Life is Feudal: Your Own | MOUSE n JOYPAD


How difficult can naming your game be, really? After all the work you’ve invested in the damned thing, all the hours you’ve lost getting tangled up in the code, with bugs popping up left and right… surely, coming up with a title for your project is a trivial matter in comparison. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as far as Bitbox Games are concerned at the very least. Here I am as a linguist, struggling to understand whether there’s some sort of a meaning to ‘Life is Feudal: Your Own’ or if it’s a random thematic quip someone felt would do the game good as a title.

On another note, one fact I feel is overlooked wherever Life is Feudal is mentioned is that these are pretty much the same developers who worked on Starforge, which should flash an alert sign or two for you. In case you’re not in the know, Starforge was an extremely promising sandbox RPG/shooter that remains utterly broken and half-finished to this day, even though the developers rushed it to 1.0 and “released” it as-such. I’m prone to remembering things such as this, so I thought some of you may well be interested in hearing this little piece of trivia, just in case.

Having said that, Life is Feudal: Your Own (oh god…) seems like a much more stable project than Starforge ever was.


Every NPC is actually a player who’s got nothing better to do than stand guard at his shop all day long.

If I had to come up with a term that best described this game, I’d say it’s a hyper-realistic high-definition medieval survival sim. Upon creating a character to use at the server you’re connecting to for the first time, you’ll spawn in a pair of medieval knickers ready to punch something into submission. Except, not really – you’ll first want to meet up with some other people, up to 63 of which can play alongside you at any given moment. Now, if you’ve got some experience with games such as Rust, DayZ and whatnot, you know better than to search for other most likely malicious players right at the start. In the case of Life is Feudal, there’s an abundance of systems and gameplay mechanics that severely punish griefing in any form. This effectively balances out the innate hatred every player seems to have for strangers in games such as this – as soon as you murder someone, the entirety of the serverfolk will have you marked as one. Which is unprofitable if you want to be a crook, really.

And, should you want to be one, you’ll be pleased to hear that pillaging and medieval subterfuge are both possible and potentially profitable in Life is Feudal: specialization is key, and your stats should reflect what you eventually want to become. Is your in-game goal to become a bandit who bonks people over their heads and steals their valuables while they’re powerless to do anything other than spectate? Sure! Invest in appropriate skills and you’ll be good to go. After a load of training and preparation, that is, because going about these matters solo will get you nowhere. As soon as you start specializing in, say, blacksmithing, you’ll want to stick to it while other players compliment your skills with their own, such as tanning, woodwork and similar. There aren’t enough skillpoints for you to max everything (on most servers), so you’ll want to focus on a relatively strict and limiting circle of skills that you deem are most valuable to you and the people you play with. The whole system works well enough for most servers to turn into somewhat realistically depicted instances of medieval Europe. Do note, however, that aside from animals, there are absolutely no non-person characters present in this game, which means that if you want to run a shop, you’ll have to do it manually, by yourself, which may turn the gameplay experience into their second job, but hey, a peasant has got to do what a peasant’s got to do, right. So you tend to your piglets, keep an eye on your shop and… have fun I guess? I’m going to admit I prefer my games to feature a goal of some kind, so I found Life is Feudal to be dull most of the time, but there seems to be a fair few people who enjoy this kind of thing, so who am I to judge?


This stronghold required more manhours of effort than building one would in real life.

Unlike what Minecraft has taught us, intricate castles and bastions aren’t built in minutes, and Life is Feudal adheres to that heavily. Whereas most games would have you plucking an entire log off the ground and throwing it in your pocket for future use, Life is Feudal forces your character to physically carry the recently exterminated tree on his back to the place where it can be fiddled with. Resource manipulation is, mostly, featured as an actual representation in the game, which means you’ll have to wait through a whole lot of  animations to actually see any of your efforts bear fruit in this game, but that’s one of its unique charms. Actual castles and cities are obnoxiously rare in Life is Feudal: Your Own, but once you get a small village going, you’ll feel genuine pride in what you’ve accomplished. Same goes for animal taming, crafting, leveling up and virtually everything else that’s present in this game – there’s a certain amount of raw satisfaction to be attained once you complete a task you’ve set out to do, and few games seem to work on that principle, sadly. More could be done about the mechanics of it all, but I genuinely like the direction where the developers have taken this game, even if I may not enjoy it all that much.

And really, there’s a whole lot of things to do in Life is Feudal – some of which include fighting, plopping down Guilds to secure a plot of land, building settlements, leveling up your character, hoarding resources, chasing down animals to tame them and oh-so-many more things to dabble in. Most gameplay systems work fine, but there’s an odd bug here and there that does drape the experience a tad bit. I found some textures failing to load for some reason, and a whole lot of clipping happened when two placed objects interacted in a way they clearly weren’t meant to interact. Also, the game crashed once when I encountered a settlement, but that’s the worst instance of real technical problems I’ve encountered in Life is Feudal, strangely enough. Now, the framerate is a whole different beast, and it seems to fluctuate wildly disregarding whatever might be going on on-screen. It’s clear that the game’s not been properly optimized, and here’s hoping the developers look into fixing that problem as soon as possible.

Graphics-wise, I’m happy with what the game looks like. The DirectX 11 update did wonders for its environments, which look quite lovely on the highest settings. There’re a plethora of options to fiddle with as well, which may or may not help your framerate, in case you’re playing the game on a potato. The audio, on the other hand, I found to be okayish at best and utterly annoying at its worst. It took me about ten minutes before I disabled the music altogether, for example. Tastes may vary, mind you.

In conclusion, Life is Feudal: Your Own is a fairly solid hardcore medieval survival game with performance issues that requires LOTS of time invested before the really interesting stuff starts happening. The combat works fine, even though it’s not especially exciting nor inviting, so I avoided it for the most part, aside from my stint as a bandit that lasted an hour, tops. If you’re into this kind of game and perhaps want to live another life in medieval Europe, Life is Feudal is what you should be looking into.