Legion of Heroes: Mobile MMO With Heart

Nexon's streamlined mobile MMO launches today on Google Play.

I'll admit I was skeptical of how an MMO would work on a phone. Nightmares of aged and horrendous UI designs from failed MMOs circled my dreams the night before I tried out Legion of Heroes, and I wasn't sure what I would face the next morning. The fears were put to rest upon starting this game from Nexon M, and I'll admit there were more surprises than expectations met.

What caught my eye about this game is that it's beautiful, even running on an Android phone; there was no sparing details on the clean presentation. The intro video snatches attention (and people around me even wondered what I was playing when they heard the introduction song). It's graphically comparable to what players might find in a PSX library, with a standard fare of online abilities (chat, LFG-centric options, mass trolling). I don't expect much when it comes to graphics on a mobile device, but it's clear that this game harnesses much of the hardware's capability (which would suggest playing this on the latest mobile hardware). With a decent framerate on an HTC One and well-modeled environments for mobile devices, I was impressed. There's plenty of flashy flare (more than 36 pieces) in battles as well.

Image, however, is only good for first impressions, and exploration of the game was imperative. The quickest slug-line for this game is an MMO that streamlines actions. Instead of running towards quest-givers, getting all quests, completing them, turning in, rinsing, and repeating, there's an option to run straight toward the next queued quest. It cuts out guesswork of where to go (no tree-climbing here) and the game reflects a skinner box pretty well with rewards coming in troves—prizes come at regular intervals, and defeating enemies gives you truckloads of gold and loot (with a seemingly rigged "card selection" game).

The auto-goto option doesn't always work with the environment, unfortunately, as I've found that at times the character will get stuck running up a hill or will take pleasure in trying to climb a building wall-frst. The "streamlined features" include questing equipment as well—a game assistant will often suggest equipping newer loot than older. Rank D Equipment? Nah, bro, you need Rank C, equip it now! It's a feature that saves time and frustration from thinking about certain builds, doing math, and figuring out if the pitch-black flaming longsword coupled with the mighty torch of +5 to all stats would fare better in battle than the mighty doom sword of death paired with lightining gloves.

Battle, however, takes a nice break from "active" MMOs. I was uncertain how battles might feel and work pressing on a tiny screen, until my first bout with a bunch of rabid wolves. Battles are turn-based on a grid formation, a-la The Banner Saga. It works perfectly, and many times I forgot I was even playing an MMO on a mobile device. Unfortunately, however, the battles that I experienced I could auto-fight through and that's where an aspect of the game could turn into a chore instead of a feature.

At least in the beginning stages, the streamlined features and quick battles seemed more just like a clicking chore than an actual game with strategy. Granted, the beginning battles for any game are going to be easier than what's offered later, but the combination of all these features, skinner box rewards, and quick battles might compile into a strong repetitious experience. It's difficult to gauge MMOs on any scale since they alter over time and player demand, but for this game in its current state, there's plenty of flash to go around without a 1-to-1 match of substance. It's F2P to everyone's delight, but be aware of the emphasis on the cash shop—many players have already expressed that the game's shop is pretty heavy on the wallet. As a free download however, Legion of Heroes is still worth investing some time into.

Get it now on Google Play!

 Follow Jeffery "Undestructed" Wright on Twitter @WrightJeffD


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