Mirage: Arcane Warfare Beta Impressions
I think one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this so much is that I did not play Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I was curious about it for a long time but for this or that reason, I never really got into it. I’ve heard a lot of “hardcare” Chivalry fans complain about not wanting to play a 6v6 melee/fps game. I imagine a lot of those people have not given the game a fair shake or gotten into the beta though. Most of my thoughts on it are pretty positive. Of course, they aren’t all, because what fun would that be to read, yeah? Mirage: Arcane Warfare is a PVP game made by the makers of Chivalry. It offers team-based combat on gorgeous stages, plenty of violence, gore, lots of damage, and a solid offering of game modes.
The tutorial covers the basics of the game, but it’s up to learn the characters, learn the maps, and get good at it. Sure, it will hold your hand through the tutorial, but that’s when they let you go to fall down into the canyon like Mufasa. I’ve encountered some bugs that make the game almost unplayable though. The worst one was when I was queueing solo I could not just join a game mode queue. After a few seconds, it would say the group was too big or somesuch, and would remove me from queue. It didn’t make sense, and it was incredibly frustrating.
One of the things the game definitely needs is the ability to read class skills outside of combat. I couldn’t figure out how to do it, short of being in a queue and on the character select menu. Thankfully you can switch classes while in a match, look at what they do and go from there. However, I wouldn’t dawdle. The match does not stop just because you aren’t happy with what you are trying to play. It’s especially frustrating that each class/character has six abilities, so that each “main” ability has an alternate that you can choose to sub in. As of this writing, you can sub a new power in to reset a cooldown, but I do not know if that’s intended [bet it’s not]. You have a considerable amount of moves you can make though. You have your main attack [LMB], a Parry [RMB] a pair of bigger, slower hits [Scroll Wheel Up/Down], and then your abilities, and jump. You can also bounce off walls and climb up smaller ones, which can make for some hilarious tactical surprises. Of course, if you parry someone, you throw them off their guard, and you can parry anything. Fireballs, Giant Boulders, Spears, you name it. This to me, makes the projectile/magic users kind of worthless unless they sneak up on you, because a solid ability to predict/parry their shots will render them useless.
A bit about how the game actually plays; you have several game modes. The Objective Mode has several types of gameplay “within” it. It’s not just one Objective. There’s Capture the Flag, where you grab an item and try to get it back to your base, which is always popular. There’s Capture [secure spots on the map, get points, win the game], and Push/Payload. There’s always a damn payload mode. It’s my least favorite in any game ever. I will say for theirs at least, I felt like there was a way to win even if behind. You both compete for the payload, and even if it’s an inch from their point, you can still wipe their team, command it, pull it away, and if you can hold out, you can still make the comeback! It’s a lot more skill-based, this game, in every single mode.
Of course, there’s also the Team Deathmatch, which feels like it absolutely bloody goes on for a million years. First to 100 kills wins, and it’s a lot slower than CoD is. Maybe it goes faster normally, but I’ve yet to have a game with a full team. I’ve had 1v1 TDM, and 4v4, and that’s about it. Occasionally a 2 or 3 person team. There are always full modes, but that doesn’t help me when I’m trying to get a game in. There will be more modes too, but I haven’t seen any of them yet. The next one in talks is “Arena,” which I imagine will just be a big circular deathmatch. See, that sounds pretty good to me. I like that you gain EXP for what you do in a match. Depending on your kills, assists, and objective time, you gain what could be quite a lot of EXP if you do exceptionally well. But I don’t know what the end-game is for it. You gain Ranks, but I haven’t seen any point to them. It won’t carry over from Beta to the release anyway, so I’m not overly concerned with it. In a skill-based game, one that doesn’t give me new skills/tools/characters when you progress, I’m not as interested in what it does. Maybe if it’s new skins or something. . .
This will definitely share some things in common with Chivalry. It will probably feel pretty similar in a lot of little ways. It’s going to have the brutality: Limbs flying, blood gurgling out of bodies, chaotic, wild, but devastating combat. I feel like it’s a more… expanded Chivalry though. You have magic which was not present in the last game, which means you can do far more ludicrous stuff to your foes. Surprise them from a rooftop by dropping fire or boulders with spikes down on them, leap a ridiculous distance and push them into the water to their deaths. Throw up a shielding barrier to protect yourself and your allies, while nimbly dancing around their attacks. But it is still just as complex as Chivalry, possibly more-so with the addition of these new styles of attacks. It’s still incredibly important to dodge and parry though, so you Chivalry addicts will still get your fill here.
Fun, But Missing Something. . .
State of the Beta: Good
Honestly, I love playing this. The servers make me fairly cross, but that’s mostly due to it being in beta, and not as many people are playing right now. Not a big deal. Especially after all the keys that are being released to the public today. And the Quick Play bug will be fixed, I’m sure. I did submit it way before I started writing this. This is a pure PVP game though, and it’s definitely not for everyone. I’d like to see the Chivalry crowd really latch on and make something great of it though. It’s not a game you’re just going to jump into and start winning immediately unless perhaps, you played the previous game. I feel like a lot of the skills will carry over. It’s got modes I love, and modes I don’t love so much. Like, I love TDM normally, but 100 kills in this style of game is, like a side, forever in a smaller crowd of people. I don’t like that servers [not Quickplay] will start as soon as there are at least two people, one on each side. So if the other player is highly skilled [and there is no way to pair off according to skill in those servers], you will begin losing quite fast. Made only worse when people who join the game on your side will be butthurt and will probably abandon you. There doesn’t seem to be any penalties for that. They can just leave, perhaps, and join the winning teams. When you join a match for example, it asks which side you want to join, or for it to be random. Found someone streaming who is doing awesome? Join their server, their team, and start bodying! You can be carried pretty hard that way.
Regardless of the little things, this game is intense. Every moment, every action matters. You can come back from virtually any situation, and as a game where you don’t gain powerups, it’s all up to teamwork and skill… and OP classes. However, I think all the classes are pretty awesome. It’s still in Beta, so it will no doubt gain more modes, maps, and fun stuff. Even now as it stands, it’s pretty damn fun. That’s what matters in the end.