After working a long week, you are finally home. Able to do what you desire more than anything, with the thousands of choices, you decide to sit down on your couch, pick up a controller, and play some video games. Sitting down in front of our TVs and computer screens to enjoy your favorite video games are more than just a hobby, they are a way of life. Gamers have been bumping up weekly playing hours, we now play more video games than ever before. Seamlessly, we collectively pick up a game, play through it and move on to the next so as to not add to our backlog. With D&D having such a huge initial impact on gaming you would think there would be more imagination involved in actually playing the games. Mages of Mystralia is here to change the way we play and experience gaming.
Mages of Mystralia is an upcoming fantasy adventure game from Borealys Games out of Montreal, Canada. This beautiful game was on display at PSX in December and its booth was so packed it took me 4 hours to get a chance to play it. This creative game comes with plenty of action, intriguing puzzles, and gorgeous world had me captivated the moment I picked up the controller. The game features a female protagonist that is discovered to be a mage by burning down her own house (being a really unlucky mage). Magic is considered illegal as well. I also had the chance to speak to Dan Adelman (Axiom Verge) that is handling the business side of things for Borealys and he seemed more excited talking to me about the game than I did playing it. According to him there would be “13 dungeons in this game and roughly 17-30 hours of gameplay depending on the player” giving us more of an old school experience than most indie games out there today. Now of course, we all understand that games are not measured by their length, but with the integration of “play your own way”. It allows for much more freedom and exploration in a world that well deserves of it. Adding to it’s depth of gaming, it has interesting and varied enemy design, scaling from minions and mages to giant frost lizard that would just love if you would stand still and become a frozen mage pop. The land was full of goodies I had to find, and secrets that had to be discovered only to remember this was a demo and not the real deal.
I could immediately see myself sinking hours and hours into it, but there was one thing that really set it apart from other games – its spell crafting system. The system takes four categories of spell crafting and allows you to tailor them to your exact wants and needs. For example you could take a simple fireball spell and turn it into a multi-shot homing fireball that creates a duplicate of you upon impact. You see? Something you couldn’t have possibly imagined, it has almost a Hogwarts-esque learning curve to it. The runes you pick up along the way give you the power to transform your spells from mage classics into a master mage of the mystical. The amount of runes you use can create hundreds of thousands of combinations that can personalize any wizard’s arsenal, and not even the developers know how deep this rabbit hole goes. This game is a wide open adventure both in world and within the confines of your mind, creating new weapons and ways to control the world around you.
More and more are the classic games of the 90s are having their likeness copied only to be soulless and empty. Mages of Mystralia is being released and focusing more on magic than blade combat, seeming like an exemplary version and it makes you wonder why we haven’t seen another game like it before. Of course with even the developers making comparisons to Zelda, one has to wonder about the story and Louis-Felix Cauchon (president of Borealys Games) has said “Ed Greenwood liked our spell crafting system so much he decided to write the story for us.” Forgotten realms creator Ed Greenwood himself is penning the script on a game that has already taken great leaps with its gameplay. As a D&D fan boy myself you could only imagine my elation when hearing this news. I was stunned that Ed would even venture into an indie office let alone write a video game. Any D&D influence on video games is a good influence in my book, it still holds pure imagination and creation close, filling a gap that has been missing in many games over the past few years.
The more time I spent near this game on the show floor of PSX, the more I was certain that it was something that could not be missed and has quickly made itself one of my most anticipated games of 2017. Felix had also sat down to speak with me about the game and something that stuck with was having him tell me “It’s all about the players and with Mages of Mystralia we want to make players dream about games again.” The fact that they are so invested in the development of this game, that they concern themselves with the imagination and afterthoughts the players go through is above and beyond what most other developers even attempt. Attempting to change the way gamers dream about games is no easy task; regardless this game has already made an impact and hasn’t even been released yet.
Mages of Mystralia is to be released spring of 2017, with no exact date as of yet. While you wait ever so patiently for its release, the official magesofmystralia.com is providing comics on the lore every Tuesday and Thursday, and of course you can add it to your wish list on Steam and PS4. You can also sign up for the weekly newsletter and beta testing on the same site.