So you finally scrimped and saved enough to have your own castle in the sky. You are ready to live the comfortable life of relaxation, personal opera lessons, and watching the sun set. Wait, what’s that? Someone raided your castle and stole all of your loot? Well it sounds like you may have a quest of revenge ahead of you. Dare I say it? You may even have The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot in front of you! What a coincidence since that’s the name of the new game from Ubisoft. Read on for tips and tricks in your search for loot!
You start the story as one of four character types; a mage, an archer, a knight, or the runaway (think Joan Jett dressed in armor carrying a very large axe). At the urging of your new PR Agent, Cornelius, you have decided to join the rich elites in the floating city of Opulencia. The sales brochure fails to mention that the rich elites maintain their status by constantly stealing from each other. In order for you to keep your castle in the sky you’ll need to start amassing goods to invest in defenses for your own castle. I should say ill-gotten gains rather than goods because you acquire goods by attacking other castles and taking their goods. Sounds simple, right?
Controls and Gameplay
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot plays like two games built into one. On one hand you have the raiding side of the game, which plays like a clicktastic Diablo-esque game. Clicking to move, clicking on enemies to attack, and hot keys for special attacks. Even the interface is Diablo-like with a red orb representing your health, a blue orb representing your mana, and your quick keys between them. This attack portion is the meat and potatoes of the game. This is where you earn all of your gold to buy items, not only to improve your character, but also to help improve your castle’s defenses. In addition to gold you also collect shards of life force. Life force allows you to upgrade the “heart” of your castle, a huge magical crystal that not only keeps your castle afloat, but it defines the limits on how many rooms, traps, and creatures you can have in your castle.
On the other hand the game plays like a twisted version of a tower defense meets Dungeon Keeper. You have to build the defenses of your castle. Everything from setting traps to deploying creatures in order to ensure your treasure is protected. Your only limits are your imagination and your castle’s heart level. How you lay out your defenses is completely up to you. Want to put everything in one room? You can, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Most traps don’t care what they damage and your own traps could kill your creatures before they can even defend your castle.
Graphics and Sound
In fitting with the The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot’s humor the graphic style is cartoony. The mage is dressed in robes with an impossibly long beard (his back story shows he was born with a beard and mustache). The knight is an egotistical, body builder with super shiny armor. The archer is a one-eyed, grumpy codger with a pet raven. And lastly as I said, the Runaway is essentially a lost in time “rocker chick” that will flip her axe and play it like a guitar.
Sounds are common dungeon fodder:clanking of sword on armor, crossbow bolts into flesh, lightning striking beast. The voice actors play their roles with a great relish. The knight sounds overly smug, the mage falls into the evil maniacal stereotype, and the archer slides into a combo of made up of a bit of an angry Irishman and a bit of swashbuckling pirate. The music takes its cues from what is happening on screen. If you are in battle it swells epic and powerful; if you are working on your castle then it’s background tavern minstrels.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is an interesting beast in transition. The game seems fully fleshed out but it’s not. It is currently in open beta testing, which means anyone can play, but what is normal this week may be gone next week. So far any changes that Ubisoft Montreal has made have been such minor ones that I haven’t noticed them. Additionally The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is set up as a Free to Play game, meaning it is free to download and play, but if you pay real world money and you can get certain perks like traps and creatures sooner rather than later. A majority of things you can buy with real money right now are cosmetic. Falling into paid content is the Runaway; she is a “premium” character and only available to those who purchase the package that includes her. She looks cool and some of her attack moves look cool, so I am sorely tempted to buy that package.
On the other hand you can still have a lot of fun without paying, at least as far as I have got. Besides raiding other player’s castles, there is a vague storyline that has Cornelius pushing you to defeat various bosses to not only increase your fame, but to also increase your (and his) coffers. But with that fame and money comes more attacks, which means investing more loot to increasing your defenses in a perpetual cycle. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, but one that is fun to run around. Turn your castle into a devious gauntlet for others to hopefully fail in; while you try your luck at defeating someone else’s.
My only real complaints are some of the current limitations. You are limited in the amount of things you can carry and limited in the amount of gold and life force you can amass. The amount you can carry doesn’t seem to increase at all, so you have to sell off any extra weapons and armor. This isn’t too bad unless you’ve forgotten to sell after a few castles. You have no access to your inventory while you are raiding castles, so if it gets full you will not be able to pick up any more items. The amount of gold and life force you can carry does increase as you level up, but I have run into points where I have too much gold. My inventory is near full, so I sell off items to clear it out, but when my gold is maxed I cannot sell any more items. At that point I have to see if I can buy things for my castle so I can get rid of some gold in order to continue selling off the items in my inventory. It’s a frustrating when I just want to clear my inventory and go back to raiding other castles. Instead I have to stop and work on my castle when I’d rather be out fighting.
Still I am having fun. Given that The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is in beta the issues might change, which could change my overall score too. For now I give it a solid 3 out of 5 and we’ll see how things go.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is rated T for Teen for Fantasy Violence and Mild Language by the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB).
For more information see The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot web site.