Might & Magic Elemental Guardians – First Impressions
On Tuesday May 29th I had the honor to take an early sneak peak of Ubisoft Barcelona’s mobile divisions newest game, Might & Magic Elemental Guardians. I never got into the original Might & Magic games in any of their forms so I was a little hesitant about hopping into a game this late in the series life. Luckily, I was informed by Creative Director Tanguy Pallier that I wouldn’t need any previous knowledge of the series to get into this version.
Might & Magic Elemental Guardians is, on paper, a pretty standard mobile RPG. You collect a massive amount of creatures to level up and make your way through a story mode with various difficulties gaining you more rewards. You’ll need to farm resources, equip and upgrade runes, evolve monsters by using other monsters in that level bracket, succeed in PvP and guilds, and fight against an energy meter to continue. However, the focus on a story and a fancy AR mode help set it apart from other titles.
After Producer Sergi Berjano gave us a live gameplay demonstration of all the features and gameplay elements, I got some hands-on time with it while picking the brain of Lead Game Designer Ariadna Castells and Art Director Antonio ‘Koveck’ Garcia. Being an avid gamer of all sorts I have played my fair share of mobile games as well, so a lot of my worries were about balance and premium currencies. A lot of these free to play RPG mobile games come with a lot of money hungry tactics of hitting progress walls that can take days or weeks for a single level up unless you drop some cash. Ari let me know that a lot of consideration and balance went into this title to make sure there are many ways to acquire resources without spending a lot of real money.
Fortunately, at least in the early stages, there seems to be a good amount of ways to collect all the currencies in the game by doing daily missions and achievements based on various levels and activities. Now, I haven’t gotten very far to where I need a lot of the smaller specific leveling up items, but so far everything seems nicely balanced.
The combat in the beginning is pretty simple: attack the enemy with the element it’s weak against. Pretty standard RPG stuff, and for a lot of it you’ll be able to turn on AUTO and let the AI fight by itself. As long as you’re equipping your team with runes and leveling them up, you won’t have too much trouble going through the early 1-star story missions. Once you start getting into the harder missions like The Tower (a 200 level, month long, mission to get better gear) you’ll want full control of the various moves each monster has.
The graphics are actually pretty nice, mainly due to the striking art direction. Everything is bright and colorful and the character models are well detailed. There are a good amount of graphical options ranging from anti aliasing to a slider where you can choose an unlocked FPS or more battery life.
Before we wrapped up our inside look I wanted to ask more about how the Ubisoft Barcelona team would be supporting the game. Tanguy mentioned that their first content update will be in about a month. Adding in even more creatures and events to the already impressive 400 creature roster. There wasn’t a confirmation, but there also might be some crossover characters making their way to the game, something Ubisoft has been a fan of lately. They also wanted to express that small tweaks and fixes will be rolling out regularly based on feedback and any other reported issues.
If you’re a fan of a good time wasting mobile RPG, as of right now, I’d absolutely recommend it. It’s simple enough to jump into, but has plenty of complex layers to keep you coming back and as of now, the resource gathering and leveling up seem well balanced. The AR mode for the creatures and PvP arenas is unique and I’ll go more into these features in my full review once I get more time with it, but as of now Might & Magic Elemental Guardians proves to be a fun mobile RPG. Those who have played a lot of these mobile RPG’s may feel that it doesn’t do enough to set it apart. I’m not sure it’ll be able to sway you from one you’re already invested in, but it certainly has a full set of features and modes with a couple unique additions like AR.
Might & Magic Elemental Guardians is available now on Android and iOS devices.