Continuing our coverage of demos, we have Mythforce, a cooperative first-person roguelike.
Mythforce‘s visuals are heavily inspired by the Saturday morning cartoons that we grew up with. It has a very striking visual resemblance to older shows like Masters of the Universe and Thundercats, managing to emulate their style perfectly.
It’s actually astounding how well Mythforce manages to look like a cartoon; the game’s introduction has 80s all over it, and the style manages to come through quite nicely in-game. Mythforce makes use of cel-shading for its characters but makes its backgrounds look more static and pre-painted, which really makes things pop out in comparison.
I am sure that the developers studied what animation techniques were used to make old cartoons and why they looked the way they did. It’s plain as day that Mythforce‘s developers went above and beyond when it came to doing their homework.
Fittingly, the game also has an extremely corny theme song, which plays during the introduction and when you activate your Mythforce mode in-game. It goes unbearably hard, and I urge anyone reading to go and give it a listen.
Mythforce‘s character designs are also on point; we have Victoria, the paladin; Rico, the rogue; Maggie, the mage; and Hawkins, the hunter. They all look really distinct and unique, but their playstyles do have some overlap, which I don’t enjoy.
Every character has both a melee and a ranged weapon, and while this is fitting for some, others feel out of place. It makes sense for Rico, the rogue, to engage enemies both from range and up-close, but not that much for Victoria, the paladin, to have a bow.
I know the game is designed like that to balance out solo play, but it feels like a cop-out, and I wish the developers came up with something else to avoid this. Giving characters random, ill-fitting weapons hurts their class design a lot.
Mythforce also has quite a few kinks to iron out, especially when it comes to the enemies. It’s really common to see enemies repeating their spawning animations, spawning on top of each other, or getting stuck on the geometry.
Some enemies even keep running back into their spawn point and disappearing sometimes, just cheapening the overall feel of the game. Mythforce is definitely a bit undercooked gameplay-wise, and it shows.
The game’s maps are pretty straightforward, segmented from room to room for the player to explore. The player will either encounter treasure rooms or battle rooms, and this design keeps the game’s pace flowing nicely.
Unfortunately, the battle rooms do have some issues, again, with enemy spawns. The waves don’t feel well-paced at all, and most of the time the player will just sit there for a few seconds doing nothing while waiting for more enemies to show up.
It’s a minor problem, but it happens multiple times per room, becoming more and more noticeable. The game already has downtime while the player is moving through the map, so this was a really bad decision if these spawns are intentional.
Theoretically, Mythforce should shine a lot more in multiplayer, where all of the classes can work together, but most of the experiences I had with online play were laggy and disjointed. The developers really needs to fix whatever connectivity issue is going on.
A game that sells itself as a primarily multiplayer experience really needs either stable servers or a very good peer-to-peer system when it comes to hosting sessions. As it stands, every session I joined in Mythforce was unplayable.
The few bits of multiplayer I got to play really did confirm that the game’s classes work well with each other, and their distinct gameplay styles really shine when put together as a group, but I can’t recommend the multiplayer until it actually works.
Mythforce is also surprisingly hard; the player is constantly kept in check by the game’s stamina system, and each character deals with it differently. Victoria, the paladin, can attack and block quite a bit without getting tired, but Maggie, the mage, needs to constantly keep an eye on it, as her magic use is costly.
Each character has a set of skills, which are divided between damage, mobility, and their unique ultimates, as well as a Mythforce mode, which seemingly gives the player infinite stamina for a short period of time, thankfully, these skills are all great and fitting with the character’s themes, and don’t feel tacked on at all.
There is also a high degree of customization in Mythforce; players get to pick up traits and equipment during runs, but there’s also some nice meta progression through a gem socket system and weapon upgrades.
Overall, Mythforce has a really fun art style that constantly impressed me during gameplay, but quite a few things need to be fixed before it fully gets a recommendation from me. The multiplayer especially needs a lot of work before the game ships.
The foundation for something really good is there, it just bums me out immensely that such a unique game doesn’t get the polish and care that it deserves.
Mythforce is set to release on September 12, 2023, for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).