Do you remember when the mobile game’s market used to be its own genre? They were little more than time wasters with bright colors and simple mechanics, making the whole thing easy to just look over and ignore. But lately mobile games have started to become comparable in quality to their console counterparts, making them harder and harder to look over. Especially in the MMO-isphere, where multiplayer elements are becoming more and more common in mobile games. That is very much the case with the game Blade: Sword of Elysion, a mutliplayer action RPG from ActionSquare and 4:33 Creative Lab.
This title is already a major hit in Korea, topping the AppStore and Google Play’s store for several weeks and making their developer quite a big chunk of change. In fact, it placed fourth in the WORLD WIDE Google Play store’s top grossing games list, and it had only been released in Korea. Damn… That’s pretty darn impressive. It is seen as the mid- to hardcore mobile game that mature players are starting to one from the mobile market. That makes it kind of hard to ignore the fact that the title is finally making its way to the West. I got a chance to go hands-on with the game at PAX Prime this weekend and I must say, I was rather impressed.
Playing very similar to games like Dungeon Hunter, Blade: Sword of Elysion ran extremely smooth on the iPhone 6 I was playing on, and looked absolutely stunning by making good use of the Unreal Engine. I would say it looks very similar to the Monster Hunter games and plays a little like God of War. You’ll be able to choose from three characters, all with a distinct set of skills and fighting styles, to work your way through 80-single player dungeons gather up loot, loot, and more loot. These missions tend to be shorter in length, but this is by design. Most people tend not to play mobile games very extended periods of time, so keeping things short allows players to accomplish more in their shorter sessions.
For longer sessions, there are some alternate game modes. The Infinity Dungeon is, essentially, just that. You will do your best to survive 100 rounds of boss battles, getting progressively harder each round. This is also a great area for farming. However, the developers understand that many people don’t want to sit there and farm all day. That’s why they’ve put in the “auto-combat” button. This immediately reminded me of grinding out monsters in Bravely Default. Your character will essentially be a very stupid version of yourself. As one of the developers said, “It’s great for when you want to farm some while in a meeting.”
There are also PvP battles to take part in, which reminded me a lot of a fighting game like Street Fighter or Killer Instinct. If you are really into competition, you can rack up a win streak and attempt to push your way up through the leaderboards to become the best of the best. And who doesn’t want to duke it out with their friends Mortal Kombat style?
If all goes well with the approval process, the game is set to come out sometime in September on iOS and Android. It is free-to-play with a cash store, but I did not get to experience this aspect of the game, so I have no idea if it is “pay to win” or not. So don’t ask… Either way, I suggest you keep your eyes open for this one when it drops and give it a go.