Elven Assassin | Review 59

Elven Assassin | Review

Elven Assassin | Review 61
Release Date
September 5, 2019
Developer
Wenkly Studio Sp. z o.o.
Style
Action, RPG, Simulation
Locomotion
Room Scale / Teleportation
Length
SP 2 Hours / MP YMMV
Price
$14.99
Our Score
4

Despite the best efforts of Peter Jackson and some RPG makers, elves haven’t had more of an impact on the action-adventure. Even in the Lord of the Rings: Shadow of.. spin-off games, the elf only gets to do his cool stuff when spiritually bonded to the body of an undead human. So it’s nice to see an elf take centre stage in a game for once, though he’s only ever seen on the Oculus store page for Elven Assassin. Even then he looks like a copyright-avoiding airbrushed picture of Orlando Bloom that you might find painted on a fairground ride or an ice-cream truck. 

YOU’RE PULLING MY LEG, ALAS

Elven Assassin casts the player as an archer, defending one of three village environments from waves of orcs, trolls and dragons. The set up is very much like a tower defence game, with specific points on the map that you can use as vantage points from which to shoot. If the baddies get past you, they’ll sap away at the health percentage of the village until its Game Over. You can stop them with your bow and arrow, plucking arrow after arrow from behind your shoulder, pulling back the bowstring, and firing. Over and over again.

elven assassin quest review

Other than that, there’s not a huge amount to tell. The game lets you choose between ‘RPG’ and ‘Normal’ modes, which is a ridiculous way to define whether you can also use magic or not. That’s literally the only difference, and I’ve no idea why the devs think that the use of spells as additional weapons immediately qualifies it to share a category with SkyrimIt really, really doesn’t.

BORED OF THE THINGS

What the game lacks in any way whatsoever is any sense of context or urgency. There’s nothing wrong with repetitious, arcade gameplay. Space Pirate Trainer, for example, manages to imbue its waved-based shooter action with player agency and kinetic physical excitement. The bots you blast in SPT respond to being hit, grabbed, and shot, even if they don’t die. Every second can be a moment-to-moment choice about how and where to attack or defend next. 

elven assassin quest review

Elven Assassin is the opposite. Every single audio-visual cue, or lack of them, enforces the sense of repetition inherent in the gameplay. All the enemies run along predetermined tracks, with stiff, skating animation. Headshots register for extra points, but aside from text, there’s no animation to support skilful shooting. Larger enemies like the bigger dragons and the trolls simply absorb damage via a health bar until they keel over. No stagger animation, nothing – and in those cases there’s no additional damage for headshots either. The overall effect is akin to playing one of those arcade machines where you’re hitting targets with a water gun, with the bigger ones falling over when you’ve filled them up. There’s just no feel and no excitement whatsoever. 

It doesn’t help that, aside from the lack of animation, the graphics are sub-par. Some of the environments are OK in a painfully generic fantasy way, but everything else is dull and uninspiring at best. The enemy models are instantly forgettable. The trolls in particular (despite resembling Tor Johnson from Ed Wood’s seminal Plan 9 From Outer Space) look like naïve placeholder dolls. Graphical glitches and omissions abound; arrows get stuck in mid-air, the frame-rate takes an occasional dive, and enemies just blip out of existence when felled.

It all just feels empty and pointless. 

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE PING

Multiplayer livens things up a bit, and in fact, serves to illustrate that it’s where the heart of the game is. Joining up with friends to flit between towers and cover different paths is obviously more fun and makes the single-player experience seem even emptier. It’s by no means a thrill-a-minute ride, but it saves the game from scoring even lower. I also encountered a lot of glitches, lag, and dropouts in the sessions I’ve tried, noticeably more so than many other Quest games I’ve played.

elven assassin quest review

LEAVE THE ELF ON THE SHELF

I’m sure there’s a version of this game somewhere that conveys the frantic urgency of one of the siege battles from The Lord of the Rings. In that version, the player zips urgently between towers trying to fend off hordes of orcs with desperate, inspired archery. Elven Assassin is not that game. It offers almost nothing in the way of excitement, and very little in the form of feedback for your efforts. It’s unpolished, repetitive and boring, and is massively overshadowed by other titles already out on the Quest for the same price *cough* Sairento VR: Untethered *cough*.

