Raid: Shadow Legends is a familiar but spectacular adventure

The beginning of Raid: Shadow Legends is a nice surprise, feeling like a big punch in the gut. A party of four very diverse warriors with tongues as sharp as their weapons rush to face an impressive dragon, only to end up eaten and scorched in the face of such unsurmountable odds. The use of high-level gameplay as a tutorial isn’t an unusual approach, serving as a way of showcasing the heroes and bosses at their full potential. Yet, it remains fresh and convincing after so many years.

Luckily, not all the champions are gone for good – a single champion is bestowed a second chance and it’s up to you to choose which one. Will it be High Elf Archer Elhain, Orc Galek, Paladin Athel or Dark Elf Kael?

Raid Shadow Legends Dragon Boss

Roasted Champs

Plarium is the developer of many acclaimed strategy games, mostly based on a tried-and-tested city-building template that has proven successful since the studio’s inception in 2009. However, Raid: Shadow Legends breaks with the tradition, instead being a turn-based role-playing game with more than 300 unique champions to collect.

Raid: Shadow Legends is a mobile game, but a desktop version is in the works if you prefer to play on your computer and aren’t too fond of emulators.

The main strength of hero collecting games lies in their roster. A great cast is more than capable of making or breaking a game, even if the core mechanics are polished to the brim. Raid: Shadow Legends is off to a great start with its enticing introduction and when the dust settles, it gradually presents you to its diverse modes and challenges. It’s a clever way of easing casual and veteran players alike, using your bastion as the hub for every possibility.

The visuals in this game instantly grab you from the get-go. While initially doubtful about the high quality of the intro graphics, when the campaign started it was clear that these were actual in-game models. Raid: Shadow Legends looks stunning, with some spectacular scenarios and environmental effects. The sheer diversity of the locations is enough to keep you going, always on the lookout for background details that makes the whole experience that little bit better – the beautiful snow effects in Ice Peak, or the scorching pits in the Minotaur labyrinth are a sight to behold. The same can be said about the bosses, with some attention-grabbing creatures such as the creepy Spider, or the devastating Fire Knight.

Raid Shadow Legends Champion

The champions are beautifully rendered and with detailed animations achieved through motion capture. The smooth movements highlight their different personalities, even in the case of the grotesque beasts or undead hordes that you get to recruit.

If there is one thing that would add to the immersion and mood of the game, it’s champion interaction. It was enjoyable to see the four warriors poking fun at each other during the intro sequence, although their detachment was somewhat worrying for the well-being of the party. It would be interesting to see something similar in the campaign, with an affinity system for each champion to express their amity, hate, or benevolence towards one another. This could build on the game’s universe and pave the way for interesting stories or side-quests.

There’s this unmistakable The Lord of the Rings vibe to the whole setting. The accomplished dark fantasy aesthetic is a breath of fresh air, moving away from the saturated cartoon or anime style that similar games tend to use to the point of exhaustion. This is a great looking game and one that will instantly catch the attention of onlookers in their search for the next collectible card RPG.

Raid Shadow Legends Spider Boss

Your four-man party of champions can be comprised of units earned by advancing in the campaign, or by using shards to summon new heroes. Your progress will unlock better shards and legendary champions, with several means to upgrade your squad. There’s PvP, dungeons, faction war, and so many other options and regular rewards, that you won’t be thwarted by a level for long. It’s a multi-layered game where getting a new and formidable champion feels like a victory and a free pass for more challenging levels.

Despite featuring an auto-combat mode, this is a quality-of-life option that is better suited for re-runs and to earn additional experience using low-level champions. Using auto mode when playing the latter half of the campaign or PvP will only earn you shameful defeats, so it’s best to steer clear of it. Tactical prowess is necessary to advance, considering that the A.I. isn’t always going to make the best combat decisions in the long run.

