By Chris Melchin / September 4th, 2016
I’ve been somewhat into competitive, team-based, objective-oriented first-person games lately. Specifically Overwatch, a game I binged really hard on shortly after it released and still play relatively frequently now. As such, it made sense to take a look at Mirage: Arcane Warfare at PAX West this year; although I never played the predecessor Chivalry: Medieval Warfare or the Half-Life 2 mod that originally spawned it, Mirage seemed like as good a point as any to dive in head-first. It’s not exactly a shooter, but it’s close enough.
I played three games of Mirage, each in different modes: the first was an assault mode, with our team defending control points against the other attacking team; the second was an escort mode, with our team trying to stop the other from escorting a payload across the map; and the third was a standard king of the hill match. All fairly standard FPS modes, although they play out somewhat differently when the majority of combat is either short range or melee. Across the three games, I had a chance to try out all five of the available playable characters and some of their different abilities and loadouts. My personal favourite was the fast, lightweight assassin Vypress, with abilities like throwing a knife that travels through targets for a moderate distance in front of her, jumping back before launching forward in a lunging strike at a nearby enemy, and a quick dodge with temporary invulnerability. The other characters include the straightforward bruiser Taurant, the ranged specialist Alchemancer, the defense-oriented Vigilist, and the trap-setting Tinker. In my half hour or so of playing Vypress was not only the one I found most fun to use but also the one I had the most success with. I feel like those might be linked somehow, but who can say for sure.
Visual and sound design lean heavily toward giving a weighty feel to attacks, with blood splattering all over the battlefield as characters taking damage and limbs going flying as they die, while attacks land with the satisfying sound of sword cutting through flesh. It’s all pretty brutal, and quite a bit of fun. The maps where my matches were played had a distinct middle-eastern fantasy design to them, bazaars and deserts sporting ancient ruins. The character designs all reflect the setting as well; interesting, considering it’s not a particularly common fantasy setting to see in games.
Mirage: Arcane Warfare is set for release on Steam in the first part of 2017. I can’t speak for its similarity to Chivalry, but it would make sense for it to be similar. If you like Chivalry but want something with a new feel and style to it, I’d imagine Mirage will be up your alley.
Impressionsmirage arcane warfarePAX WestTorn Banner Studios