The Legend Of Mir 3
Ok, We Know-it's not exactly what you'd call a looker is it? In fact, if you were in a particularly cruel frame of mind, you might refer to this latest Korean import as a minger'. Objectively speaking, it's rather unsightly when compared to the myriad of fantasy online games about to strut along the MMO catwalk - or indeed any that have long since tripped into the abyss at the end.
Running in a standard 800x600 resolution, in 16-bit colour and with a view of the world that's unashamedly isometric, the look of The Legend Of Mir is reminiscent of the four-year old Diablo II (which was hardly cutting-edge in its day). It's a far cry from being state of the art', as so claimed in the game's marketing. Still, you shouldn't judge a game by it's graphics (unless it's a first-person shooter), and my job is to peel back Mir's outer layer to find the beauty that lies beneath.
It's only after you've checked the calendar a couple of times to make sure it isn't 1997 and accepted the fact that The Legend Of Mir is never going to transform into a beautiful swan that the game becomes temporarily spellbinding. This is because, as well as looking a bit Diablo-ish, it also offers much the same gameplay, where sword-swinging enthusiasm is preferred over the more goal-orientated approach of Everquest and its more Western-centric peers.
In line with most fantasy RPGs, the emphasis on treadmilling' your way through the levels is immediately identifiable. After you've created a character, you have to cautiously venture out from your starting village until such time as you can comfortably take out more than the odd hen. Once a few NPC missions have been completed, experience earned and a new sword bought (within a few hours), you can explore dungeons, the darker forests and earn better rewards by joining a gang as they go a-huntin' skeletons, zombies and spider-frogs.
While time passes quicker in the company of others, progression in The Legend Of Mir does feel more of a grind than in other like-minded games. NPC intelligence is obvious and environments are flat. What's more, with only a cursory nod to aspects like trade and crafting, the game can feel like a relentless slog through territory that quickly becomes cloyingly over-familiar.
As an introduction to online fantasy role-playing, The Legend Of Mir 3 is a decent training tool. It introduces the basic concepts and never feels over-bearing or complicated. However, unless you hook up with a group who're going to become lifelong friends, it's unlikely you'll want to stay for more than a couple of months.
While we're more than happy to overlook the game's graphical senility, the gameplay offers nothing new either. With another generation of MMORPGs gliding ever closer, this feels like a step backwards.
Download The Legend Of Mir 3
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP