty with too many instant loss fights. A lack of voice acting takes away from the tension or impact of events. The main character is wholly annoying, which is made even worse by some of the companions being unlikeable or repeating themselves over and over again.
As a first release, Legrand Legacy feels very shaky. I felt myself being more frustrated at being forced to grind or lose to insurmountable battles with no real warning. I even spent plenty of hours getting items and levels to make it slightly easier, though if you don’t take advantage of Arcana, item use and buffing you will be forced to repeat encounters. At one point it just felt necessary to have Aria always defend so that I had my AP gauge full in case something were to happen that I was not expecting. Having to keep 2 characters do the same action over and over really dampened my ability to experiment with the grimoire on offer.
Fans of difficult RPGs will enjoy Legrand, but with so many tactics required for normal battles, rigging encounters in your favour or stockpiling items, any player might feel like the game was against them. Against other “difficult” games like Dark Souls that allowed skill to prevail over stats, Legrand feels too narrowed into numbers or the single path allowed for victory.
You can grab the game on the following platforms