Developer Bitbox originally brought their plan for a “hardcore and realistic medieval multiplayer MMORPG” to Indiegogo back in 2013. Historically, MMOs have a hard time with crowdfunding since the sheer scale of the project leaves many would-be backers skeptical of its chances. Life is Feudal MMO was no exception, barely scrapping together €5,000 of its €200,000 fixed goal.
Eventually, the devs scaled back their ambitions a bit releasing an open world survival version of the game, cleverly renamed Life is Feudal: Your Own. While it was sold as a stand alone title, the game was also a proof of concept for their original idea. Mainly, a realistic medieval simulation with no frills or hand-holding. The devs would also rework this core idea as a city building simulator which they released as Life is Feudal: Forest Village.
All of this brings us to this year when Bitbox was finally able to unveil their Early Access release for Life is Feudal MMO. The project they had originally set out to create back in 2013. With the open beta build now available for sale on Steam it seemed like a good time to see what all the fuss was about.
Behind The Hype
Trailers for Life is Feudal MMO focus quite a bit on the community aspects of the game. This is because everything from towns to the economy is player-driven. The best (only) way to find meaningful success is to work cooperatively with other players, either through guild or trading.
One of the main selling points for Life is Feudal is its focus on crafting. For people who typically shy away from the PvP aspects of medieval MMOs, but enjoy building, this is a pretty big draw. Players can collaboratively work together to gather materials and add them to a building plot. Once you’ve collected all the resources hit the build button and the structure springs to life. You can even make some pretty cool things, eventually.
Life is Feudal doesn’t have a standard leveling system. There are no level 10 Paladins in this game. Instead your experience slowly builds in whatever actions you perform and you can eventually select higher tier actions to specialize in. It’s a nice take on traditionally boring linear progression systems. Sadly it’s completely ruined once you discover that so many seemingly basic crafting recipes are blocked behind upper level experience tiers. If you die and lose the rags you started with you’re outta luck unless you happen to meet someone who has tier 4 skills to make new ones.
Life is Feudal MMO is a game that touts itself as “hardcore” and “realistic” which has won it some fans in the MMO community. Next time we’ll take a look at these claims and see how they stack up to the traditional modern MMO model.