Spacetime Studios has been creating a comfortable empire for itself with its ‘Legends’ series of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs). They’ve done fantasy, science fiction, and horror games, only to return to fantasy with their recent release, Arcane Legends. But is the new game treading over old ground?
In some ways, yes– but only in ways that are typical of every fantasy game ever made. You play a legendary hero destined to save the land of Arlor from an evil demon. Monsters and bandits are running amok throughout the forests, hills, and undead cities, and you’ll gather amazing powers and loot as you run through the dungeons slaying everything that moves.
Arcane Legends uses the same engine as Pocket Legends, Star Legends, and Dark Legends, and Spacetime has taken advantage of that to put out a polished experience. The game runs smoothly, and it’s easy to move and fight. The details are tucked away in the menus, and a robust alert system gives you one-button shortcuts to specific quests or the inventory screen. You can spend a lot of time tweaking your character if you like, but one of the strengths of the game is that you don’t have to.
The path less traveled.
Another strength is that you can do a lot with the three basic classes. The game statistics are simple: Warriors rely on strength, rogues love dexterity, and sorcerers depend on intelligence. However, each class can be customized with eight active and seven passive skills. The skills cover the usual range of sorcerous fireballs and roguish knife attacks, but there’s enough variation that even when you’re adventuring with a character of the same class, you’re likely to be using different abilities.
You will adventure with other players a lot, which is one of the best features of Arcane Legends. The game encourages cooperative play with loose pick-up groups, which is the most efficient approach for a mobile MMORPG played in small bites. Each zone is instanced, putting together four or five players of similar level. You can form a party with one tap, which provides minor benefits of communication and experience. Even if you don’t form a party, however, the zones are small enough that players tend to clump together killing the same set of monsters. That’s easier and a lot more fun.
You also have a pet to keep you company. Pets are a major system in Arcane Legends. There are dozens of them, and you’re gently encouraged to catch’em all. Each pet provides a slightly different benefit and will battle at your side. The pet even runs about collecting loot for you!
End of the road.
Pets are also an ongoing cost in the game, since you have to sink a few hundred gold into them roughly every half hour of play, but how could any red-blooded adventurer quibble about the price of virtual electronic companionship?
The pets, skills, and party interactions give Arcane Legends a lot of depth, but it is a little short on breadth. Players are capped at level 21, and there are only three major areas in the game’s storyline. Each area has four or five zones, and an skilled party can run through an entire area in about an hour. There are also some challenging timed dungeons ‘under’ the game’s cities, but these are little more than random collections of monsters and loot.
The amount of content is reasonable for a mobile MMORPG, but don’t expect anything like the vast landscape of a World of Warcraft. That said, Arcane Legends is just the thing when you’re in the mood for a quick run through the dungeons.