A Mighty Hands-On Preview of The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot
These social features go well beyond the color scheme and the ability to make friends. The meat of the game lies in assaulting player-created dungeons, and supervising the defense of one’s own against rampaging strangers and friends. If you loot another player’s treasure room, you’ll get extra gold for rating and commenting on his or her defensive effort. If another player loots yours, you’ll be directed to a screen from which you can watch a replay of the action to suss out weaknesses, then hit a button to take “revenge” by storming the malefactor’s own keep.
It’s an asynchronous multiplayer system, and a clever one. In contrast to many of its free-to-play and action-RPG competitors, TMQFEL isn’t build towards epic play sessions. Though power users will certainly put in the time, casual players won’t find themselves overwhelmed. Heroes and castles level up independently, and a defeated castle is shielded from further attack for six to eight hours so players don’t feel pressure to be online 24/7. Instead, they can simply login, loot a few dungeons, make a few defensive adjustments, and log out again. As developer Zagurak explained, Ubisoft Montreal aren’t just aiming for core gamers; they’re also hoping for “an audience that is a little bit older. Young parents who are familiar with gaming. It suits their lifestyle, of not being able to devote hundreds of hours.”
A crucial part of that fun lies in the game’s deliberately goofy tone, which has been on display in multiple trailers. The developers rarely pass up an opportunity for a joke, whether it’s naming zombie mobs “derps” or furnishing the Knight – a frat-boy blowhard – with some appropriately inane piece of dialogue. It’s totally goofy and over-the-top, but it works — as Zagurak points out, “I thought there was a real opportunity in a medieval hack-and-slash universe to bring a little bit of levity into it.” He also calls attention to the game’s use of anachronism to ratchet up the silliness. Creature designs are zany, both visually and in terms of their mechanics. And who wouldn’t want to fight a boss called “Snotula,” or one called “Captain Clubbage?”
TMQFEL is currently in open Alpha. Expect a flood of new information at E3, which offers a perfect opportunity to show off the irreverent action while embracing its short-play-session strengths. Even if you don’t jump into the alpha right away, it’s never too early to start thinking about your castle design.