MSRP: Free, with optional premium currency purchasing.
Release: Open beta since 5/19/16
My husband and I have been watching Grimm on and off since the show started. It’s an interesting premise: the idea of the fairy tale creatures being real and living among us in human form, and of a bloodline who have dedicated their lives to eliminating them. I’ve always enjoyed modern takes on classic fairy tales, and to me at least, a video game based on the show makes sense.
After trying it out, I feel like nothing about Grimm: Dark Legacy makes any sense at all. Let’s start with the fact that they call it an MMO. From what I’ve seen, it requires you to be online at all times and has optional multiplayer. That, to me, does not an MMO make. But if it were truly an MMO, what a bland world it would be. Character creation features only two basic models – male and female – with some different coloring available by repeatedly clicking on the gender icon. Not a terribly intuitive system, and color combinations are either static or random – I couldn’t tell. I assume you will at some point be able to choose from different abilities and skills, but I could find no indication of that anywhere in game.
You’re given two character slots, with the option to purchase more with Crowns – Grimm: Dark Legacy’s real money currency. If you purchase the smallest package, that comes out to about $3.29, but there is no option to spend less than $5. The website gives very little indication of what this currency can buy you, and the early game also gives no indication of how or where you’re going to spend it, but with Crown packs as large as 60,000, I’m guessing there are plenty of ways to spend them, or that worthwhile items are going to have a very high Crown value.
Unfortunately, the game offers little to new players, even those of us who are familiar with and enjoy the show. There’s an unimpressive introductory movie with mediocre voice acting, a short tutorial which teaches you how to move, attack, and the very basics of crafting. The graphics are cartoony, but they’re pretty enough. Sadly, the movement was just clunky enough that it made me slightly motion sick while playing. Not an auspicious start at all.
The game guides you through its quest system via a map. You can choose to either follow the story line, or go off hunting. I wanted to see if the narrative would grab me, so I went straight for the story. Unfortunately, instead of fighting monsters, I was tasked with killing a deer. A really really sneaky hard-to-find deer, who, by the way, you have to sneak up on and bludgeon to death with a stick. With the sneak toggle on, movement is very slow. Exploring, then, is also very slow. And the quest indicator that said I needed to survive for five minutes led me to believe there was going to be some sort of danger there, and I found none.
I really liked the idea of the little touches, like actually being able to track using tracks on the ground. Going into yet another mission where I needed to hunt and butcher animals, I decided that – for me – enough was enough. The game wasn’t giving me any reason to play, and it was giving me every reason to leave. Free to play games succeed and fail on the first 15 minutes or so; players don’t even have the fact that this was something they purchased to induce them to stick it out longer.
I honestly have no idea if Grimm: Dark Legacy becomes a good game. I have no idea if it’s pay to win. I have no idea if it has interesting skill trees or satisfying combat mechanics. What I do know is that the game didn’t offer me enough in the beginning to convince me to spend any more time on it.