E3 Preview - Returning to Fantasy
Arcane Legends will be Space Time Studios’ fourth mobile MMO offering and if you are a fan of their series of games which began with Pocket Legends, frankly, you are in for a treat. Arcane Legends goes back to fantasy and as Marketing Director Fernando Blanco put it, they took the “best of the best” of the features that players liked, and put it into the game.
Arcane Legends has more of everything and takes a step up from the rest in so many ways. Pocket Legends is fantasy based, you play a space marine in Star Legends, and Dark Legends is set in a dark Vampiric world. Arcane takes you back to the good old DnD fantasy dungeon crawling romp, with more of a story lines, more weapons, more customization and better graphics.
A step up from the rest in the series, Space Time Studios has increased their minimum specs for the first time in three years and the art looked fantastic on the demo I was handed on the Kindle Fire. A combination of cel-shading and anime art, the environments were deeper and richer, the characters looking much less pixilated on close-up. Banners swayed in the wind, lighting was more dynamic. All in all, that was an immediate impression that the game had improved graphically.
In another change from the series, combat is now active. No more target lock auto-attack. Regular attack as well as skills have to be activated. The joystick from Star Legends is retained as is the “Charge” meter from Dark Legends. Combos from Pocket Legends are back in – these are activated when playing with others.
In another improvement (right up there with the increased min specs), NPC AI has improved. They no longer stand there like rocks and let you hit them. Fernando was playing a warrior and the caster he was trying to hit kept moving back and away from him, forcing him move back up to melee range, chasing him around the dungeon. I can imagine that they will duck behind obstacles to avoid casters.
As for the story, you start off in a tavern in a village – just like a good DnD adventure, right? You learn that a dark wizard had been opening portals and releasing evil, nasty creatures. Goblins and oh my… even trolls? Will you go out like the good adventurer you are and destroy them?
Like the rest of the series, Arcane Legends sticks to the three character formula. In this case, Warrior, Sorcerer and Rogue. Skills unlock as you level as does skill points that you can allocate. The destructible treasure chests remain – heck there were treasure “lockers” in Star Legends. There is a “lobby” area, and that is the tavern and village, but all other areas, outdoors or dungeon are instanced. As you level up and move from world area to world area, the story will be revealed as you go.
If you have an account for one of the games, you will automatically have an account for any of the others, and the game is accessible on iOS, Android or Chrome Browser. Unfortunately, coin is tied to storefront and in order to keep things simple and separate, is not transferable between accounts.
I asked Fernando if this was going to be as tough as Star Legends and he laughed, agreeing with my assessment of the previous title. “Star Legends was just hard!” he agreed. “We actually lowered the difficulty level from 1 to 10!” Space Time Studios does learn, he assured me, which was why he was speaking of “best practices” in his presentation.
Players who have not tried the games will find them familiar and fans of the series and the fantasy medieval setting will find Arcane Legends a real treat. A better, richer game, Arcane Legends will deliver far more than any of the other titles offered, the “best of the best” of Space Time Studios.