On the surface, Legend: Hand of God seems like a shamelessly derivative, punishingly unimaginative isometric action/RPG...
Oh, were you expecting a second, more positive part of that sentence? Sorry, no dice - this game is pure surface. But try to remember this exact feeling - wanting more and never getting it - because if you choose to play Legend, you’re about to become intimately acquainted with that state of mind. What you will get from Legend is a fairly by-the-numbers Diablo knock-off: you kill some things, get more powers, get better gear, repeat. While a lot of games could be boiled down to that description, it’s not a reduction here: that’s the whole shebang.
There are several different character classes (all the RPG classics), but they don’t offer any practical shake-ups for the formulaic gameplay. The different paths down the limited skill trees just translate to different animations to watch while you’re clicking beasts to death. It’s little comfort after hours of monotonous clicking, but the animations of your character’s attacks differ depending on the type of enemy you’re fighting, so, for example, you’ll make dynamic leaps when you’re trying to bring down a giant.
Thankfully, the action is set in some really lush environments, which are especially impressive when lit by your companion/light source/cursor, a gratingly sassy light elf. Think Tinkerbell, if Tinkerbell could talk and used that ability to antagonize people. Your conversations with her are one of the few ways the game’s story progresses, but it’s so positively threadbare I won’t relate it here. Suffice it to say you’re trying to collect a holy relic - the titular Hand of God - to stop an unholy evil. Sorry for the spoilers.
Very little of this is bad, just numbingly average. What makes Legend downright intolerable is a difficulty that spikes so wildly it turns this inoffensive trip through the countryside into an absolute chore. To wit: when I had to fight a gigantic dragon, I was killed countless times by two of his swipes, even as I pounded healing potions. My most powerful attack, a fireball, barely took a sliver of his life. The solution I finally found? Walk into an adjacent cave where, inexplicably, the dragon could not follow, and spam it with fireballs for (no exaggeration, I timed this) 11 minutes. That kind of crap would make us put our fists through our monitors in a good game. For a title like Legend, it’s a first-class ticket to the recycle bin.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 41% (tolerable)
Aug 27, 2008