Gloria Victis is a low-fantasy medieval MMORPG with a slight focus on realism that launched into Steam Early Access on June 9th (it’s been Greenlit for 2 years) as an alpha build. I had a hard time resisting this one because it seemed to offer a lot of things I usually enjoy in a game. For a game that just launched into early access, GV is pretty impressive, but it doesn’t come without some faults.
The core concept behind GV is that a war has broken out between 4 factions (only 2 are currently playable) who are constantly fighting for control over resource-rich territory. This makes for a heavy focus on PvP / raiding and ultimately working together with your fellow faction members or guild. There’s a full loot system that adds a lot of risk / reward to PvP which makes it that much more exciting, in my opinion. That said, it’s still an MMORPG so grinding mobs, questing, and crafting all play integral roles in GV, especially until you’re geared up and at a decent level.
One thing I’ll say right away is that it performs great, not just for an alpha, but it runs almost flawlessly, and it looks really awesome to boot. On the downside, there are a lot of various bugs and glitches – some items are broken and there are still quite a few placeholders that I’ve found… The map is a fair size for the current 2 factions, especially with the speed you run (very slow), and it feels relatively diverse between the different areas, but I could see it needing a small expansion once the other factions are made available.
Character creation is pretty straight forward, with sliders to alter different parts of your character like their head, body, arms, legs, etc. The option to make female characters is currently not implemented, but there’s an icon for it so you can pretty much guarantee that female characters will be a thing in GV, eventually. Otherwise, the character creation system here is pretty basic as far as your typical MMO goes, there’s not a lot of options but it doesn’t feel excessively restricted either.
Your character levels up the same way you would in any other MMO, but there’s no dedicated class-system. Instead, everything is based on your attribute points like strength, constitution, dexterity and wisdom. There aren’t any armor / weapon skills either, so you’re essentially free to use whatever you want as long as you’re a high enough level / have the right attributes. I don’t mind this system, but I personally would have liked to see something a little different here.
Crafting is a huge part of GV since the economy is almost entirely player-driven with the exception of a few NPC shops here & there. I actually really like how they’ve put together the crafting system, it’s deep enough to be interesting, but it’s not excessively overwhelming for new players either. It follows the same basic path that a lot of other MMORPG crafting systems do, you go out into the wilderness, look for resources to gather, and then you either process them further or build stuff with them directly, pretty straight forward. You can find new recipes for crafting as drops from mobs, or at certain NPC stores located in different cities & towns – and there’s quite a bit to craft from what I’ve experienced so far.
A lot of things could be explained better for sure, like how / where to find different crafting benches, processing stations, recipes, etc, but all-in-all it’s a really decent system once you start getting the hang of it.
The combat in GV feels very similar to what you would experience in Mount and Blade or Life is Feudal, but due to it being in such an early stage, it can be a little glitchy / buggy from time to time. Either way, it’s a much more involved system than you’ll get out of your typical MMORPG combat system. It uses direction-based attacks (moving sideways & attacking will be different than not moving & attacking), but blocking is just a single direction and there’s no way to fake an attack. Ranged fighting feels alright, but it’s currently bugged in 1st-person which is a little annoying – remember, it’s an alpha build… The mob AI is what you would expect from an MMO, and it’s definitely not the brightest, but it’s really not supposed to be. Actual Player vs Player is where combat really starts to get fun, but again, it’s kind of awkward and buggy right now, but still better than fighting NPCs.
All-in-all, for an early access alpha, Gloria Victis is pretty impressive. But, is it worth your $20? That’s where things become difficult. It’s being developed by a small team of very responsive & active devs who have been making lots of progress when it comes to improving GV, so they would definitely be a good team to support. But, I think that some people will find it really hard to enjoy GV in its currently unrefined state – but there’s a lot of you who will love it regardless.
Personally, I’m on the fence. I don’t dislike it, but I’m definitely not in love with it either, not yet at least. Once it’s more polished and some of the current bugs are cleaned up, I could see this being one of those games thats easy to sink hundreds of hours into.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried it? Are you going to? Let me know below!