More Magic than Metal
Foursaken Media’s latest tour-de-force Action RPG pitting purveyors of magic versus metal armies feels like a home run on the surface. The graphics are strong, the concept is ace, and the story sets the stage for hours of epic showdowns. How could sorcerers battling robots possibly go wrong? However, the aforementioned pluses draw you in while the gameplay will send most players packing.
My time with Magic vs. Metal was twofold. At first, the game amazed me with its strong graphics and amalgam of niche concepts. Every round of gameplay allowed me to answer such nerdy questions as, “who would win in a fight: a necromancer or a technomancer?” As my time with Magic vs. Metal continued, the strain of repetitive motion started dragging me down. Levels are identical, objectives have little variation, and enemies move as senseless soldiers. After a couple hours, I had seen all the game has to offer.
Going Through the Motions
Magic vs. Metal finds players choosing a side. You can begin as a magic user or a robot. Once your choice is made, the game does a nice job of getting players’ feet wet with a quick and fun tutorial. Everything feels connected. Your chosen avatar battles a horde of enemies. You collect gold and spend it on upgrades. Then, rinse and repeat. After several rounds, you are introduced to additional upgrades such as increasing the gold production of the fortress you defend against the horde. Things feel as though they are building.
Be that as it may, things stop building after completing the first stage of the game. I quickly learned that the chain of events was secondary to all the bells and whistles added on after the battle had ended. I was spending more time upgrading abilities after pushing past notifications of how much gold and additional credits I had earned. Eventually, this process chipped away at my enjoyment. My love for the game came from watching my sorcerer light up rolling turrets while summoning orc armies to take on the flood of other metal enemies thrown my way, not from seeing how much gold I had earned. The switch in focus coupled with the repetitive gameplay caused my interest to wane.
Loads to Maintain
What Magic vs. Metal lacks in diversity of gameplay they make up for with loads of accoutrements. I started off with five special abilities allowing me to summon defenses such as a wall of fire or mythical beings like Medusa. As I continued to level up, new abilities became available. By the time I reached level 17, over a dozen abilities became available. The game also provides the ability to unlock bonus scrolls through the use of credits earned in gameplay or purchased through microtransactions. There are close to 20 bonus abilities but no way of knowing if they are better or worse than those you gain from playing the game. I felt overwhelmed by all of the add-ons and felt more comfortable simply continuing to play the game no matter how much it wanted me to focus on all the other bells and whistles.
The Final Word
Magic vs. Metal is a fun game to play at first. It is every nerd’s dream to watch magical forces take on mechanical marvels. However, as gameplay continues, the repetitive nature of battles with the game pulling your attention elsewhere left it feeling like a staged set rather than a lived in world.
The graphics are phenomenal and will keep your attention for some time, but once they wear out their welcome, players will realize there is little more to do than defend your tower, upgrade your powers, rinse and repeat. Magic vs. Metal is a game I enjoyed, but once I was done, I felt no need to return. If you are looking to play out the fantasy of watching robots destroy sorcerers or vice versa, I suggest checking out this game. However, if you are looking for engaging game elements or a compelling story of why these two worlds have collided, you won’t exactly find that here.
Is It Hardcore?
If you are the kind of person who loves games for their graphics and don’t mind the loose story tying everything together, this is the game for you. However, if you want more engaging elements and purpose for completing tasks, you may want to look elsewhere.