I have played a lot of PvP auto-battlers, so I have a good idea of what is good and what to avoid. A lot of us want to see games reward players with the time they put in, rather than the amount of cash.
With that being said, does Heroic – Magic Duel do enough differently to avoid the predatory practices of most mobile games out there.
In short, no…
I think it’s a lot to wish for if you were hoping a PvP game would come out and there not be pay to win aspects. That seems to be a given nowadays, in pretty much any new mobile game.
What particularly annoys me about Heroic is the vast amount of “optional” extras to buy. There are your traditional two types of in-game currencies, gold and gems. Plus, there are individual chests and character cards to buy. To top it all off, why not buy a starter pack which has a mix of all the aforementioned?
This is not a criticism with Heroic, I have the same feelings for every single mobile game that offers such a silly amount of optional purchases.
One positive I can take with a pinch of salt is the referral system. If you refer friends and they play the game, you earn points which unlock chests immediately. This doesn’t fix all my gripes, but I like the idea!
Enough Gacha, what about the game!
Gameplay is your bog standard three-lane castle defence type of game. You and the enemy have a portal to protect, destroying the enemies’ portal will win you the game.
You can spawn in units which require different numbers of energy to spawn in. Plus, every thirty seconds you can call in tow god powers which have a whole range of different effects.
There is a wealth of cards to collect and then upgrade. You use runes to upgrade the cards basic stats like damage and health. But, you can also collect copies of the card to level it up, which also boosts the stats.
Is that it?
It seems so. I will confess, I only played Heroic – Magic Duel for two days or so, but combat did not change. Yes, new characters require you to try different units out to stop them, but the overall feeling was the same.
I either easily won by spamming more units down than my opponent could. Or the exact opposite happens, where my spawn is overrun and I can do nothing about it.
For a game that brags about being “strategy-driven”, you get little time to do any real strategy. In the early stages of a match, if you wait a few seconds to spawn in a strong unit, your opponent can immediately kill it.
This leaves a sour taste in my mouth as it feels cheap. Yes, you can try to bait and switch your opponent, but they seem to target the big strong guys.
Therefore, the ideal strategy is to spam cheap easy units at the start. Then when the game goes into double energy, spam loads of tank units. Having lots of cheap units all game is easy for the enemy to wipe them in one go. If you try to wait to save up for strong units at the start, they will overrun you in no time.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I don’t like about this game because I enjoyed my time playing it. I just think the lanes are too small for any real strategy to take place.
Once you have a unit past halfway, you can spawn units from halfway in any lane, which allows very little time to react. I am sure with an update or two they will balance out the combat to include more strategy.
Will I wait for them to do so? Definitely not.
A new PvP battler to pick up, put down and forget you ever played it.
It does not bring anything new to the table in terms of how you get or upgrade units. It does not have a memorable name or a strategy system that involves much skill. It does have five minutes of fun if that is all you are looking for!