Eschewing the doe-eyed, vegetarian, blunt-fanged Twilight-type of bloodsucker in favour of the more ruthless, claret-guzzling vampire makes Dark Legends a refreshingly violent spin on the typical mobile MMO template.
Thanks to the Diablo-lite combat, it's also a serious step up for Pocket Legends developer Spacetime Studios that's only limited by a lack of interactivity in non-combat missions and the spiralling cost of playing through the tougher campaigns.
Cloaks and enchanted daggers
While you play a relatively small role in the unfolding narrative beyond tapping on icons around a map to complete tasks (like summoning a demon to interrogate in a five-second cut-scene), the vampire versus human plot of Dark Legends does provide a strong hook to keep playing.
Strangely, for an RPG, there's no class system to speak of and limited customisation options unless you're prepared to spend in-game (or real) cash for fancier threads and gear to deck out your otherwise drab hero or heroine.
Fortunately, he or she is naturally a dab hand with a blade - not to mention a pair of pointy canines - and early combat missions against sluggish zombies are a doddle.
It helps that fighting is a straightforward hack, slash, and loot affair, with an analogue stick to move around and generous 'attack' button to mash or hold for more powerful attacks. The maps - while understandably gloomy - are small and easy to navigate.
As you progress through the different campaigns, however, enemies become more challenging and you'll need to head to the Vampire District hub to acquire stronger weapons, armour, and special moves to survive.
Where Dark Legends really shines, though, is in its multiplayer support. You can play combat missions either alone, with friends, or with randoms. It's easier to take on tougher boss scraps with others by your side (especially if they've forked out for extra killing kit).
There's PvP brawling, too, across a range of Deathmatch variants (we seemed to always ended up in Capture the Flag) and the servers are well populated - thanks mainly to the support for cross-platform play between Android, iOS, and PC browsers.
Of course, everything costs money in Dark Legends. While you can get a couple of hours of gory fun for nothing (and longer if you're prepared to grind), if the game has sunk its teeth into you by then you'll be too glamoured to resist a few in-app purchases.
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