I’ve been chipping away at Enderal for a bit now, and have seen enough of it to give some initial thoughts. Overall its fantastic and well worth the price (free), but it’s not flawless.
Graphically it looks as good as Skyrim is likely to look in 2019. The world is beautifully built, the lighting is really excellent, and even the character models look much improved from what we normally see in Skyrim. All of this graphical excellence does come at a cost, and even on my top-end rig, the frame rate does dip below 60 at times (Enderal runs on the original version of Skyrim, which is capped at 60 FPS). I imagine the game would be 100% unplayable if released back when Skyrim originally came out.
The voice work is pretty hit or miss for me. A lot of it is good to great, but you do notice the occasional inconsistency, and some of the actors are REALLY bad. The writing itself is very good however, so even bad voice acting still mostly delivers interesting dialog. The random chatter of people in cities or enemies as you fight them is also a step up from Skyrim.
Gameplay mechanics are good, if perhaps a bit too complex. I get wanting to evolve Skyrim, and to add more depth, but sometimes it feels like there is complexity for the sake of complexity, or skills/abilities that only work when specifically combined with something else. Getting the combo to work does feel rewarding, but only the first few times, and in a game like this, you end up fighting A LOT, so repetition has to feel enjoyable rather than a chore.
The game is also a bit too into itself with some of the systems, where if you know all of the information, things click, but if you just try to approach things casually, you are going to struggle. Many of the quests aren’t directed, and while some of them you can figure out, a few I’ve had to look up, and once I had the answer, still couldn’t figure out WHY that was the answer.
The game doesn’t auto-scale like Skyrim, which overall is good, but the swings in difficulty can be pretty extreme. More than once now I’ve had the first few steps of a quest be very doable, and suddenly the next step appears to require you to be significantly stronger. The good here is that this encourages you to find stronger equipment and really take advantage of food, potions, and enchanting, but it can also be frustrating to run into a brick wall of an enemy and return later to finish that quest.
I’ll likely write more as I get deeper into the game, at least until this Thursday when the next Battle Brothers expansion is released, but again if you own Skyrim and enjoy that style of game, you should enjoy Enderal.