P Pretty much everyone who has ingested alternate media in recent times has seen the logo for Rail: Shadow Legends. Their host describes the “groundbreaking, beautiful mobile fantasy RPG” as Rail: Shadow Legends, which was developed by game studio Plaria. You can use your “gacha” mechanic to unlock equipment or “Champions” to enjoy. It appears to be a fairly generic mobile freemium game. Despite having millions of downloads, the game doesn’t seem to have much influence on the gaming industry, even when it is mentioned in discussions about the mobile gaming scandal. It intrigued me enough to spend a few hours on it to see if it was worth the advertising money that it seems to dump on different online entities.
The game’s opening cutscene transitions into the gameplay very well. Raid looks amazing for a mobile game. There are some old ways that are still used. A pile of dragon’s golden is simply “gold.png”. Many textures are textured over terrain. However, these imperfections can be overlooked, especially when playing a mobile game. The hub world of the Bastion is bright and vibrant, while the dungeons that you will be fighting through range from dank sewers to razed cities. The voice acting is excellent, with the introduction cutscene being well delivered and “The Arbitor”, the game’s guide, being voiced appropriately. Raid’s main objective is to upgrade and unlock your Champions.
You can also collect artifacts (which act as buffs) that will increase your Champions’ fighting abilities. It’s quite satisfying to unlock Champions. You can make a small investment by selecting “unlock” and waiting for your Champion out of the portal onto the screen. The Champions are my favorite part of Raid. The Champions are a dazzling display of fantasy. Human warriors, monsters and sorcerers, as well as orcs, elves and undead, have the opportunity to enter the Champion Portal. The orcs are large and intimidating, while the humans sport colorful gambesons, unusual weapons, and the elves are sleek and beautiful. The costumes they wear are often outrageous and make each Champion feel different, even if they share the same costume.
Unfortunately, this is where the positives tend to diminish. Raid Shadow Legends is, as it turns out to be, a pretty standard freemium mobile game. It is a very weak story, relying too heavily on fantasy tropes to stand out. It takes places in the realm of Teleria. Players are tasked with defeating Dark Lord Siroth who has subjugated this realm. You will find Shards on your journey. These are vessels that hold the souls past warriors. That’s all. You’ll get the same story and settings if you substitute any of these names with terms from the generic fantasy dictionary. You’ll find yourself overwhelmed by an overwhelming HUD as soon as you are left to your devices. This is quite common in mobile games. There are over 15 menu screens available, all scattered around The Bastion, and, coincidentally your phone screen. You also have three currencies and several places you can choose from within The Bastion in order to actually play the game. There are annoying microtransactions and abrasive ones.
Then there are Raid Shadow Legends microtransactions codes. You’ll be presented with multiple screens each time you open the game. These screen ads will show you different packs that you can buy with real money. These packs contain the currency mentioned earlier, energy to allow you to continue on missions, as well as Shards to unlock additional Champions. The accompanying microtransaction artwork features various Champions in funny meme poses. It’s a charming touch. But what isn’t charming is how much push you get to visit the store. To get to the menus and to choose the next step of my adventure, I had to clear seven store screens upon entering The Bastion.
Once you’ve gone through the usual mobile game nonsense, it’s time to play the game. Start by choosing your Champions team. The number of enemies you will be facing determines how many you can recruit. Once you have chosen your team, you will be greeted by the opposing force in different versions of the same corridor. It is a very simplified turn-based experience. Final Fantasy and Darkest Dungeon require you to weigh your options before making any decision. You must also consider the class of your team, your items, your magic and, if necessary the willingness to sacrifice one to win the encounter. Raid takes away most of this. You can choose from AOE attacks or buffs to give your Champion a set of moves. Each move takes a certain amount of turns before it regenerates and can be used again. The buffs are usually ineffective for the first few hours. Champions that do the most damage will be your best choices. Tap the attack you wish to use, and then tap the enemy or enemies you want to damage.
The animation ends, buff or damage numbers appear, then you can repeat the process. The enemy AI can be confusing as all of your enemies will attack one Champion from your team at random until they die. At that point, they turn their attention towards another Champion. After you defeat three enemies, your splash screen is filled with confetti and debris. You can then either continue or upgrade your characters and equipment. Raid Shadow Legends is a fun game. There’s lots to collect and a lot of love went into the voice and design of the Champions. It is just a bit underwhelming and weighed down by standard mobile game junk. It’s a fairly standard experience so how did it get downloaded over 250,000,000 times? Simple; a tremendous amount of marketing.
A total of $700,000 is spent per week in mobile game ads across the United States. This figure soared to $2 million per week during the Coronavirus lockdown. Raid: Shadow Legends is at the forefront of this marketing. Plarium, according to Redditor Borisbemyguide, is paying anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for sponsorships of online entities, depending on the platform and content. Plarium is a big spender, considering the amount of times the phrase “brought you by Shadow Legends” has been used across the internet. Plarium spends a lot of money on advertising in the videogame industry. The compound annual growth rate for the games industry has increased 14% from 2019 to 2020. Games like World of Tanks or The Elder Scrolls Online are often mentioned in the internet.