Dark and Light Preview – A Fantasy Sandbox Diamond in the Rough

Dark and Light Preview

When there are tons of MMORPGs out there, old and new, players have to figure out which one offers the best gameplay, the best story, missions and more. And with most MMOs being on a pay-to-play format, the decision becomes even harder as players have to make sure that the game is worth the monthly fee. Having the chance to preview Snail Games’ new MMO, Dark and Light, I was pleasantly surprised by what it offered despite some hiccups. Currently available on Steam Early Access this is in no way the final product, and while there are many things that need to be updated, the core game itself is promising.

One of my favorite part of any MMO is creating my character, so you can imagine my excitement as I booted up the game and eagerly waited to see just how in depth the character creation section is. I waited.. and waited. Game crashed and took the whole PC with it. Booted up the game again. Made dinner while waiting. The game crashed, restarted Steam and waited some more. By this time, I wondered if it was simply my computer but with a quick glance around the net and Steam, I found that this was a very common occurrence no matter what your internet connection is like or how spiffy your gaming set up is. First word of advice; Learn to love watching that back end of the dragon.


“Dark and Light has a lot of things to work on but being what it is, it has a lot of promise and is actually quite fun.”

Once you finally do get into the game, it will bring you to a list of many servers and it was nice to see a lot of them at near or max capacity. Once you have picked a server, however, it opens up another can of familiar worms and commences another long wait and load time. Finally being able to get into character creation you’ll notice that while it’s not quite as in depth as Black Desert Online or Blade and Soul, the game does offer a variety of toggles and sliders to create pretty unique appearances. Sliders for skin tone and hair color are quite decent but the variety of hair styles and facial hair for men is quite lacking.

You’ve made it into the game! Now what? Well, my friends, like any MMO or survival game, you begin with the basic clothes on your back with zero gold, no inventory and a passion for adventure. You begin your journey by taking on a series of tasks from the local inn keeper to go out and forage for various items to complete simple assignments. Be prepared to spend some time gathering wood, apples, magic shards, berries and more for our lovely but strict task giver who I am not completely convinced is actually in the game (I never found her at least).

Dark and Light TOP SCREEN (1280x)

The longer you spend doing a certain task, the more that chore will raise up the linked skill leading to unlocking a new rank and sometimes even new recipes. So far, crafting weapons and tools requires having specific skills as well as having enough resources to create the item but luckily materials are mostly easily accessible in large amounts from multiple sources. The gameplay itself isn’t terribly outstanding but is quite easy to grasp. You have the basic hot keys that you can assign items, weapons and skills to. It is one of those instances where it’s easier to just play and figure out exactly how you would like to play.

While the developers are continuously patching the game to fix bugs and introduce new elements, the overall look of the game itself is where Dark and Light truly shines. Beautiful scenery with vast landscapes and great lighting effects makes this a wonderful MMO for the eyes. The animations are a bit wonky at times and for monsters and characters alike can be quite awful and disjointed. At times you’ll find yourself immobilized and you’ll wonder “Oh no, did it freeze?” Don’t worry, it’s terribly easy to get stuck on rocks or shrubs. The insane rag doll effects when experiencing the death of another player can be quite hilarious as well as they plunge through the ground and into the depths of hell itself. While all of these things and more can be improved upon, it’s good to know that the one thing the team will not really need to worry about is the actual visuals.

Dark and Light Screen (700x)

While navigating your character, the interface is quite nice and light in color which allows more focus on the area around you however as soon as the inventory or skill tree is opened up, it is near impossible to tell what is going on around you. Whether it is a skeleton knight coming in for a full frontal assault, a task giver imparting words of wisdom or a friend passing by, it will definitely take player’s characters by surprise. For more experienced players, this does not pose much of a problem as you will grow accustomed to a method that will work for you, but for new players, it can come across as messy and unintuitive.

Dark and Light has a lot of things to work on but being what it is, it has a lot of promise and is actually quite fun. Once you’ve purchased it, you won’t have to worry about monthly fees either, which is a big plus. As a sandbox game with over 14,000+ square feet of space and a grand vision, I have to say it’s almost there and with the right fixes, Dark and Light will shine on through.

** A PC game code was provided by the publisher **