Hands on with Arcane Legends for iOS and Android
A new chapter
You could describe Arcane Legends as an amalgamation of all that Spacetime Studios has learnt from previous games, if you like using long words.
In the team’s own words, this is a title that’s been created with fan feedback firmly at the forefront of the design process, taking the action back to the familiar realm of fantasy (as seen in Pocket Legends), but including features and design elements grown from years of experience in the mobile RPG genre.
Gone are the tiny arenas and basic gameplay, replaced by large breezy dungeons and features that encourage experimentation and co-operation between classes.To arms!
First things first – Arcane Legends is easily the best-looking of all the Legends games.
From the colourful and cartoony tavern that acts as the social hub for players to party up through to the lush overland and dank mines, Arcane is quite the looker. Even better, it runs on almost everything you can throw at it - from a Kindle Fire right up to the latest iPad.
There's more demand on the system than previous Legends titles, but Spacetime tells me that most devices made in the past two years will be able to run the game, with iOS requiring a 3GS or above.Stay a while and listen
Those worried that the relatively short turnaround between this and Dark Legends would result in half a game can breathe a sigh of relief, too, as Arcane will not only launch with over 1,000 types of items and equipment (more than any previous Legends game) but it's also undergone a significant overhaul in the AI department.
As demonstrated at E3, ranged enemies will now deliberately position themselves away from any melee classes, and will run for cover if they feel they’re in danger of an axe to the head.
It sounds like a minor change on paper, but this means that teamwork is needed more than ever to progress in the game.
Adding to this co-operative focus is the presence of combo attacks, which activate when different classes land co-ordinated blows on a particular foe.
While the individual attacks may deal different kinds of damage (such as having a poisoned arrow strike home after a stab from a sword), the combo attack piles further woe on the enemy with, for instance, an extra status effect.
Dark Legends’s power attacks also make a re-appearance, and this feature has now been extended to charging up sub-skills, giving combat a lot more flexibility than before.You shall not pass
In terms of class customisation and levelling, Arcane no longer punishes players for switching out from auto-leveling (which is turned on by default).
Instead, you’re handed a free re-spec option to reassign what the game has selected, rather than being forced to pay up for something that was out of your control.
On the subject of IAPs, Spacetime was keen to stress that - while there are payments in this game as there were in the last - there’s still a focus on vanity and support items rather than items that are essential for progress.
We’ll find out if Arcane Legends can write its name in mobile MMO history when the game launches on Android and iOS at the end of summer.