You used to know where you were with vampires. Dracula made a career out of being the bad guy, and films like From Dusk Till Dawn painted bloodsuckers in the least positive light imaginable.

Unfortunately, the rampant popularity of the Twilight series has muddied the waters somewhat: vampires are being reinvented as heroic characters - a trend that mobile MMO Dark Legends is keen to exploit.

Set in a world where vampires fight against humankind in order to survive, Dark Legends is a 3D action title that predictably contains bucket-loads of blood and gore. Your undead avatar is incredibly handy with a blade, and a few swift buttons-presses result in a slice-and-dice combo that soaks the screen in claret-coloured liquid.

Blood simple

The game is divided into two kinds of missions - passive and active. The former simply involves performing an action - such as tapping into police radio frequencies or breaking into a key location - while the latter is where the action lies.

The reason for this separation is simple: Dark Legends may be free to download, but it's heavily focused on getting you to spend as much real-world cash as possible via in-app purchases.

You see, each action - be it passive or active - depletes your energy meter. Once this reaches zero, you either have to wait for it to recharge or purchase additional energy with cold, hard cash.

Sucks to be you

This mechanic is likely to prove a considerable stumbling block for players who favour mammoth gaming sessions. It's less irksome if you're dropping in and out of the game over the course of an entire day.

Of course, support for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play brings with it tangible benefits: control is vastly improved, with movement being executed using the left-hand analogue pad. The only negative is that the phone's aging CPU and GPU combo often can't keep up with the on-screen action - especially during online multiplayer missions.

While Dark Legends has arguably been coded with the explicit intention of extracting as much moolah from your wallet as possible, you can play it without having to go too overboard on in-app purchases.

The blood-soaked combat is appealing, and the ability to level-up your character and access new equipment keeps you coming back for more.

To top it all off, the missions involving other players are genuinely entertaining, and provide plenty of incentive to sink your teeth into this title as deeply as possible.