Raid: Shadow Legends is a game that stands out from the competition, even if it doesn’t exactly push the genre forward. I’ve enjoyed my time with it and was thrilled at every new stage and boss fight. With great looks and a remarkable cast of champions, this is one compelling adventure that I will frequently return to.

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BattleTech to Offer Combat Speed and Squadmate Customization

The turn-based tactical ‘Mech-em-up BattleTech is live, but that doesn’t mean the work is finished. In an update to the game’s Kickstarter page, plans for the first BattleTech post-launch update were laid out, which will include a number of features that fans are looking for.

battletech post-launch update

First and foremost, the devs at Harebrained Schemes have put out a new patch which should fix some compatibility and performance issues, while continued work on bug fixing will press on into late May. The devs are also hard at work on localization for French, German and Russian languages, as well as Linux Support.

After that, new customization options will arrive to BattleTech in the first larger post-launch update. These customization options will let players speed up the pace of battle; customize the callsigns, appearances, and voices of their stable of MechWarriors; and introduce a suite of “discrete options” that will let players tweak the difficulty of the game in different areas. The update will also brings some UI quality-of-life to the Mech Lab, store and salvage, and will tweak some of the game’s gnarlier difficulty spikes.

While a number of these features may shift and a timeframe is still nebulous, the devs expect this update to arrive at some point in June or July. Once work is complete and timelines are more concrete, there will be an update. In the meantime, if you’re the sort who wants to step on the gas right here and now, the fine folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have pulled together some do-it-yourself tips to ramp up the game’s speed.

Our Thoughts

Speaking for myself, I don’t particularly find the combat pace a terrible thing, but I can also appreciate that some people would rather that things just push forward already. To that point, it’s good that the devs are providing some options for those who want them. We’re looking forward to this next update.

Source: Kickstarter

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Funcom Shares Over 30 Minutes of Mutant Year Zero Footage

Hey friend, would you like to see what turn-based tactical gameplay with anthropomorphic mutant folks would look like? Then Funcom has you covered as the devs have provided full, unedited Mutant Year Zero gameplay footage, showcasing the soon-to-arrive title in its current form.

mutant year zero gameplay

The footage in question is a direct capture featuring two of the title’s devs as they lead a team of three Scavengers through a forest level, head back to the game’s home base of The Ark for some supplies, and then back to their original expedition.

The video offers a pretty complete look at how Mutant Year Zero runs, from character progression to combat. If you’ve got over 30 minutes worth of time to kill, then you can sit back and check it all out in the embed below.

Our Thoughts

The XCOM influences in the gameplay of Mutant Year Zero are pretty obvious from the very start, but then the combat in that title was excellent to begin with, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that they’re following that lead. Overall, Mutant Year Zero looks like an intriguing title that’s come a pretty long way in its development and we’re looking forward to hearing more about it as it nears its final release…whenever that may end up being.

Source: YouTube

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BattleTech Confirms its Release Date

Full disclosure: I’m a ravening MechWarrior fan, though I arrived at the series late via MechWarrior 3. So the fact that the BatleTech release date has been confirmed certainly has me pretty excited as fans will soon get a taste of tactics-based mercenary company commanding action.

battletech release date

For those who are unfamiliar, BattleTech is a turn-based tactical game where you control a ‘Mech mercenary company. Gameplay will look to balance tactical command with a variety of management features, requiring players to navigate fights and combat operations while also balancing their books and keeping those in their employ happy, all while working with a deposed ruler attempting to regain her throne.

The game first made waves on Kickstarter when developer Harebrained Schemes earned over 50k backers on the project. Now, the first tactical title set in the MechWarrior world in 20 years is due to arrive to PC and Mac players on Tuesday, April 24th.

The announcement of the game’s release date also comes along with a story trailer that sets the scene for the game’s narrative, which can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Like I said, I’m pretty excited and I’m not alone. There’s plenty of us who are looking forward to seeing a new ‘Mech game both in our office and in the greater fanbase itself. Here’s hoping that this new game will be just as great as anticipated.

Source: press release

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