When talking about a multi-player on-line RPG, it’s hard not to draw comparison to World of Warcraft. WoW, the game and social experience is very much a benchmark for any other title of the same genre. WoW does have its critics and those that can be heard most loudly are those who write for the large mainstream outlets. There’s nothing better than a story about addiction and social exclusion in respect of a computer game. So Android has it’s own WoW? Will you be addicted? Will you give up your “real world” friends in order to play this game? Read on!
Whilst Android is spoilt for choice when it comes to RPG’s, there are not many titles which offer the same type of experience as WoW where users happily part with cash on a regular basis to be part of the imaginary world and socialize (and argue) in a virtual world akin to a social networking site (albeit with a fantasy sprite)
Arcane Legends is free. I use the word “free” here quite loosely, its free to play, free to enjoy although I have to add in a “BUT” here. I’ll discuss that a little further down the post though since its the gameplay and social experience that’s the first area of focus.
Arcane Legends offers three character classes to chose from: Fighter, Rogue or Mage and character creation is rather simple. Having chosen your name and class you can make some minor changes to the appearance of your character. You also choose a pet, this companion will follow you to quests and lend assistance. The pets offer extra bonuses and features – later in the game you can purchase/find/win more.
Perhaps the first example of Arcane Legends being a smaller title than WoW is the character creation. With only three classes and no choice of gender, you can’t have a female Warrior or a Male Rogue (Mage doesn’t really have a gender and is sort of a Yoda/Gremlin) The aesthetic changes to your character (face/hair) are minor, however its the plethora of armour and weapons throughout the game that will give your character a unique look.
The game works very much like WoW in that you wander around, accept quests and talk to other NPC’s and users. On my Samsung S3 some of the more popular area’s can look a little cluttered when there are many users congregating – this can be solved by zooming in the camera on the options menu.
Progression is quite quick too, giving you the motivation to continue on.
There’s plenty of weaponry and armour on offer. You can form parties to tackle the more difficult dungeons/quests and you can create/join guilds.
The cost of being a hero
As I mentioned before Arcane Legends is free. It is entirely possible to complete the game without spending anything, however that would take a considerable amount of time and there’s special armour/weapons which can be purchased with ingame currency. These purchases are not too expensive and will open up the game far quicker.
Arcane Legends is a great game, it’s the closest you will get to WoW on Android. Whilst the game world is not a large as WoW (and there’s little chance of you getting lost) there’s many months of entertainment here.
The whole experience works surprisingly well on an Android phone and I’d expect even better on the larger form factor of a tablet. You can also play Arcane Legends in the browser.
I’d like to have seen a little more variety on the base characters, maybe one or two more classes and the ability for each to be either male or female. That being said, it has to be kept in mind that many will be playing this game on a smartphone and there needs to be a balance between complexity and the length of time users are envisioned to be playing.
I’d also liked to have had a hot-key for changing the camera zoom. Presently you have to navigate the settings menu in order to zoom in and out (sometimes essential in the popular area’s where you are trying to interact with an NPC)
Arcane Legends is an excellent advert for games to come on the Android platform and whilst WoW has touted its own social universe for many years, Arcane Legends can do the same.
I’d give it a strong 4/5 for those RPG fans who have been looking for a portable multiplayer game – personally I would have liked a little more complexity, but then again, for me I’m playing it on the smaller smartphone form factor, so maybe the developers have the balance just right.