Citadel: Forged with Fire… If you’ve been on PC in the past 2 years, and you’ve been an avid Steam user? Then you might’ve come across this game before. An MMORPG that was in early access for over 2 years. Now that the game got released, Blue Isle Studios has done one better! They’ve immediately gone for a console release as well. Though I honestly had never heard of this game, when I saw the concept of what it was normally going to be? I immediately jumped for the occasion and went full steam ahead. But, it’s been a very bumpy road… To say the least. While in early access on PC, we, the console market, never got early access or a beta. We got an immediate full release! Was this the best way for them to introduce us to their game? Or wasn’t it? Let’s find out in this review of Citadel: Forged with Fire!
What we liked!
- Graphics: Visually, Citadel is an absolute beast! The world that you’ll be rummaging through is filled with beautiful areas and animals. The water effects look nicely done and the visual effects team did a wonderful job. But where the real beauty lies of Citadel actually has to be the environment. During my multiple runs (more on this later) I was constantly astonished by how gorgeous they made the game out to be. From a bright blue sky filled with clouds to fields of green peppered with beautiful flowers and gorgeous looking animals running around.
- Concept: Conceptually Citadel looks like an amazing game. And it probably is, if it wasn’t troubled with a few issues. But more on this later. But the original concept in itself is amazing. You are put into a world that is permeated by magic. This is your main form of combat as well. This world is filled with all sorts of creatures as well. From your basic boar, all the way up into the whimsical, like for instance, dragons! Yes, dragons are coming in this game. And you won’t have to wait years for them to come either! You can create your own base, form your own clan or join one to become a stronger and more dominant force. As said, conceptually? Citadel Forged with Fire has an amazing chance of becoming a great game. But that’s where it stops…
- Poor FPS: When it comes down to the visual aspect, it really outdoes itself. But this seems to be the game’s own demise because even though I am running this on an Xbox One X. The FPS tends to dip quite a bit. I figured that if I turn off the Motion blur entirely, this does clean up the smoothness, but still I had points (where a lot of effects were happening) that it does tend to be a bit of framedippey. Though not as much as at the start of the game, because that’s when the game was absolutely dreadful to play. So they did clean up their act a bit. But it feels as if it could have used a beta build before a full release.
What we disliked
- Controls: The control scheme is just awful! And trust me, I have given this a lot of time and I have seen a few improvements due to it. But it seems that Blue Isle Studios isn’t used to creating a control scheme for consoles. Which makes me wonder why they released on a console at all? Let me explain why. When I got my review code, this game was in an unplayable state. You could remap keys, but you couldn’t revert back to default controls if you did something wrong in there. Melee wasn’t bound to a key and was Unbound. So obviously when I tried to melee after I had equipped my spells to my weapon, I discovered that I couldn’t melee anymore! Resulting in me having to switch around keys. Obviously I bound my melee to the X button, but then noticed that I had not 1 but 2! Unbound keys after doing that. The X is double mapped. And you as a player are NOT in the possibility to double-bind a key! And to this date, this is still not possible! To make matters worse, they have bound the Melee possibility to the Right Stick button press and unbound your right trigger magic ability. The X button is still double bound. But, on the bright side? They did add the ability to revert back to default. Yay…
- Stick to official servers!: As I said before, I did multiple runs. Why? Because at first, I had created a character on a boosted server. This meant that there was an increased EXP gain, boosted taming and things like that. I did this to find check out more of the game, in a quicker fashion. But you’ll quickly come to notice that this can be a burden! Since your character isn’t stored locally on in a cloud, but rather on the server-side? You’ll lose that character the moment that that server goes offline. Which happened to me… Twice… Why couldn’t these just be cloud saved! Or locally stored in case of emergency, but then as an unofficial character that could only join boosted servers.
- Menu: While the menu is in its own right watchable. The usage of the said menu system is absolutely mortifying. First off, the navigation of each menu and every subsequent submenu is horrible in every way, shape or form of the word. For instance your spell crafting, you don’t know what you’re creating. Kind of wasting your essence that is at times, really rare to find! Because if it’s not the right effect that you want? Tough cookies. The builder’s menu is like the other menu’s just horrendous. You’ve got to navigate through different types of values before you get to the place that you want. Totally not optimized for a console/controller!
- Placeholder objects: If you do get the game, unbind a key and walk up to something that otherwise would prompt a certain button to be pressed. Be amazed by the glorious WHITE BOX that will replace the place that previously dictated the key that was meant to be pressed. Have a spell that’s on cooldown? Sure, normally you’ll get a message that says X amount of seconds left before you can use that spell, right? Yeah, forget that. Here you’ll get a popup box that reads: Error message: On cooldown. I thought the amateur hour was over? This is a game that was in early access for 2 years people… Come on!
For anyone that wants to play a poor man’s ARK? Then go ahead, give this one a try! The start is basically the same! In ark you wake up on a beach, you check your hands and palms to notice the thing sticking in there. In Citadel you wake up on a lava pit where your arms are burning and you check your hands and palms. It’s got building and taming. Just like ARK does. Except this game has got magic. If you like the concept, and you don’t mind it not having magic? Go for ARK. You’ll have a more fleshed out game that’s got better optimization. Blue Isle Studios clearly has made a wonderful game on PC, but for console? It still needs quite a bit of fine-tuning!