Awaken Legends doesn’t mess around.
This idle gacha-RPG from Webzen throws you straight into the action, leaving you to catch up on the story in your own time.
That’s not to say Awaken Legends is a shallow experience, or a game that sacrifices world-building for accessibility. It just likes to keep things breezy.
You’ll have access to a huge swathe of the game’s content within a couple of hours of starting. Only a handful of features require you to make anything like significant progress through the campaign. And you’ll have a fairly straightforward time getting there.
But there’s plenty to take in along the way. Awaken Legends is bursting with detail, from the character art and backgrounds to the biographies of the 50+ hero characters, which you can read any time at the Altar, home of the Westland Annals and the Anecdotes of Adventurer.
The Altar is just one of well over a dozen locations in Awaken Legends. Before we take a closer look at those, we’ll cover the important bit. The fighting.
Awaken Legends is an idle-RPG, so the emphasis is on casual gameplay. Battles are automated and sped-up by default, and all you need to do to barrel your way through the first handful is keep pressing the ‘Battle’ button.
But there’s a slick interface at play, and a decent amount of tactical depth.
Before each round you get to choose your formation, with six available. Your aim in picking a formation is to match your units against the enemy units arrayed on the other side of the screen.
Once your formation is in place you can swap heroes around by dragging them with your finger. This allows you to ensure that your Mages are at the back, your Tanks are at the front, and so on.
There are six classes in Awaken Legends, including Ranger, Tank, Assassin, Warrior, Mage, and Support. On top of that there are six factions: Human, Nogoth, Brandon, Gifted, Elf, and Cyborg. That means there are plenty of variables to consider.
When you’re not fighting, you’re claiming loot, leveling up, evolving, equipping gear, summoning more heroes, and so on.
If you’ve ever played a gacha game before, you know the drill. You summon heroes at the Royal City, either one at a time or in groups of ten, before dismissing your inevitable duplicates for extra resources.
Managing your heroes is an involved task. Not only do you need to ensure that you’ve got powerful heroes across a spread of classes and races, but you need to equip them, level them up, promote them, and so on.
Once you get into the meat of the game you’ll have to make decisions about how to allocate your resources and which heroes to favor.
This all might sound a bit complex, and that’s before we’ve discussed alchemy, grade resets, the Workshop, and the game’s other arcane features and activities.
But Awaken Legends keeps things flowing, even if you don’t know what the hell is going on. On pretty much every screen where you’re asked to make a decision you can choose “auto arrange”, and little red notification dots tell you where to tap.
Follow the Prompts
There are those who would argue that you’re not getting the most out of the game by just following prompts, and you’re unlikely to top the leaderboards or send waves of fear through the PvP arena with this approach. But it’s an accessible way to get your foot in the door.
Gratifyingly, there are always plenty of red dots on the screen whenever you boot up Awaken Legends. Being an idle-RPG, it lets you accumulate loot even when you’re not playing, so you’ll never run out of stuff to do.
Awaken Legends has a lot of buildings dotted throughout the Royal City and Council areas, as well as an Adventure screen that lets you take part in single-player battles away from the main story campaign.
Adventure works a little bit like card-battler, with each cleared screen giving you the choice of three perks to take into the next screen.
We’ve been playing Awaken Legends for a few hours, and we haven’t yet hit any major snags. The loot is still flowing, and we’re still winning battles without having to grind too hard.
An excellent introduction
Awaken Legends is an excellent introduction to the gacha-RPG genre. It manages to be both deep and eminently approachable, which is a rare combination indeed.