Citadel: Forged with Fire is an open-world role-playing game along the lines of Conan Exiles. Due to its online nature, you can play with dozens of other players in this sandbox adventure, but you can also enjoy the title on your own if you don't like aggressive player vs. player interactions. While Conan Exiles focuses on melee combat, Citadel: Forged with Fire introduces magic and spellcasting into the mix. You can always equip swords and axes, but wands and staffs do the most damage.
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Citadel: Forged with Fire
Bottom line: Citadel: Forged with Fire is a good game, but needs more polish.
- Massive open world
- Small download size
- Great Xbox One X support
- Great flying mechanics
- Poor animations
- Unclear endgame
- Slight performance issues
- Prolonged texture pop-in
Citadel: Forged with Fire exploration and quests
Citadel: Forged with Fire focuses on exploring a dangerous open world. There are dragons, golems, and other monsters you have to constantly battle as you find quests to tackle. As is the case with many games, it's all about emergent experiences. Maybe an encounter with an Infernal Dragon will result is an epic tale, or infiltrating another player's castle will be the more memorable story.
There are a number of quest givers you can find scattered throughout the world. They're marked with a giant exclamation mark on the map. If you like a more structured narrative, then you can follow this path. However, the quests mostly revolve around killing a few enemies or collecting items. This can get repetitive and boring after a while.
Citadel: Forged with Fire performance and visuals
Citadel: Forged with Fire looks amazing on Xbox One X at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second. The presentation is clear and the colors are quite vibrant even though they look somewhat unnatural. The performance is also good, but there is slight stuttering once in a while as well as prolonged texture pop-in at launch. Unfortunately, the animations are wooden even when it comes to the way your character swings a melee weapon. Luckily, there are a lot of magical abilities with excellent effects to detract from that.
For the majority of the game, you'll be fighting bears, boars, and orcs. However, later on, you encounter dragons and other mythical beasts that are quite challenging to overcome. It would've been nice to see some more polish when it comes to the way enemies move because that requires the most amount of work. Sometimes, dragons just run around in circles when you're attacking them from a distance. What should be a harrowing encounter becomes almost comical because the artificial intelligence is so poor.
Citadel: Forged with Fire gameplay mechanics
The best part of Citadel: Forged with Fire has to be the flying mechanics. Again, the animation quality is terrible, but the fact that you can hop on a broom and go wherever you want is amazing. However, don't venture too far north because that's where the most powerful beasts reside.
Citadel: Forged with Fire also features great building mechanics, but a lot of the best structures are locked behind a slow progression system. The same applies to weapons and armor. Fighting enemies, crafting items, foraging, and other activities give you experience which unlocks all of these items. Just like Conan Exiles, you need to gather lots of resources to craft everything, and you'll spend dozens of hours unlocking the complex technology trees.
Citadel: Forged with Fire requires a lot of dedication to master. However, if you play a single-player world, you can tweak the settings to make it more rewarding. For example, you can increase the amount of experience and resources gained by picking up wood or stone. If you don't have others helping you out, this is a great way to make the title less frustrating on your own.
Citadel: Forged with Fire endgame issues
Citadel: Forged with Fire has a great tutorial, but it lacks voice acting. It's also unclear if there are a lot of bosses in the game because so far, I've just encountered progressively harder creatures. It's also unclear what the endgame content looks like because other than going around and destroying other players' castles, I haven't really seen much. Hopefully, the team will add more to the game like limited-time events, soon.
Aside from exploration, taming animals is a great way to move around the map and take on foes. However, it takes a while to unlock all of the items required to subdue a beast. There are a lot of confusing mechanics in Citadel: Forged with Fire, and you'll probably want to look at a lot of YouTube videos to learn them all. It may not be a supremely polished game, but it's definitely complex.
Citadel: Forged with Fire final thoughts
Overall, Citadel: Forged with Fire is a good game, but it needs more work on a technical front. The game desperately needs better animations, better menus, maybe some clearer bosses, and possibly a better endgame. Hopefully, future updates will provide the title with that.
If you love games like Conan Exiles, be sure to check this one out. However, don't expect the title to be completely polished. The asking price is also a little steep for this experience, in my opinion.
The game was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a copy provided by the developer.
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