Elysium: Blood Games PC Reviews and more

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 Rating: 30/100

Rating: 30/100                           

+Interesting stat system and short or long game modes with a small game package allows for quick rounds
+Stat progression and arena progression always plusses in management games
+Who doesn’t enjoy gambling and winning?

-Archaic, invisible, and head-scratching paper-rock-scissors outcomes devoid of correlation to stats or attack decisions.
-Potentially interesting but ultimately useless bye-week activities for your non-active roster
-Smallest scale imaginable for a management game

Long-story short: Unless they release a lot of extra content, I wouldn’t recommend this game.

The main issue I have with this game is that you start off with 3 warriors (no indication that your team ever grows after completing a season and reaching the finals) and try to raise them into legitimate warriors. These guys have a robust stat system of Strength, Agility, Speed (? redundant?), Intellect, and Durability, with stats ranging to 100 and age is a factor. But herein lies the problem.

None of these stats seem to matter. There is almost no correlation of stats and attack choices to damage done or received.

And with stats out of 100 (maybe more? but not naturally), and seasons at 20 days max, training and ambiguous ‘soul quests’ were largely tacked-on things to do with your inactive roster (of 2 gladiators that are generally needing to rest by the end of the season anyway).

Graphics and audio, good god…. I felt like I was playing Baldur’s Gate using only Open Source elements. If you play this, listen for the sound of someone biting an apple when a hit connects. (This sounds like a joke, it’s not.)

This game had a lot of promise, potentially being a unique take on games like Football Manager or Franchise mode of popular sports game but fell tragically short. In case a dev sees this, I would totally revisit with the following additional elements:
Meaningful stat increases, both for gladiators and the arena. Money and attendance are the only benefits I could tell of upgrading, but attendance only increases money, and money can easily be generated by making decent conservative bets season-round. Favor, gained from victory, only increases money and attendance. Training costs money, but even maximum training only cost me something like 250g per gladiator and a victory generally nets me 3x that. (3 of course being how many gladiators you can have anyway).

Meaningful arena upgrades. I love the idea of unique upgrades a la lemonade stand or even dinopark tycoon. Let me upgrade the chariot parking lot, or invest in armored lions (btw, these ♥ showed up randomly in a fight and did 30% damage to my warrior who was already being curb-stomped by the enemy despite a 2:1 stat ratio in my favor), how about some leg of lamb seasonings for more attendees?

Stat increases should be significant. Gaining 1 or 2 stats per day while training at all is useless in a 20 day season, especially given how they seem to be awarded every other day in random areas? (Plus…:

Stats don’t seem to do a thing. Strength seems to be a roll of the dice where the dice don’t change despite significant stat differences. I understand needing to keep a game of fighting management semi-random, but the unknown only seemed to leave me scratching my head. Even using attacks that play to my strengths seemed to let my opponent urinate on my gladiator for 20 damage.

Larger roster. Without a larger roster, why even bother training? I can likely hire a new gladiator with my uesless heaps of gold that is better than my current roster rather than spending half their life training at a snail’s pace.
Equipment. Equipment would be an excellent gold sink, requiring upkeep, training, and a staff…

I WANT A STAFF! How about providing a staff of people? The game even compares itself to baseball, why do I not have a “coaching staff” of a blacksmith, nurses, marketing, and construction? You could do some amazing things with these. Upgrade your forge, your hospital, your construction and equipment, and upgrades and research take weeks out of the season. You could pay for better smelting techniques and better staff in general, but you have to upgrade your arena to have room for them.

Favor could be used to petition the gods for better victory, healing, or research.

Lastly, bribes are so useless. I bribed so many matches and lost almost all of them despite a bribe making victory “much more likely.” What a crock.

This game leaves way too much to be desired. An extremely interesting premise but what is ultimately less interesting than the colisseums of Caesar 3. Spend some more time at the drawing board and release some free content that adds some actual management rather than pure RNG, especially if you’re going to boast stats and upgrades.

Enter a world of blood, influence and secrets in this easy to learn, yet deep strategy sim where you control a group of Gladiators, guiding them through combat and competition. Bribe, gamble and slash your way to an arena championship!

Title: Elysium: Blood Games
Genre: Casual, Indie, Simulation, Sports, Strategy
Developer: SimProse Studios
Publisher: SimProse Studios
Release Date: 5 Jan, 2016

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