Nightingale Review – Too Early, Even For Early Access

Another rough addition to the Survival genre.

Overall
2.5
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Nightingale falls short on many of the promises it makes, and I have a clear picture that it is too early for it to even be in early access.

Pros

  • Compelling Story.
  • Fun Building.
  • Breathtaking World And Art Direction.
  • Introduces A New Concept Of Realm Swapping.

Cons

  • Generic Gameplay And Frustrating Crafting.
  • Clunky Combat.
  • UI Is Nightmarish To Navigate.
  • Online-Only Requirement.
  • Immersion-Breaking Bugs.

In an already saturated market, Nightingale tries to establish its roots by implementing its own niche in the genre of open-world survival. Despite having everything it needs to go down in history as one of the best recently released survival games, Nightingale falls short while establishing its own premise, which I aim to discuss thoroughly in my Early Access review.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Inflexion Games
  • Publisher: Inflexion Games
  • Release Date: 20th February 2024 (Early Access)
  • Platforms: PC 
  • Game Length: N/A
  • Time Played: 30 Hours
  • Author’s Note: I have spent a sufficient amount of time in Nightingale and have a lot of experience in the genre as well, making my opinions and comparisons trustworthy.

Story And Setting

review of nightingale
Taking the first step into the world of Nightingale [Image Credit: eXputer]
The story of Nightingale starts off with Earth being enveloped by a strange fog, or in the words of your mysterious companion- Puck, the Pale. You are a realm walker who wakes up in the land of Fae. Aided by Puck, you are given the objective of locating the city of Nightingale, which is Humanity’s last refuge.

The market of survival open world genre is already saturated, with two survival games- Palword and Enshrouded being released this year alone. Therefore, Nightingale tried setting itself apart from other titles through a unique concept of realm swapping and realm cards that you can craft or find scattered in the world.

Nightingale’s story would’ve suited much better in an action-adventure title rather than a survival title.

Nightingale isn’t set in one single world; rather, a new world is procedurally generated once you decide to change realms. You don’t see this in survival games every day.

Born Of Curiosity, We Opened The First Gateway

the being who speaks in riddles
Puck [Image Credit: eXputer]
There are two different kinds of realm cards- the Biome Card and the Major Card. The Biome Card determines the biome in which this new world will be generated. The Major Card, on the other hand, acts like a modifier, which affects the difficulty of the world and what kind of enemies may appear.

It’s the same formula I have been seeing since the last decade, with nothing except the realm-swapping concept setting it apart from literally every other survival game in the market.

The story itself is interesting and worth pursuing. However, the way the progression is designed is where the downsides become most apparent, which I will get to in a while, but the bottom line is that Nightingale’s story would’ve suited much better in an action-adventure title rather than a survival title.

Gameplay

review of nightingale
Exploring the world [Image Credit: eXputer]
Nightingale offers standard survival game gameplay- explore biomes, cut down trees, collect materials, use that material to craft equipment, use that equipment to gain better materials, and use those materials to craft better equipment.

The problem? It’s the same formula I have been seeing since the last decade, with nothing except the realm-swapping concept setting it apart from literally every other survival game in the market. Let’s first focus on the combat.

The UI feels bland and clunky, and navigating through it honestly feels like a chore.

Even after, because Nightingale is still in early access, the combat feels so clunky that, honestly, I start dreading every combat section.

review of nightingale
Climbing the hill and exploring in Nightingale [Image Credit: eXputer]
The animations of objects breaking and overall physics look janky, the move set feels clunky and unresponsive, and the online-only requirement is disappointing. But the main gripe of the gameplay would be the lag. More on this later. 

Aside from the repetitive nature of the gameplay, one of my main gripes for Nightingale is just how overcomplicated it feels. Let’s look at crafting first. Hides are divided into two different categories- predator and prey, and six different types, which makes the crafting feel unnecessarily complicated.

The same logic is applied to gems, ores, and more. But even if I were to ignore all that, Nightingale is in such a disappointing state right now, even in early access, that I can’t even craft a door and roof for the house I was building for some reason. More on performance later, but credit where it’s due; the building aspect is fun and comes together quite nicely.

Greed In The Face Of Power

how to build and craft
Building a small tent [Image Credit: eXputer]
But that’s not all; in terms of UI and QoL, Nightingale desperately needs a revamp. These elements can be the saving points of some titles, but here, it’s like adding fuel to the fire as the UI feels bland and clunky, and navigating through it honestly feels like a chore.

