Remember when Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, or MOBAs were all the rage? Well, that was quite a while ago now and while a few have stood the test of time - for example League of Legends, Dota 2, and Smite - a lot fell to the wayside. However, Spanish studio Mindiff is looking to take a dabble in this genre with its newly announced title The Immortal Mystics.
Ahead of its announcement, we've seen the title in action briefly, and from what I could see The Immortal Mystics prides itself on being a MOBA for anyone. Mindiff has taken care to develop a game that can be played at any level of skill, as it values team cohesion and strategy over mechanical ability prowess. Of course, being talented with your mechanics will allow you to become a more dominant threat in-game, but it isn't as crucial as the fast-paced League of Legends. The Immortal Mystics has been designed with shorter games in mind, which means while it shares a lot of similarities to other MOBAs (of which we'll dive into in a moment), matches are expected to be faster in general, lasting around 10-30 minutes each.
In terms of those similarities, it largely includes the most basic features of the genre, such as map design, the mouse and keyboard control schemes, and the isometric camera angle it plays from alike LoL. At launch, the game is expected to have three unique maps each of which come with turrets, a spawn room where you can buy items, and a jungle packed with; enemies, hiding places, and bosses that offer unique rewards - again we'll explore this further soon. The point is, The Immortal Mystics isn't looking to redefine the MOBA genre, just instead bring a new way to enjoy it.
If you've ever played a MOBA, you'll know the idea is to destroy the many objectives protecting the opposing team's base in order to win - it's a very siege heavy genre. The Immortal Mystics plays just like this, and it looks to keep gameplay fresh by offering a variety of playable characters, each of whom have their own unique abilities and skill sets. Whether that's Sharktopus (who is literally just a shark and an octopus in a mechanical body) or DJ Plastic (which is basically a giant pink humanoid slug with headphones), every character is visually unique enough to make it easy to differentiate between them - and they all seem to have pretty individual abilities too.
One of the areas that Mindiff has put particular focus on is the team abilities that can be combined for extra uses. These are essentially the equivalent of an extra Ultimate ability, and can cause serious devastation or crazy effects when used, and there is the plan to have a bunch of variants at launch. With each being framed around an element i.e. fire or water, you can use the abilities cooperatively to make for bigger effects that do multiple things. For example, if you mix fire and water together, enemies in the ability's radius will be damaged whereas allies will be healed - which brings me back to the fact that this game seems to be framed around strategy and team cohesion above all else.
Alongside these team abilities, The Immortal Mystics also brings special gems that can be earnt to increase certain statistics for your characters. You start the game with one, but more can be unlocked by defeating the tanky jungle bosses we mentioned earlier, to slot in further areas. As for what they offer, that ranges anywhere from shorter cooldowns on your abilities to more health, and they can be switched between slots whenever you so desire to test a new style.
Aside from all of this, the main other areas that are pretty different to other MOBAs come in the turrets that can be upgraded with gold (for faster attacks or a larger range), and the massive looking Colossus minions that can be spawned after you clear the jungle to act as siege weapons great for busting enemy objectives. Turret upgrading seems to be a great way to ensure your objectives remain standing, but the Colossus minions seem to be so effective that they can essentially make or break a match. Oh, and they are quite a sight to behold as well.
Even though the release window for The Immortal Mystics is relatively close - in a game development sense that is - there is still a lot to be revealed. We've seen one of the three maps in action, as well as various characters, and we know it's coming in the summer on PC, but there is still plenty to explore before summer comes around. The real question that we are left with, however, is will this title be unique enough of a product to stand up against the powerhouses that are League of Legends and Dota 2? From what I've seen so far, there is hope for The Immortal Mystics.