Elven Assassin | Review 62
Elven Assassin
TLDR : Summary
A graceless, by-the-numbers schedule filler which combines archery and tower defence into something far less than the sum of its parts. Better with friends, but then so is drowning your sorrows.
Concept
4
Gameplay
5
Graphics
4
Audio
4
Longevity
4
User Rating7 Votes
6.4
Pros
Passable archery
Fun with friends
Cons
Rubbish animation
Poor graphics
Repetitious and dull
4
Miss
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David Alexander

The game is super simple but when you get into multiplayer and your network is good there’s a lot of fun to be had.

By no means the best game or even a contender on the Quest but I’d still give it a 6/10 not a 4.

karmamole

It’s certainly more fun in multiplayer, but we believe it elevated it from poor to mediocre and not much else. It’s also possible that our 4 is like a 6 on other sites 🙂 We’ve generally noticed that most sites score exponentially, starting from 7 or 8, we prefer to consider ‘5’ average and score accordingly.

Having said that, our review system also allows users to input their own ratings, so please feel free to use that (you’ll find a user rating box below our scores) to let others know how you’d rate it. If a lot of users rate a game higher than we do, it’s useful for readers to know that 🙂

Peyton Lind

I wish I could rate 6dof. I could give it a 4/10 and then probably watch you get upset at the low score while I justify it by saying 5/10 is how I would rate an average website.

You can say you consider 5/10 a score for an average game but you KNOW that is not how people are conditioned to view things. Someone will see something like 5/10 and think it is hot garbage when it may be OK.

karmamole

You can rate us, and you just did 🙂 So thanks. In any case, as I said, we have user ratings, so go ahead, and rate any game however you think it should be rated, and other readers will see, maybe they’ll decide you’re right and we’re cruel and unfair. We are not responsible for how people may be conditioned, nor are we the only review site that got sick of seeing scores of 7 and 8 or more for mediocre games and decided to follow a linear rating system rather than an exponential one that only operates between 8-10 and leaves the rest of the decimal system unused. Thankfully, you don’t have to see things our way nor are we obliged to see them your way. Our absolute priority is to make sure gamers don’t waste their money on disappointing games. I can’t imagine what you think we gain… Read more »

Sebastian Kurz

For me multiplayer is a lot of fun. Coming from the Oculus GO this game is huge as I never experienced bow&arrow games in the past (in opposite to many Rift/Vive users). Sure it is repetetive but isn´t BeatSaber also repetetive? For me multiplayer is a lot of thrill which really gets stressy (but also rewarding) if a comrad breaks away during combat to defend the gate;-) My personal ranking for exactly multiplayer (think this game should be only ment for that) would also be a lot higher 😉

karmamole

I’d argue that Beat Saber, despite being repetitive in gameplay, is far more elegant with its core mechanics, and offers much more replayability – especially since, on the Quest, you can (somewhat) easily install thousands of custom tracks/levels. We don’t necessarily mind repetitive games, but repetition becomes problematic when the overall game is sub-par. It’s possible that the game could’ve been rated higher if they sold it as ONLY a multiplayer game, then nobody would expect to get much value out of it in single player, but honestly, we just weren’t very impressed by it, despite initially looking forward to it! And, as I said above, please feel free to input what score you’d give it in our ‘user ratings’ section at the bottom of the score box. It could well be useful to other readers! Between you and me, though – I’d be very curious to see what you… Read more »

Sebastian Kurz

Done, thanks for reminding me for the user rating 🙂 For longevity efforts from the developers need to be spent, like new maps, different enemies and bosses, in-game-gadgets or weekly challenges.

NanoNuc

Elven Assassin is consistently in the top 10 for Steam’s daily list of most played VR games. So, the VR players around the world rate it quite high by their participation.

karmamole

I guess they do! Luckily, we are not obliged to feel the same way.

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