Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Spacetime Studios have launched yet another cross-platform MMORPG. I say that not like it's becoming boring, but that it's impressive how standard this is becoming for the studio with Dark Legends. Where some developers have trouble transferring save data between platforms, Spacetime has built another game that launched on Google Chrome, Android, and iOS within short time of each other, and it all works perfectly.
Dark Legends follows a similar core gameplay style as Pocket Legends and Star Legends: players traverse dungeons either by themselves or with friends, fighting all sorts of supernatural creatures and dark figures. Players control vampires who don't see the need to cover everything up while they're fighting. The newest aspect of combat is the ability to charge up attacks and magic for more damage. Magic drains from the same bar as health, which requires blood packs in order to refill. Well, actually, any kind of blood will do, which is why there's the ability to drain blood from an enemy, which also grants a temporary stat boost.
Dark Legends' one negative addition to the game is the energy mechanic, one that essentially incentivizes the player to stop playing the game in order to progress. Each action undertaken requires a certain amount of energy, with some being 'missions' that have a quick animation, and then a timer to wait for them to finish. The levels themselves take 3 energy per play.
The problem in particular seems to be the way that it's shifted multiplayer from an experience where the game can be enjoyed in long sequences with random players, to one that really only reinforces existing relationships, and encourages the joining of a guild. It was fun to go on extended dungeon raids in Star Legends, sticking with the same group for a long period of time. Because progression now is blocked by waiting for missions to complete, this means that random multiplayer is short-term at best. Some missions take an hour to complete, and while platinum can be used to bypass them, they're still just a hindrance, one whose best solution is to just sit and wait for an arbitrary reason for them to complete. It creates more of a short-term and solo experience, for better or worse.
However, after all of that, Dark Legends is at its heart still a fun game, and rather impressive considering that it's still free to play. It works out of the box with seamless cross-platform multiplayer. The only problem is that because it shares the core technology with its predecessors, the only differences are the setup and inclusion of vampires. While long-term play will be best enjoyed with the purchase of platinum (vanity items get expensive and some rare items can be obtained by buying some items packs with platinum), it's definitely still worth taking the free dive in.'
Update: In recent months, in response to player feedback, Spacetime Studios has removed the energy mechanic for playing the action levels, and now energy is only needed for the map missions to get their rewards.