As the latest in a line of mobile/PC games from Plarium, Raid: Shadow Legends has a lot to live up to, so how does it stand up in the crowded mobile MMORPG space?
Raid: Shadow Legends is a turn-based battle MMORPG, a genre that has been gaining significant traction in recent years on mobile devices. Unlike many other games within this genre, however, R:SL gives players the ability to directly fight against other live players, rather than their AI-controlled teams.
This has been one of our biggest complaints with the genre so far. The MMO aspect of many similar games seems to be more of a term included for the sake of popularity, rather than one that was born out of a drive for a better competitive experience. This means R:SL has a greater emphasis on tactics than with many contemporaries and a more involved PvP system.
Players in R:SL create teams of up to five units to do battle. The best teams here require a cohesive and cooperative balance of classes and abilities, including elements of the holy trinity. These champions stand as one of the biggest surprises in the game. Too often character designs in this genre are phoned in, but these are not only unique, they also come with a level of detail that few rivals have matched.
Getting better heroes is made possible through the use of shards, which the player gains regularly throughout play. Making the strongest team from these heroes means leveling them up, equipping better gear, and fusing them with similar and weaker monsters to evolve them to a different level.
We often found ourselves preferring evolution to straight-up replacement, as just like in Pokémon, it’s hard not to get attached to some units regardless of their actual performance or stats.
Actual battles in Raid take place in either manual or automatic mode, with each corresponding to the amount of direct input the player will have over their champions. Often when playing PVE missions, the AI will be intelligent enough to do the bulk of the work, with only bosses and more difficult content requiring that personal touch.
PVP battles, on the other hand, should be tackled entirely on manual, as human players are naturally more of a tactical challenge.
When you aren’t battling, the rest of the game will spend in your village, called the Bastion, and maintaining its resources for the best possible payoffs. While this is again a shared feature among many similar games, we have to say that the character of the Bastion is more inviting than most. It, like much of the rest of the game design, gives us a sort of Diablo III vibe, only with cheerier and with less mass demon-led slaughter.
If you’re looking for a new game strategy game for both casual and in-depth play, Raid: Shadow Legends is one of the best we’ve yet seen on the mobile front. This is an MMO RTS which doesn’t just tick the boxes, it goes above and beyond to offer something which is equal parts passion project and technical achievement.
Not one to miss.