Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review

But Can We Actually Build A Citadel, Tho?

Game Info:

  • System: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Blue Isle Studios
  • Developer: Blue Isle Studios, Virtual Basement LLC
  • Release Date: 26th July 2017 [Steam]
  • Price:$24.99 [Steam]
  • Rating: Rating Pending
  • Genre: RPG, Open World, Adventure
  • Players: Single-player, Multi-player
  • Official Website:

Who it Caters to

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Citadel: Forged with Fire is very much following in the footsteps of games like Skyrim and Ark, turning away from standard RPG gameplay in favour of an open-world, sandbox approach. The concept is to effectively let you do whatever you want within the game's expansive world: from PvE leveling and exploring, to taking on powerful monsters as part of a team or warring with other players over your lovingly crafted towns and citadels. So in a way, Citadel is potentially a game for anyone, whether you want to go solo or prefer playing with friends, if you like fighting monsters or other players, you can find your own way to play.

Although, as we just mentioned, solo play is very much part of the game, we would provide a disclaimer though that as of now, the devs seem to be focused mostly on improving the multiplayer experience, as well as tailoring the game's challenges to groups of players rather than single-players. Also that as the game is in early alpha, the amount of content currently available may be better experienced with a group of friends, particularly as many of the stronger enemies require quite a bit of grinding to take on if you're all by your lonesome.

What to Expect

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Currently, Citadel: Forged with Fire is being sold as an early access title and seems to be very much in the alpha phase of testing, with a significant chunk of missing content and some interesting bugs to be found. So as with any early access title, it's best to approach Citadel with an open mind and remember that it isn't supposed to be finished quite yet. With that said, much of the base game is workable, including the huge, and quite beautiful, environment, the crafting and building system, and the combat mechanics. Some of the most frequent changes the devs are currently making are to the game's balance, as damage and spells still need some fine tuning.

In terms of what to expect, we'd say you can look forward to a whole lot of exploring, as well as being able to challenge yourself by taking on some of the games harder enemies residing in the far corners of the world. The building system is also pretty solid already, so if you like making something of your own then you could easily spend hours crafting your own house, fortress, or castle if you're willing to collect enough stone! If you're really into player vs player combat then the thing to look forward to most is probably being able to take part in House wars between groups of players, as well as raiding your enemy's fortresses for both loot and your own satisfaction.


Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review


What we found most impressive about Citadel: Forged with Fire so far was the sheer size of the map, as well as the level of detail that's been put into its creation. The world spans 36 square kilometers and covers environments from tranquil woodland areas to snowy mountains, and lands that look infected by some kind of plague. Spread across the lands are a variety of odd points of interest such as acid pools which you can lure enemies into, as well as monuments that grant you buffs, and towers that allow quick travel. Enemy camps and caves are spread about the map as well, providing some interesting places to explore, as well as chests packed with loot. Hopefully, the caves and dungeons get some more love in the future as some of them are a little small as of now.

As we mentioned before, building is one of the most advanced parts of the game currently, with many players setting up private servers so that they can remake real buildings in-game, or live out their wildest fortress building dreams. We only made a simple house so that we could give ourselves a place to respawn and craft our wears, but if you have grander plans, then Citadel will surely accommodate you. Of course, it's important to remember that on PvP servers your creations can be raided and destroyed by other players, so you'll want to set up some turrets to defend it, and just generally just keep an eye on it.

A note on servers, Citadel has "Official" servers that house a large number of players and go by the regular game rules, but also allows you to create private servers. The number of players allowed on each server, as well as the rules it follows, is decided by the admins. For example, you can change between PvP and PvE types, increase experience gain, or turn off inventory weight limits just to name a few of the options. We cranked up experience gain a bit on our server because we couldn't quite wait to take on some dragons.

With regards to the multiplayer aspects of the game, currently, it's possible to make Houses, similar to your standard MMO "guild" concept, and attack other player's bases with your friends. The developers are hoping to add more formalities in the future, allowing you to declare war on other houses, as well as engage in duels and other types of competitions. Besides PvP, taking on dragons and the like with other people is awesome and presents a nice challenge at lower levels. The developers are planning to implement world bosses and other interesting enemies before the game leaves early access as well, so there's still more to look forward to.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Despite the strong PvP focus, combat is possibly the mechanic in Citadel that could use the most refining or improvement. The default camera view for the game is first-person, though you can swap to third-person, and you aim your spells and weapon attacks using a crosshair in the middle of the screen. As of now although there are a reasonable number of weapons and spells available, adding to that library would be a big improvement in terms of player customisation. We were also surprised to find that there are currently no ranged weapons in-game, although they are planned. All that said, we didn't actually encounter any problems with the combat and everything flows fluidly, so we can see why it might not be a priority for improvements over other areas.

