MythForce Impressions: Become Heroes

GDC 2022 I walked into a mysterious appointment. The game at its center was as yet unrevealed and, therefore, under strict embargoes. Unfortunately for me, MythForce, as the enigmatic title would turn out to be, has one of the catchiest intro songs known to man — with its title taking center stage in the chorus. So, to keep myself from breaking the code of silence, I forcibly choked down any spontaneous song bursts for days, which is no mean feat.

But y’all can’t stop me now. I’ll sing the praises of MythForce until I’m blue in the face, and I can not wait for a larger crowd to jump in to the dungeon-delving, ’80s-inspired fun. The unreal cartoon-esque visuals have only gotten richer, and more eye-snatching. Its challenges, which developed over more than a year in Early Access, have gone from nigh-unbeatable to finely balanced.

The team has added compelling incentives to keep players clearing room after room of enemies and completely reworked the equipment system to ensure a better experience. And even after following the game since before it was announced, I’m still giddy to jump in and find a sprawling map promising new adventures in totally different, though undoubtedly, still magnificent-looking dungeons.

Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, MythForce is an action multiplayer game that draws on elements of tabletop RPGs, Saturday morning cartoons, and fantasy gaming in general. Picking from characters like the knightly Victoria or roguish Rico, players can form teams — or go it alone — to explore dungeons, defeating every enemy in a room before being able to move on.

In between rooms, players can loot treasure chests, unlock perks or enchantments from shrines, buy equipment from merchants, and explore spectacular procedurally generated levels. I’ve had the good luck to play MythForce on stream after a recent massive update. So, if you haven’t played since it launched in EA, feel free to check it out.

Some of my favorite features to make it into today’s launch includes the new progression system which relies on a wellspring of new faces. Before jumping into an adventure, I can head to the armory to upgrade my starting weapons’ rarity or to the perk peddler to increase my fighting prowess. With gems, glyphs and other, less common, currency I pick up in a run, I can enhance an establishment’s available stock or improve my own character or equipment. Which gives me a good reason to scour every chest I find while adventuring.

Another launch feature to love is an oldie but a goodie: Difficulty levels. I’m not going to lie, the first iteration of the game was almost impossible. With limited healing and uncertain boosts, I hardly ever made it to the final floor of the beast lord’s liar, let alone to the final boss himself. The 1.0 version, however, reflects the work the team put in implementing feedback. Those players looking for a challenge can test themselves against the harder difficulty while groups of friends looking for a lighthearted hang-out session can enjoy the less strenuous modes.

The real shining objective on the horizon for me right now is revealing new environments, and I’m excited to cut my way through all of them. As it’s the busy season, we have no shortage of games to play with friends right now, but none of them are MythForce.

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