The entirerty of space and thousands upon thousands of players. All in your pocket.
For whatever reason, despite everything else today’s Android phones can do, I’m still impressed when I see 3D models and worlds in a game that I’m playing on my phone. It’s just one of those things that makes me remember that living in the future is awesome. Now you’re telling me that I can have a spiritual kin to Phantasy Star Online in my pocket at all times? OK. I’m just going to start throwing money at you until you give me this game.
Hold up, Star Legends is Free-To-Play? Quick, somebody pinch me.
Star Legends follows the same basic formula of its World of Warcraft-ish brother, Pocket Legends, but with a (wait for it) space-themed universe where you spend your time aboard the UCS Blackstar. In this microtransaction-supported MMO you’ll fight against aliens, space pirates and evil-minded corporations desperate for control as you take on numerous quests for loot and credits. Other Star Legends players will be your colleagues as you’re matched-up in the instanced levels to fight side-by-side. Blast, cast and loot your way to leveling up your character, developing your skills and upgrading your items. Basically everything you’d expect from a modern MMO, which is pretty impressive.
Three classes are available for character creation: Commando (tank), Operative (DPS) and Engineer (controller). You also have three attributes to spec out as you progress and will automatically gain new skills along the way. Though you cannot pick out these skills, you can decide which ones you want to make more powerful.
The controls are pretty much what you’d expect. A virtual analog stick on the bottom left of the screen handles character movement while your weapon has a button on the right with buttons for your skills bordering it. The weapon can be toggled to auto fire on an enemy which will also make your character follow the target around the level if they try to run away. The camera can be controlled by swiping right and left to turn it around your character or set to auto follow, but that doesn’t always give you the best angle on the action.
For everything Star Legends gets right in its basic MMO model, you have very little sense of story or character progression. Every area that I played through looked almost indistinguishable from the one before it. Also the drops aren’t as level-appropriate as it seems they should be. This could be chalked up to its early status and needing to be tweaked, but I often picked up armor or weapons that I couldn’t use for many levels.
Where Star Legends excels in its social system. Your friends list is very easy to manage and access. If any of your friends are online you can join their party right from the menu. My friends list grew very quickly even when I was first starting out. Guild support is complete and impressive, especially important considering how much more fun the levels are with a full party on attack.
The “real money” items are mostly timed enhancements that will speed up your level progression. There are some weapon and armor items to buy, but nothing that’s that much better than what you’d get from drops. Luckily nothing is required to be bought as you continue through the story. I made it about halfway to the max level and was never required to buy anything to keep going.
As you probably expect, Star Legends is a much more complex and involved game than what you might be used to playing on a mobile platform. If you’ve never played a MMO of any kind before, it’s hard to suggest starting here. What tutorials actually exist aren’t incredibly helpful if you’re not already familiar with the core mechanics used in this style of game. Though it doesn’t quite have all the appeal of your more traditional PC-based MMOs, if the appeal of having a WoW-Lite experience to carry around in your pocket at all times excites you, you’ll be quite fond of Star Legends.