Mirage: Arcane Warfare is the latest game from Torn Banner Studios, who you may recognise from their incredibly hilarious, yet challenging first-person melee game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. This time however, they’ve ditched medieval times and have headed to the Arabian nights bringing mysticism and magic in tow.
Having entered Closed Beta a few weeks back, we’ve been putting the game to the test to see whether the game holds up to the legacy of Chivalry. Though I will say that, while they’re both similar in concept, the two games are vastly different and it’s certainly unfair to compare the two. While Chivalry focused on brutal melee combat, Mirage: Arcane Warfare introduces a much more tactical experience. Sure, brutal melee combat is still present, but with the addition of magic there’s a new competitive edge to the game.
While it’s still very early days and the servers are quite quiet there are still enough games to get you started. That is, once you’ve completed the awkward tutorial.
Probably the most off-putting part of this game for me was the tutorial. In an effort to get you familiar with the controls the tutorial pits you against a series of bots, however these bots are unresponsive, often bounce around, or just don’t recognise the move you’ve just performed. As this is the first thing players are introduced to I’ll admit that it’s not the best, but stick with it. Grin and bear it and you’ll be rewarded with the main gubbins of the game which is an absolute hoot.
So, if you’re familiar with Chivalry, you’ll already have some idea of what to do in this game, but before you rush in, take the time to figure out which “loadout” you’re into. There’s a total of six to choose from each of which have their own unique attributes. If you’ve played a hero-based multiplayer game you’ve pretty familiar with how this works.
That being said, during my time with the game I struggled to find a hero I gelled well with. While each character has their own play style, none felt any more powerful than the other. In fact the game quickly became a game of ambush rather than tactical gameplay, even in the more objective-based game modes.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare is a fun game, don’t get me wrong, but I can see that Torn Banner are aiming for a more tactical experience with this title outside of the usual deathmatch games. There’s less emphasis on maiming other players and more on game objectives, however as the comparisons to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare can’t be avoided, neither can players coming with a preconceived perception on how to play the game.
It’s definitely still early days for Mirage: Arcane Warfare as it’s still very, very rough around the edges. Once you eventually get into a game it fundamentally works, but you just can’t shake that feeling that the game is an Early Access title. There’s still plenty of polish needed and plenty of bugs to squash before you can get the full enjoyment out of this title.
Of course, this is what Early Access is about, and with players’ help they can hopefully help shape the game into something worth shouting about. While at the moment it’s an enjoyable mess around, there’s definitely the potential for Mirage: Arcane Warfare to be something pretty interesting if the developers can iron out the kinks.
There’s already a fairly interesting Arabian aesthetic going on within the game which is definitely captivating, especially when you have a little fat genie hovering overhead on a flying carpet, and if Torn Banner can play on that, I think it’d add to the game’s charm.
The gameplay mechanics and controls are pretty well rounded, however, it can quickly get quite hectic to find your footing, especially when you’re singled out and bombarded by five enemies and then the final blow comes from your team mate.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare has the potential to shine, however, right now everything just feels too temporary to get invested in.