I took one look at Mythforce‘s ’80s Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic and was instantly sold. The game is a four-player rogue-lite with four unique characters that have their own abilities, plus it’s got that distinctive cel-shaded look, so I was pretty excited to jump in. The game will remain in Early Access for about a year, where it will receive regular minor updates, with more major updates coming every few months. Currently, the Early Access only includes the first episode. The game really hyped me up, but the question stands: is Mythforce worth it in Early Access?
When you begin, Mythforce has you choose between one of four characters. There’s a mage, warrior, rogue, and archer to pick from, each with its own pros and cons. As I played it prior to launch, I had to go through solo, which is very clearly not how Mythforce is meant to be played. Honestly, it felt to me like the game wasn’t at all balanced for solo players. Getting through on my lonesome just didn’t seem doable most of the time. I tried out all four characters and was surprised to see that they too feel quite imbalanced.
To put it mildly, some characters are very obviously worse than others. For example, when it comes to melee, the rogue is much stronger than the warrior. All characters can use any kind of weapon, but each class spawns with its default. Not only was the rogue stronger than the warrior, but he also seemed notably better than the two ranged characters as well. However, all four have much in common. They’re all horribly slow, their stamina refills extremely slowly, they’re very bad at dealing with multiple enemy threats, and they die quickly and easily. Mythforce, at least solo, is far from fun to play.
I mostly fought skeletons and weird mushroom people. Combat is sluggish and lacking in impact. You walk into a room and barriers drop in place to prevent you from leaving until you’ve taken care of all of the enemies. The enemies tend to slowly pipe into the room, but there were a lot of occasions where I was swarmed with so many enemies at once that I had no chance of fighting them all. Character skills help, but the cooldowns on these are so long that I mostly had to fend for myself.
It’s easy to end up trapped in a corner by a few enemies with no way to move as they wail on you until your stamina depletes. Running, blocking, and attacking all use stamina and you go through it rather quickly. Many situations end up feeling hopeless. It doesn’t help that it can be hard to know where enemies are coming from, as they like to sneak up on you while you’re fighting their friends. This includes enemy archers. The gameplay balance in Mythforce feels completely off to me. Nothing feels good or right, just slow and tedious.
You can find gear, new weapons, and the occasional health potion by opening chests. Defeating enemies levels you up too, which grants you two temporary perks. You’ll want these, because most of the characters feel so horribly underpowered you’ll want any edge you can get. No matter what I did, I ran out of stamina as I was overwhelmed. The level design is also deeply uninteresting and I started recognizing level chunks as early as my second run. Mythforce is probably the worst first-person rogue-lite I’ve played yet, and that’s really saying something. In order to become fun, there’s going to need to be some massive balance changes. As such, Mythforce‘s Early Access is not worth it.