Welcome back fellow Planeswalkers. Join us as we delve into the Magic Legends Open Beta and discuss our first impressions. So, prepare your library and check your mana. Let’s get to it!
After a quick speech of foreshadowing from an unknown and seemingly powerful voice, the player finds themselves in a strange realm of void and broken structures. They witness a short skirmish between two magic throwing individuals. The player quickly learns that they themselves are a Planeswalker, a being that can travel to the many worlds of the multiverse and wield powerful magic.
By aiding another Planeswalker, Ral Zarak, you make chase against his combatant who seems to be in search of something of importance for nefarious reasons. Your aim then becomes to aid the forces of order and good, generally, to stop whatever dark shadow that looms over the multiverse. This will take you to many worlds; pit you and other players against many foes, creatures, and beings of legend; and expand your powers as a Planeswalker.
Magic Legends is a Online Action RPG set within the Magic The Gathering multiverse. Taking elements from the globally popular card game, you will build a deck of spells. This deck will comprise of options to damage your foes, buff your allies, summon creatures, and bolster with powerful equipment. There is also equipment you can equip not linked to your deck. Your spells cost mana which generates during battle. By building an efficient deck and being mindful of your mana, you aim to lay waste to all enemies of order that challenge you.
As a more in depth look, there are 5 classes you can start out as, each representing the five colours of magic: White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green. Each can be customised with your standard array of hair, body, face options. You start off with a limited set of combat abilities. But, this expands fairly quickly within the first hour of gameplay. These abilities are associated with the 5 classes mentioned above. One little niggle is that the classes are not displayed in the usual Magic The Gathering order( White-Blue-Black-Red-Green). But, that is just a minor thing that Magic players more than likely pick up on.
The White magic Sanctifier uses bolts of radiant energy, buffs and heals allies, and can summon angels. The Blue magic Mind Mage likes to manipulate the battlefield with stun, superior movement tricks, and blasting the minds of their enemies. The Red magic Geomancer is your typical hit things hard character with lava and rock abilities, and summoning elementals. The Black magic Necromancer summons an army of skeletons, leeches health, and sacrifices minions for powerful buffs. And the Green magic Beastcaller combos attacks with their companion for impressive damage and abilities.
As you venture through the various worlds you will reap the rewards from completing quests from those in need and to advance the main story. You can team up with other players in a localised instance/areas and can aid each others goals. This also means, apart from activated quests, you don’t need to be in a party to help each other and are not bound to do so. It’s more like an open co-operative RPG unless you want to activate a quest instance and take it on with a party. With regards to quests, there is also the option for harder difficulties. This is an efficient and rewarding way of revisiting early areas and character refinement.
Overall, in the short amount of time testing the various aspects of gameplay, I feel a lot of fun can be had delving into this title. It starts off simple and expands naturally for players who can swing into a comfortable roller coaster of action and progression. Personally, I haven’t progressed enough to unlock advanced abilities. However, seeing some of the gameplay released by official channels, creating a deck with more than one colour of magic fills me with excitement. The big brain players are sure to push this to the limits and produce wonderful load outs for their characters. The end game is tipped to have oodles to sink your teeth into. Also, the ability mechanics tied to deck building is very refreshing!
Graphics and Sound
The graphics settings are fairly limited for the open beta. Within the options menu you can set whether it displays in low, medium, high, or ultra quality. Anti-aliasing can also be toggled. All shadows, lighting, reflections, and particle settings seem to be controlled by the quality setting you select. For a beta it’s not much of a concern. But, it would be easy to see these expanding just a smidge for the full release.
As for the graphics in game, they are fairly nice for a work in progress. The environments are eye catching and each explore a unique theme. For Magic fans(like myself), they will more than likely recognise environments they travel to before the game names them. The effects from characters are polished enough to induce the “Yeah! Eat that!” moments when taking down a horde of enemies. And the characters are well modelled, each with their own style and feel.
Moving onto sound, it hits from the get go with equal parts epic, thematic, and excitement inducing. The background music is very enjoyable to listen to. I expect the soundtrack to available upon release. It would be a wonderful addition to any game soundtrack library. More generally, the sound is what you would expect from such a title. Explosions of magic, eruptions of earth, and the sounds of demise from your enemies. Voice acting seems to be limited to key characters for the moment, which I am personally fine with.
Overall, the graphics and sound are well on the way to being a wonderful ambrosia to the senses. There is still much enjoyment to be had unleashing hell upon mobs of enemies and seeing their defeated forms cascade away from your almighty glory. Some of the animations do glitch out slightly, or in some case don’t rigger due to distance conflictions with enemies. There was an instance upon death that a resurrection animation did not display at all resulting in the character standing in a quarter of a second flat. But, when the animations do work there work well.
Overall, Magic Legends is an invigorating and refreshing action RPG that has you pilot an impressive fulcrum of power. For fans of Magic The Gathering, there will be a lot of service to the card game that will make you go “oh look!” and “I know this place/character”. But, for new players there will be a wonderful multiverse of rich locations and personalities to discover.
The new take on RPG mechanics tying to classic deck building is an awesome twist on the tried and tested formula. And it does it very well. A system that is simple to use but very rewarding to master. And for the avid card game players, they can pour all their brain power to break out some ridiculous combos!
In conclusion, the Magic Legends Open Beta is a title that I would recommend checking out. Whether you are a Magic fan or not, this title will have some interesting mechanics, story, and gameplay that will pique your interest. It uses the strengths of the card game and binds it towards an RPG with some spectacular results. I look forward to more advancements and tweaks from the developers, Cryptic Studios, in the future!
And that is your lot! You can play the Magic Legends Open Beta now from the Epic Games Store. What are your thoughts on the new Magic The Gathering title? Which class are you playing as? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned for more news, reviews, and guides. Until next time, smile and game!