The visuals are one of the saving points of Nightingale as the world is beautifully crafted. It’s even more impressive when you consider that it is procedurally generated.

The Hotbar being split into two sections for the main and side arm feels so unnecessary. With this, you get forced to equip only five tools at a time, forcing you to open your inventory repeatedly and navigate through the atrocious UI. I hope the developer- of Inflexion Games notes all the feedback and makes changes accordingly.

Finally, please allow me to share my two cents on the lag and the online-only requirement. For some reason, Nightingale is an online-only game, meaning you can not play offline, which I don’t understand why it’s even a thing, as every other survival game on the market works perfectly fine offline.

Whenever I saw the gigantic ghost elk passing by me, I couldn’t help but be overfilled with a feeling of wonder and mystery. 

There are still a few more gripes I want to list, but I respect your time, unlike Nightingale, so now I’ll move on to the visuals and performance section.  

Visuals And Performance

review of nightingale
Nighttime in Nightingale [Image Credit: eXputer]
The visuals are one of the saving points of Nightingale as the world is beautifully crafted. It’s even more impressive when you consider that it is procedurally generated. Each biome feels unique, and thanks to the major cards, you can add your own touch to the world that is being procedurally generated.

I often found myself stopping for a moment to take in the beauty of Nightingale’s world and taking screenshots. Whenever I saw the gigantic ghost elk passing by me, I couldn’t help but be overfilled with a feeling of wonder and mystery. 

What seemed like a battle against a floating knight in armor turned into a battle against lag and dodging attacks coming out of thin air. 

A world with a Victorian Era setting with radiant forests, beautiful scenarios, scorching deserts, and a mythical vibe. Nightingale paints a world so vibrant that I can’t help but gush over it, and it is definitely one of its strongest points.

Seek Refuge In Nightingale

review of nightingale
The ghost elk [Image Credit: eXputer]
Before I start tearing down Nightingale with all my gripes about the performance, do keep in mind that this is an early access review, so most of these issues will be fixed as we progress through the timeline of this title. Now, without further ado.

Nightingale is plagued with goofy and janky animations, immersion-breaking bugs, and annoying stutters. I tested Nightingale on my RTX 3060TI on 1080p, and no matter how much tweaking I did, I always managed to run into frame drops and frame pacing issues.

However, the one thing that really deteriorates Nightingale’s overall experience is the lag and its online-only requirement. The number of times my immersion was ruined due to lag is uncountable. When I fought my first boss in Nightingale, what seemed like a battle against a floating knight in armor turned into a battle against lag and dodging attacks coming out of thin air.

Verdict

review of nightingale
Verdict [Image Credit: eXputer]
Lexion Studios tries to paint a picture with Nightingale and gives it all the paint it needs to make it flourish in an already saturated market.

However, the rushed decisions and approach Lexion takes make it fall short of many of its promises. Nightingale is another addition to an already saturated genre that falls short while trying to establish its own premise.

Nightingale falls short on many of the promises it makes, and I have a clear picture that it is too early for it to even be in early access. While the premise is there, Nightingale desperately needs a ton of revamps and QoL improvements if it doesn’t want to be forgotten and overshadowed in an already saturated genre.

I wouldn’t recommend Nightingale in its current state, but I look forward to reviewing it again once it exits early access and moves toward its proper release. 

This has been my review of Nightingale. While you are here, consider checking out some of our other reviews.

This is box title
Get This Game

If you are a hardcore fan of the Survival genre and don’t mind the early access hiccups.

Dont Get This Game

If you don’t wish to experience Nightingale with all the early access issues that may arise.

Do I Need To Get This Game

Not right now, as Nightingale is in dire need of a revamp and QoL improvements; I can not recommend it in its current state.

Alternative Games
  • Enshrouded
  • Palworld
  • Valheim 
  • Sons Of The Forest
  • Rust
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Hammad Ijaz is a Guides Writer on eXputer who is into various gaming genres. He has this pure passion for enjoying games and then reflecting that passion back into his writing. Along with a gaming experience of 10+ years, he also has many years of writing experience. Hammad further solidifies his status as a true gamer by showcasing hundreds of hours of game time on Warframe, Witcher 3, and Elden Ring. Feel free to explore his extensive gaming library on Steam.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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