I have to say, the moment I heard about the game I’m covering today, SAGA, my first thought was “This is not gonna work out well”. Now, I will be fair, SAGA has been around for a while now, so there’s definitely an audience for it, but, for me personally, the idea of an MMO game that is also an RTS with elements of RPGs to it sounded like a BAD combination. Individually, they definitely work (see World of Warcraft for the former and Dawn of War II for the latter), but both together? Maybe I’m stubborn, but I didn’t see that working (although I thought HuniePop sounded like an awful game on paper before I gave it a go, so I have been wrong in the past…)!
However, it was literally a choice of either covering this or a horror game that includes such cheerful themes as incest, rape and murder. By comparison, I figured SAGA was at least less problematic to talk about!
So, SAGA is a game that has actually been around for a good while (dating back from 2008), but only recently made its way onto Steam. Not really sure why, in all honesty: you STILL have to create an account for the game, even if you’re loading it up from Steam, which kind of defeats the point of having the game on Steam because you have to create a second user account to use a game on a service you already HAVE a username and password for! Clearly, Captain Obvious was on holiday when the team who decided to put SAGA on Steam were talking through it all, because missing something as big as that is a bit of a cock up, to put it politely!
Still, being the patient sort, I signed up, I logged in and was greeted to…a creation screen for my faction. Bear in mind, I hadn’t even been told what the races did by this point or even given a tutorial in how to use the races, so I was already feeling like the game had forgotten the importance of giving players a chance to test out the races prior to having to select one. Indeed, while I was there, I happened to oversee a conversation where one player mentioned having ice dragons in his team. Would have been really nice if I’d been told about them before I’d selected to be the undead or given a chance to test out the factions before I had to select one with no ability to change faction later, game!
Well, again, I chose to be the patient sort, made my faction and arrived to find a generally unimpressive looking game. The graphics weren’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but they didn’t look like they were from a game that had been released in 2008. Heck, Dawn of War looks more modern than SAGA did and the original game came out years before it!
So, I sat down to try out the tutorial, already feeling unimpressed, and played my first match. The tactics of which were me literally just charging forward with everything, wiping out anything that stood in my path. Maybe tactics get opened up later, but, just from that, I’d had enough and quit the game, knowing that I was not going to return to it.
So, that’s basically my thoughts of SAGA. I’ll admit I’ve not been fair on the game (I didn’t even play it for ten minutes as I couldn’t be bothered to finish the tutorial, hence the Rant Edition note in the title), but what I saw was enough to tell me everything I needed to know: the combat is simplistic, the graphics aren’t particularly impressive, the faction creation is WAY too early in the game to be of much use to anyone who hasn’t already played the game, the second sign up is completely unnecessary with the Steam edition of the game and it ultimately just didn’t grab me. Maybe this would be a good introduction to RTS games if you want a free game to get the measure of it and know you’re not great at tactics, but, honestly, this is not a game I particularly could see myself playing for any real time because most of what is needed to make an RTS work just isn’t in this game. Sorry, SAGA fans, but I can’t really encourage more people to check this game out.