Magic Legends is the long-awaited addition to the Magic the Gathering franchise making its way into the Diabloesque style of dungeon grinder games.
With the open beta going live on March 23, 2021, we thought this was an ideal time to jump in and give our opinions of the game and if it really lives up to the hype.
Magic the Gathering has been dominating the tabletop gaming industry for decades and they have a trove of lore and champions that they can bring into the world of Magic Legends.
Magic Legends is intended to be launched on PC, XBOX and PS5 later in the year, however, for now, we are just seeing the early launch of the PC client.
So, let’s get into the game and see what it is about.
Beta Launch – The First Test:
So, the beta went live without too much issue. We were lucky to be on and waiting for the servers to go up so when then did (20mins before the expected time) we were able to get on and start levelling before most of the initial wave hit.
One of the members of our party who joined a little later experienced substantial FPS issues during the initial tutorial, but this seemed to settle down later in the campaign. From what we could see in global chat he was not the only player to experience this issue.
The character creation is fairly customisable for the genre. Usually, in games like this, you have a fairly fixed design, however, the team at Magic Legends have tried to allow you to create a unique feeling for your champion.
Group play function:
This is where we noticed our first negative to the starting experience. As an online gamer, I like to party up and join with my friends to experience new content together, however, for the first 2-3 hours of Magic Legends we were unable to join each other and experience the game together. I think that this is a big oversight as many gamers will want to jump in with their friends and start playing without having to get through the initial progress before teaming up.
I cannot say for sure if this was intended or just an issue with the beta, however, I hope that the development team reconsider letting people experience Magic Legends from the start in the future.
All that being said, once we were able to get into a party, we had a blast. Our party took on some of the dungeon encounters from the initial storyline and even upped the experience by taking them on in Hard mode to make it that little bit more challenging.
**Note that since making this post the development team have said that this is a known issue with the game and not intended, in future you should be able to party up from the start of the game.
Overall gameplay and enjoyment:
The gameplay is great, the quality and fluidity of the abilities that you cast feel rewarding and although there is a randomness to that feature this also ads a dynamic element to a genre that has historically consisted of pressing 1-2 buttons.
I did (for a very short time) test out the game with a controller to see how Magic Legends performed as the intention is to launch the game on PC, XBOX and PS5. Personally, I found using the controller to limiting with the need to press and hold abilities to cast them and although you are limited by the number of abilities that you are able to have in play it still felt overwhelming, so I switched back to good’ol keyboard and mouse.
Initial Summary from my first day playing Magic Legends:
Magic Legends appears to have some real depth to it in terms of how you go about constructing your abilities and gearing your champion to synergise with those cards. I think this is a game that, although will bring some serious nostalgia to the more die-hard Magic the Gathering fan out there, will also appeal to people completely new to the Magic universe.
I will admit that as a non-MTG player myself some of the terminology used in the attack descriptions needed a little working out, but luckily, I had a seasoned expert in my party who was able to explain.
All in all, I found Magic Legends to be a nice game and the launch of the open beta went very well from my point of view. If you are looking for a PC game to itch your craving while you wait for Diablo 4, this could be it.
I think there is way too much going on in the game to provide an educated opinion of how good it is going to be, however, if you are a Magic the Gathering fan looking to reignite some of those nostalgic cards or a gear grinding junkie looking for the next Path of Exile or Diablo game then give Magic Legends a go, after all, the game is “free to play”…
That being said, the game does seem to be fueled mainly by cosmetic microtransactions and a fairly reasonably priced battle pass.