Wow. Steam Early Access can bring us great games every once in a while, but sometimes there are a few holes in the system that yield some of the worst, most unfinished games that do nothing but disappoint. The true problem lies in that The Guild 3 actually has something going for it; the idea behind it is so bright and inspired, but it just fails to be properly executed.
The general idea behind the game is developing an occupation and cultivating a family tree. You start out with whatever occupation you want, ranging from blacksmith to rogue. You live life, get married (or not), have kids, and live their lives. It's a great idea, but it feels like there isn't much to do. It's like playing a simulation game where you barely get any options. The game does most of the work for you in a sense. You'll just be standing around doing nothing and a minute later a notification indicates that your good deeds have been rewarded with gold.
The idea is great, but how does it play? Not well. Not well at all. This game is a horrible mess, and beyond all things, it's unplayable. Buttons don't work, the skill tree doesn't register, and half the time you wonder whether or not your character is actually doing their job. The NPCs don't seem to be as interactive as you might think, and generally speaking, they seem to be a fairly important part of the game for the idea that is being presented. I wish I could better explain the gameplay, but it is (supposed to be) super complex in theory and better left explained by the help guides in the game. Either way, it just doesn't work.
The visuals aren't horrible, but the design is messy, glitchy, and just strange at times. The UI is also one of the most unfinished things I've seen in years. The sound is grating, and even unintentionally humorous at times. On the bright side though, the actual humor they put into the game might make you chuckle a few times, but it's certainly not enough to redeem the game for me. I couldn't figure out how to work my own occupation for at least two hours even after reading the entire game's help section. There are so many other things I could complain about, but I think my point has been made.
Glitches are ever-present in the game so far, and I couldn't count them on my fingers if I tried. There were times that, during character creation, certain occupations didn't show up. There were times I saw people flying through the air on their horses. There were times where it said my character was performing a task but it wasn't actually happening. The game wouldn't save in some cases, even. Basically, the entire game feels like a glitched up mess. I'm not sure where it went wrong, but even I was surprised at the level of unfinished that this game simply is.
I wish I could say more, but The Guild 3 is probably the worst experience I've ever had with Steam Early Access, and that says a lot considering that there are quite a few odd games to be found. The general lack of polish is very clear, and it even feels like a downgrade from The Guild 2. The UI is extremely unfriendly and more than half the time the buttons and sections do not work. For a thirty dollar game, this is just inexcusable. As for right now though, it's a horrible mess and virtually unplayable. It's up to you to decide whether or not to purchase the game, but I think my money would be better spent on something else.
Most of my time is dedicated to tearing apart games and movies, then telling you what I think about it. I've been a gamer since birth, practically born with a controller in my hand. I've always spoke my mind, so critique was a natural fit. Twitter: @Jsrf38