Legion of Heroes, a full 3D epic fantasy MMORPG optimized for all mobile platforms has launched on Google Play. This Free to Play app may change to way you get your MMORPG fix when you are away from your computer. Nexon M brings a huge fantasy based game where you a mysterious hero wielding strange powers and could be the key to the world’s salvation or its destruction.
The setting is Earth where fairies and magic were wild for centuries before humans came into the picture. Hidden away in Atlantis and protected by beastkin, the Heart of Atlantis is hidden away until the archmage Antares discovers it. Upon possessing the heart, Antares becomes the Dread King who brings war upon the humans. Fairies and Humans united against to Antares until finally they trapped him in a magical prison. Generations later the Dread King was able to corrupt Rideran, a fallen knight, causing a new Great War to begin.
The sheer size of the world took me by surprise for a mobile game. The ability to use automated movement between objectives or the freedom to control where you walk when you want is a great feature that keeps the world large but not tedious. While the quest series takes you along a specific path, there is no need to follow it directly. Complete the story quest in the area and then take time to explore. You will find new and interesting things to see. Want to spice it up, switch it to night and then travel around the area again.
You begin your adventures in the village of Nottingham as one of four starting heroes. You quickly meet more and more heroes who will join your team. Each hero has its own unique strengths and abilities that provide a nearly endless combination of fighting forces. Once you reach level 15 you will have an active team of 6 heroes with up to 50 heroes in reserve. There is a lodge you can put heroes in storage also once you max your army. A fun feature of the game is you can change to any hero as your main character just by promoting them to leader, allowing you to travel the world as that hero.
Every time you earn a new hero you get the option to watch a video of the abilities it brings to the table. This is a very nice feature to review not only the actions of the abilities but the looks of the characters prior to adding them to the team. Keep in mind that these videos may add up to a lot of data usage and you may want to wait to watch them once you’re on WIFI if you’re concerned about data limits. You can also just observe the bosses in each fight because they are based on every hero in the game that you can acquire. As the heroes are random based on the tickets you earn, you will end up with duplicate heroes that you can fuse with other heroes to give them experience or sell for gold.
Combat is rather interesting in Legion of Heroes. Being turn based, you would expect each side to take turns, which is true. However you have the option to change the progression of combat by the order you place heroes on your team which greatly impacts the tactics. The special abilities of each hero requires focus with is earned by using base abilities, getting hit in combat or taking with focus thief heroes. Having a good balance of heroes that gain and consume focus adds a level of dynamics to the turn based combat. You can make the choices of what to attack and what abilities to use as fast of slow as you would like. The formation of your heroes is also important as abilities can affect how or what you hit or how you’re hit by the enemies. Planning your moves is important as there are 3 waves of progressively harder mobs to every battle and consuming all your focus prior to the boss fight on wave three could leave you at a disadvantage.
If you happen have a hero die during combat, you are given the option to call for help. This is where your friends list comes into play. A hero that has been assigned by your friends will assist in your fight once there is room on the battle field and you request the help. This will allow you complete the battle and provide experience to the hero of your friend. Your hero will assist even when you are not online if randomly selected to help. Both you and your friend get daily bonuses from providing assistance, which encourages you to make a lot of friends and fill the roster. While this system is interesting and allows you to level reserve heroes without having to put them into your active roster, it just requires being called in to assist.
As a social system, it doesn’t really encourage getting to know people as much as it encourages you to just accept every friend request to get the free benefits it provides. Although this is called an MMORPG, there is no grouping for quests or open world activities. Only when you do challenges within the tower are you grouped and working as a team. It's really a good example of "Massively Single Player Online RPG". And even the difficulty of the Tower doesn’t really encourage that much communication as fast paced as each battle can be.
Overall I am very impressed with Legion of Heroes and have become quite addicted to completing at least a couple battles a day to pass the time. With so many of the elements of a huge MMORPG; questing, story, hero collection, crafting, PVP and Raiding within the confines of a phone or table, the hours of enjoyment is only limited by the amount of Moral you have available. The only detractor to the game for me is the notification system in place that keeps pushing you to log into the game at intervals throughout the day. Games need to be available when you want them, not act like needy children.
- GAMEPLAY: 8 – Excellent blend of turn base and dynamic tactical combat keeps you engaged while not requiring you to make hasty decisions
- VISUALS: 9 – Simply stunning for a mobile app, you may forget you're playing on a phone
- POLISH: 7 – Well designed, smooth running with only occasional lag during combat as resources load over your wireless connections. Touch controls implemented superbly. Battery consumption and data usage can be high
- SOCIAL: 5 – Friend and Guild support systems encourage social interactions more like a life lines rather than an MMO
- LONGEVITY: 6 – A single threaded story may have you only play through once, but coupled with large open world and 100’s of heroes, it has the potential to keep you playing for long time
- VALUE: 9 – It is Free to Play with very little reason to utilize the cash shop, but has plenty available if you wish to purchase the items
FINAL SCORE: 7.3
- Beautiful Graphics
- Great combat animations
- Large world to explore
- Huge variety of Hero Team compositions and Tactics
- Power Hungry - can be offset by reducing graphic quality
- Lack of in game information on some systems
- Notifications in and out of game