Developed by Spacetime Studios who also developed Pocket Legends and Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles, Arcane Legends offers a fantasy themed-MMO experience on your mobile device that packs enough power and potential to challenge even the most popular of titles.
When starting for the first time, the player is given choices on how they want to proceed with their character. Starting with your class, you select between a warrior, a rogue or a sorcerer, each with their own pros and cons. After making some minor aesthetic choices on how your avatar appears, you then get to pick a companion, who aids you by attacking enemies, picking up gold and offering various bonuses. After these choices, you will begin your adventure.
The screen set-up offers a great balance between HUD and actual viewing space. Most MMO games for smartphones require that your thumbs take up most of your screen’s space, but with Arcane Legends I can comfortably play without my thumbs becoming a visual roadblock. The layout of the controls are very practical, but you are capable of customizing location and sizes if you need a different set-up. On occasion I did experience a high-ping count, which caused some of the controls to be unresponsive, but this occasion was not often.
Considering this game is played on a smartphone, I am really impressed with how colorful and vibrant the graphics are. The graphics look like a clone of World of Warcraft with the models not being entirely smooth, but that imperfect look is countered with some cell shading, which gives the game that look I was just talking about. Your camera view is often from a bird’s perspective high above the ground so it’s difficult to see this, but for cut scenes and while in your inventory screen you will be impressed with what this game can do from a graphical perspective.
In addition to your basic attack and your skills, you can also have your companion attack for additional support (we will talk more about the companions later in this review). As you level up, your skills can be upgraded to include various perks and bonuses, which will help you along your way. Most games force you to level up a skill tree in progressive order, but here you actually get to pick what upgrades in whatever order you pick, which adds more customization to your character. You also get to feed your upgrade points into your strength, dexterity and intelligence stats, which will further help your character’s base stats.
Arcane Legends makes it very easy for players to join a part or communicate with a group of friends. When other players are in your area, their information will appear on your HUD and are open to party invitations or messages (unless they have auto-decline turned on). Each member that joins your party will increase the overall difficulty of the area that you’re in, but it also improves the loot that you might receive. This allows players to easily join groups and raid together just for fun, or form a more permanent bond in hopes of creating a guild. There is also a ‘social’ page within the game, which allows you to create posts and talk to everybody on your friend’s list or guild simultaneously.
The companions in Arcane Legends offer various bonuses and add a different element to the game. You start with one of three starters, which can be upgraded to even more choices, each with their own perks and abilities. You companion will attack enemies with their basic abilities, but you can select when they use their special attack. There are many side-quests that you can complete which will unlock new companions as you play, or you can purchase some of them for a nominal in-game fee. Your companions will pick up items and gold automatically, which keeps the pace of the game going. You also need to remember to feed your pet on occasion in order to keep their ‘happy’ meter at full capacity, which in turn grants a passive bonus.
Arcane Legends is a powerful game packed in a tiny platform. Despite the high-quality performance and demanding resources this game requires, my battery wasn’t totally drained after a two hour session playing this game, though it did go down considerably. What’s fascinating about Arcane Legends is how quick it loads and how easy it is to pick up for a short amount of time. My biggest complaint about MMO games is how much time is required to level up your character and make the game interesting, but here you can level up rather quickly and there are plenty of opportunities to back-track to earn more experience.
Arcane Legends is a free game, but makes its profits through micro-transitions, similar to how the popular League of Legends makes its living. It is quite possible to play the game and never spend a dime on gear or additional companions, but the grind will take you some time (perhaps much easier in Chrome). You can spend in-game currency on additional character slots as well, which does boost the replay value of this game.
Arcane Legends is available for Android and for the Google Chrome browser as an app. Utilizing the Chrome browser will enable players to continue their game on their computers, then pick-up from their phones or tablet devices on the go. I’m confident to say that this is one of the best games I have ever played on the Android platform and a game that I would highly recommend to anybody.
Pros: Smooth performance, little to no lag, easy to pick up
Cons: Battery will drain quickly and get hot in your hands
Replay Value: 8.5
LEGACY SCORE: 9