ARPG fans looking for a new game to play now have a free option. Developer Cryptic Studios has delivered as promised, with Magic Legends now officially launching its PC open beta. The unique multiplayer game mixes a Diablo-style point-and-click action RPG with its own brand of deckbuilding, creating a unique Magic experience. Now interested PC gamers can try out Magic Legends for free, unlocking additional limited-availability DLC in the process.
Cryptic and publisher Perfect World have confirmed the PC open beta for Magic Legends is, in effect, a soft launch. That means that the content available in-game is already substantial. Five different starter classes, almost 200 cards for spells and abilities, parties of up to three players, 1v1 duels, a story featuring iconic Magic characters, and much more are in the game. There are also five regions to explore across all four of Magic's plans.
Accompanying the launch of the PC open beta is a new Magic Legends cinematic trailer and a gameplay trailer. The cinematic trailer provides an introduction to the atmosphere and story of Magic Legends, while also showing off the diversity of content in-game. The gameplay trailer is short, but should provide an impression of how general in-game combat should play out.
For now, the Magic Legends open beta is exclusive to PC. While the full launch will come to PS4 and Xbox One, an open beta for those platforms has not been confirmed. There is cross-play between the Arc and Epic Games PC storefronts already implemented, but there won't be cross-play with consoles when those versions arrive. Lastly, it has been confirmed that all open beta progress will be retained through launch. There are no more server wipes, so all progress counts starting today.
Magic: The Gathering is an inherently competitive game. It requires players to come together and test their decks against one another, ultimately resulting in shared memories of tension, strategy, and victory or defeat. However, Magic Legends is taking the multiplayer heart of Magic: The Gathering in a different direction. This is an inherently multiplayer game. Magic Legends encourages fans to squad up and explore the multiverse together, rather than using their decks against each other all the time. While traveling the Magic multiverse is a fun idea on its own, it's even more exciting that players can share in the journey with friends.
However, Magic Legends' multiplayer has an odd quirk to it. Players can only have parties of up to three players. It became the industry standard a long time ago that any game with multiplayer can support two or up to four players, but Magic Legends breaks the convention. It isn't the first to do so, though. There's actually been quite a few very visible games released in recent history that specifically request fans to play in groups of three. Where is this trend coming from? Why is it that developers have suddenly decided to switch over to this new party size for so many different games?
The three-player phenomenon doesn't appear to be restricted to any particular genre. Some years ago, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, where three Links controlled by three players had to cooperate to explore dungeons, solve puzzles, and defeat monsters. That's in spite of Nintendo's previous four-player Zelda endeavors. In contrast to this action-adventure example, Apex Legends has made the three-player format pretty famous. The smaller party size sure hasn't gotten in Apex Legends' way; it's been out for a few years now and remains one of the most popular battle royales on the market.
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