The leveling and character customisation is another area which works just fine but leaves a little to be desired. Leveling at regular experience rates is pretty slow and can get quite grindy, but thankfully the higher experience rate servers solve that issue. As you level you gain points to increase your health, mana, damage, and weight capacity, as well as Knowledge points which give you access to new spells, recipes, or other proficiencies. We really liked the Knowledge system to be honest, as it's simple enough that you don't have to spend a hideous amount of time planning your points, but complex enough to allow us to make the character that we wanted to play. You often find yourself making a trade-off between improving your spells and damage, or your crafting, and we imagine as more content gets added to the game, these tradeoffs may present some difficult decisions as you close in on the level cap.

Overall the gameplay itself in Citadel is actually pretty simple, with the complexity of the game being more about what choices you make when designing your character, building structures, or organising a team. As we mentioned before, the developers are constantly tweaking spells and enemies with regards to the game's balance, which is nice to see, and although we certainly found plenty of challenging content, even in the lower level areas, nothing felt needlessly frustrating or janky.

Graphics and Sound

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Citadel: Forged with Fire is certainly a nice way of testing the limits of your PC. The amount of detail put into the foliage and textures is amazing and makes us glad we invested in that GTX 1080. No matter where we were we found ourselves wanting to just take random screenshots: it's like being surrounded by photo opportunities everywhere you look. The lighting at sunrise and sunset is particularly gorgeous and makes even some of the grimmer environments look just wonderful. Speaking a little on in-game models, we thought the dragons were all really well done: from their appearance itself to the detail put into their walking and flying animations.

Currently, the game does not contain any voiced lines, none that we found at least, and many of the sound effects are what you would expect from any fantasy RPG. A fireball sounds like a fireball. What we did like was the ambient sound that's used to add to the immersion of the game, such as the sounds of birds and critters when you're in a forest which is noticeable but pleasantly subtle.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Despite being an early access title, we've had trouble pulling ourselves away from Citadel: Forged with Fire. While fairly grindy, the leveling system is rewarding and advancing through the Knowledge tree really does provide your character with a lot more options. Although the world may be sparse in terms of events and points of interest, it retains enough mystery and beauty to be worth exploring, as well as providing constant challenges as you progress through the more difficult areas. Our playtime was mostly limited to single-player style gameplay in what is really a multiplayer focused game, but we never felt we were missing out on a lot, as even the single-player experience was rewarding enough to keep us busy.

On the flip side, the game still has a long way to go before it becomes a full release title, with a fairly long list of features waiting to be implemented. The lack of friendly NPCs of any kind, for example, feels a little odd in what is an otherwise flourishing environment and leaves you feeling a little lonely. Numerous features simply need building on, such as the Houses system, and there is currently a notable lack of variety in items and enemies. We're also aching to get our hands on some kind of ranged weapon.

Honey's Pros:

  • Map is big and beautiful
  • Building mode
  • Great multiplayer potential for PvE and PvP

Honey's Cons:

  • Still lacking content
  • Unusual bugs
  • Lack of NPCs or quests detracts from the single player experience

Honey's Final Verdict:

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review
Overall, Citadel is solid for an early access title and has some huge potential. Just be sure to measure your expectations before you go in and you won't be disappointed. One thing's for sure, Citadel: Forged with Fire has a lot to compete with, with games like Light and Dark, and Ark also offering a sandbox style fantasy experience, and even Skyrim still going strong for those who favour single player adventures. Hopefully, Citadel gets the updates it needs fast enough to stay relevant.

Had the chance to try out Citadel yet? What did you think? Or if you haven't played, what are you hoping for from the title? Be sure to leave us a comment down below and let us know your thoughts!

Headline-Image-Citadel-Forged-with-Fire-Capture-500x281 Citadel: Forged with Fire - PC Review


Author: Kristian

British guy doing student things in Tokyo. Slice-of-life and moe anime are my speciality, though I think something good can be found in almost every show. Outside of anime I spend most of my time feeding on DotA 2 or studying Japanese in a quest to one day watch cute girls without subtitles.

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