Everyone loves an RPG.
In fact, I dare say that a lot of people would agree that RPGs, and MMORPGs by association, have become the du jour genre amongst gamers over the FPS. True, the Call of Duty franchise is still going strong, and many clones are released each year to jump on that bandwagon. Look closer though, and you’ll see how RPGs have entered their DNA, especially in the on-line world. You collect XP to get bigger and better gear, you get together in clans, and sometimes complete certain tasks for rewards (mostly more XP). While games such as Borderlands show their RPG elements on their sleeve, the rest of the FPS world have them under their hood. They’re like brash football jocks, wearing their jerseys but hiding a Star Trek t-shirt underneath.
Diablo, of course, is one of the trend-setters of the genre. I’ve already spoken of my love of the third in the series, that has thus far gobbled up all my time and led to me not purchasing GTA V. It has many of the conventions of the modern RPG, and is popular because of that. So then, if you’re a publisher, why not look at that (or World of Warcraft for that matter) for inspiration? Modern gaming giants Ubisoft have done that, with The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot.
The title alone tells you what this game is all about. There’s no false bravado over the genre here, it’s simply a case of your hero entering a castle full of enemies, killing them, and then, of course, grabbing all the loot they can carry. Nothing more, nothing less. Something that simple shouldn’t work, right?
Wrong. Because as the rise of mobile gaming has showed us, simple sells. The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot keeps things easy to understand to make for an easy entry point for new players. When I dropped in at Eurogamer, I wasn’t sure of the controls, such as I am a console man. To the hardened PC RPGer, it is standard stuff, but to me it was alien. However after a few trials and errors, I picked it up and was vanquishing foes like a good’un. Especially when I figured out the various attacks I could unleash.
You have the standard RPG heroes at play here. In this case, I was the ranged class of the Archer, unleashing mighty arrows from afar. Once you have that sorted, you’re left in a hub that tracks your XP, gold and loot, as well as your level and how many victories and defeats you’ve suffered. Then, it’s a simple matter of choosing the next castle to conquer.
And here’s the twist. Each castle is created by the people playing it. There is a basic layout, which is then filled with all sorts of traps, beasts and other assorted ways to trounce any player who dares enter. It’s a great way to add variety to the game, and also gives a shade more creativity to the player. Want to protect your land? Throw down a rotating flamethrower and robot guards! There’s never a castle that’s the same, and this sort of variability adds a huge replay value to Mighty Quest. Hell, I didn’t want to step away from the booth, so obsessed with finding the titular Epic Loot was I…
Loot drops do seem to be semi-rare though. In the short time I played, only 2 items fell to my feet, neither being very impressive. Still, it was early level stuff, and like most RPGs, the good stuff will come in time. That said, Mighty Quest does work on a freemium basis, with plenty of wares to purchase with your own, hard-earned cash. It’s a business model that is working (for now), but it remains to be seen whether the Epic Loot will only be available to those who lay down the cash moneys for it.
Overall though, with a pleasing cartoon look to it, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is a fun title that is well worth a purchase. However, only if you’re a PC gamer. I was saddened to discover it was not available for Mac or console yet, with apparently no plans to do so. Barring a stubborn streak as long as my lady friends, the popularity of the game could entice Ubisoft to unleash it further.
In the meantime, PC gamers? Enjoy raiding those castles!