Four years after its release, Raid: Shadow Legends is still a huge talking point within the mobile gaming community. Indeed, this turn-based RPG available for PC and mobile devices is still alive and kicking, growing even! The player base expands with each update, and Plarium, the game’s developer, works nonstop to provide said updates. In this Raid Shadow Legends Review, we will take a look and see what all the fuss is about!
Just this preface alone is more than can be said about MANY online games that came out over the last 4 years. Bigger studios, with bigger names attached, with bigger IPs, and more resources, tried and failed to deliver an online experience that sticks out and lives past the typical expiration date of your usual multiplayer experience.
Raid: Shadow Legends is a well-known name by now. Recommended by every influencer under the sun, and meme’d to infamy by internet users. Are the game’s visuals and gameplay all it’s cranked up to be in the advertising? Find out in our RAID: Shadow Legends Review.
New Player Experience with RAID: Shadow Legends
The game opens with a hilarious scripted tutorial sequence where one of your heroes gets swallowed by a dragon in the middle of shouting out the battle plan to the rest of her crew. The visuals are honestly very clean, with each champion being distinct in size, choice of attire, race, etc.
The backgrounds are the true winners of RAID’s presentation in my humble opinion. I love to marvel at them when my champions are going to town on a group of enemies. From frozen wastelands to hellish landscapes, with desert plains in between. There are a lot of environments to look at, and Plarium tends to introduce new eye candy for special events and during seasonal specials.
But during the introduction this gets sidelined by a lot of talking… which is definitely not a strong point of the game. There are cutscenes in the campaign, and there is written dialogue and lore for the characters, but it’s weak. REALLY weak.
Despite the weak dialogue, it’s not like you are there for the story as with most games of a similar nature such as Diablo, Dislyte, or other popular Mobile MMORPGs. Indeed, you are there for the combat, the grind, or the community. However, unlike the other games listed, RAID’s story and lore are so generic and forgettable that you are better off skipping the cutscenes and just playing the game.
One of the biggest problems with the game, in my opinion, hits you right after you finish the tutorial that taught you a couple of the most basic aspects of RAID.
When the game boots you out to the main screen and you are free to do anything you like for the first time, it’s absolutely terrible. You are immediately bombarded by 3 in-game ads for something in the premium shop.
There are so many menus for other menus for other menus, it’s cluttered, unorganized, and wholly appalling for anyone trying the game for the first time. The game tries desperately every 5 minutes to get you into the mentioned shop and immediately spend money, even though you have 0 idea of what you are doing.
And I would NOT be making such a big deal out of this if it wasn’t doing the game such a disservice. Despite this, when you learn how to navigate the maze of menus and ignore all the offers that are absolutely not worth your money, there is something special in RAID when you dig deep.
While most RPGs these days are more action-oriented, Raid: Shadow Legends maintains the time-tested turn-based combat of the past. And it works WONDERS for the gameplay of RAID, this rendition of a turn-based system is so much more exciting than most action games could ever be.
The foundation of the battle system is a set of champions that you may gradually acquire by playing the game and through the gacha system. During your trip, you can select from more than a million different team member combinations made up of these heroes.
The turn-based combat system in Raid: Shadow Legends will make your brain work overtime as you come up with the best methods to defeat your enemies, whether you’re playing in PvE against the bosses in a dungeon or engaging in PvP with other players in the Arena.
The strategies and the meta players come up with are truly crazy. It’s never just about putting 4 of your best damage champions into a team and watching them demolish a boss. You must put in a tank that will taunt opponents, support for buffs and healing, and perhaps a debuffer to keep enemies in check.
The best thing about RAID is that there is no golden formula, what will work for one boss, fight or a dungeon will not work for everything. You must actively strategize, juggle items, and switch Masteries and Blessings.
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A Difficult Economy
Unfortunately, the gameplay is often at odds with the systems connected to it. You start out with a good quantity of silver and energy, but as you upgrade your player Artifacts, abilities, and equipment, that supply runs out. The cost of the Artifacts and champions increases with each level.
One of the most baffling decisions in the design of RAID, in my opinion, is the fact that switching out gear costs you in-game currency. If you want to switch out a full 6-piece set of the highest rarity, because you want to try something else on a champion, you might as well create a new account because it will bankrupt you.
Some things naturally should be limited, for example, the Demon Lord Clan Boss being a daily quest with limited tries, or the Hydra being a weekly resetting boss with limited tries is all good. However, Farming Silver and items places a heavy toll on the resources of your account, quickly turning RAID from a turn-based RPG into a resource management game where you must maintain spreadsheets of your daily spending like you were filling taxes.
This is once again a great shame, because it, like the cluttered UI, and the disgusting monetization, gets in a way of actually playing and enjoying RAID. However, despite all the flaws, due to the incredible graphics, deep strategy, and huge amount of differing gameplay available, this is deep down one of the greatest turn-based RPGs I have played in a long time.
Overall Raid Shadow Legends Review Rating
Overall, in this Review, I would happily give RAID: Shadow Legends 4/5 for the gameplay and the community experience. It is just let down by some excessive monetization and with it sometimes feeling like there is just too much going on. If this has convinced you to give it a go, make sure to check out our Raid Shadow Legends Guide to get you going in the game.
Raid Shadow Legends Guides from OCG
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