I don’t know whether to thank JoBildo or not for sending me a Mythos beta key just when I’d resubscribed to Dungeon Runners. Both are point-and-click kill fests, but where Dungeon Runners takes the Diablo 2 formula a little toward the MMO world, Mythos unashamedly brings the legendary dungeon hack to the present day. I haven’t run DR once since I installed Mythos…
With Hellgate: London (by the developers of Mythos, Flagship Studios) in beta, and Tabula Rasa providing another take on the formula, 2008 could well be the year the Action RPG comes back. While World of Warcraft is still rampaging around the MMORPG world, playing in a different genre just makes sense.
You start the game as one of three races (Human, Gremlin and Satyr), each one of three classes (Bloodletters — melee, Pyromancers — casters, and Gadgeteers — ranged fighters) and three different talent trees.
They do like the number three…
The game dumps your newly-created character in front of an old man who is complaining about monsters in the monastery — the very one before which you stand — and if you could roust them out, that would be wonderful. One step and — I swear this is true — you descend into a copy of Diablo 1’s first dungeon. Sure, it’s been fifteen or so years so some details might be a little off… that’s what I saw.
I’d learned the controls and leveled up some by the time I finished, so I set out to the main town, Stonehill.
Quests? Every NPC has a quest, and most of them add new waypoints to your world map. But heck, who wants to do quests anyway. Mythos wants you to be out killing stuff and bagging loot as fast as you like. You can buy maps from a cartographer, or find them as drops, which open up a special instance on the world map, just for you.
Want a solo dungeon for levels 8-10 that you can finish in fifteen minutes? No problem. Want a group dungeon for five players between levels two and four? Right click and its yours. A portal lets you travel on the world map — usually you still need to fight (or run) through a zone to get to the actual instance.
A Minute of Mythos
Like Diablo and other games of this type, upgrades come fast and furious. Go for AE attacks with a huge two hander, one shot kills with fast dual wields, or step back and direct your pets to do the killing? Set up traps that kill anything that comes close? Cast spells that jump from monster to monster, killing all?
Climb the tree. Each character is unique — mine specializes in AE melee attacks and my gear tends toward health regeneration so I can run around and draw a crowd, then kill them in one stroke.
Mythos is anything but a hard game. Casual chat among the other players show character building as a high art — and after awhile, every character essentially becomes a god of monster death, killing by their very presence.
If what you’re looking for is an online dungeon-hack experience where you can be wopping creepies, laying waste to vast dungeons, hauling buckets of treasure back to town and playing with talent trees all in fifteen minutes — Mythos might be your game.