Dark Legends iPad Review
Given the zeal with which the mainstream audience has taken to the vampire genre in recent years, it was a perfectly sensible decision for developer Spacetime Studios to take the experience gained from games like the incredibly popular Pocket Legends, and apply it to something a little more of the night.
Sticking very much to the MMO formula established on mobiles, this freemium adventure is one designed to be consumed in the lightest of bite-sized chunks. Beyond socializing and customization, there are two essential elements to the gameplay: take part in delightfully bloody real-time combat missions or work your way through more passive "action" elements that require a mere screen tap to make progress. These are all set off nicely by some grimly pretty transitional screens as your character absorbs blood or power.
There's a story in here somewhere although the basic premise is that you must track down the person who caused you to turn over the dark side, and presumably give them a damn good kicking when you find them. As 3D games go, the art-style is definitely one of less-is-more, with an aim for cartoonishness over realism, a valuable lesson created for everyone by the likes of World of Warcraft, and one that suits the comparatively limited technical horsepower of mobiles perfectly.
In the most aggressive, combat driven sections of the game, it's pretty much a button-mash with a few abilities to choose from, although it's all rather satisfying to grind the enemies of the game into a bloody pulp. Charging up your attacks allows you to unleash a particularly satisfying burst of blood.
The fighting may not be particularly deep (always an issue given the relatively limited control potential of mobile devices), but it delivers the experience the intended audience are presumed to be looking for. If the aesthetics suffer in any way, it's from the repetitiveness of the gloom, where one mission of blood, black and gray leads rather indifferently to the next.
While the early missions are rather easy and you'll have no trouble mashing through the monsters, completing the various "actions" littered through the game's nine campaigns can take some time to complete: a few minutes in the early game, hours later on. Of course, you can always head to the social hub to admire the clothing of other adventurers of the night in the meantime. Black nail polish? Nice...
While the game will ultimately sink its teeth into your wallet with the same ferocity you sink into enemies, there's no denying that there's enough content upfront to leave you feeling more than satisfied with the time you've spent. This is a stable, competent and enjoyable mobile MMO, and if you want to go further with the game, or upgrade to the very finest cosmetic upgrades, we're pretty sure you'll have no qualms about spending a little bit of money.
What's Hot: Lovely graphics, great overall styling and a very stable MMO experience. Gory missions are great fun.
What's Not: The action components of the game soon start to take a long time to complete. Scenery becomes rather repetitive.