When I first saw that this game’s name includes the well known “Might & Magic” title, I had to see what the hell is going on. I knew Ubisoft has transitioned from PC to consoles and to Nintendo Switch, but I had no idea they were already making the jump to mobile devices as well. As it turns out, this isn’t even their first title for mobile gaming. They already had South Park Phone Destroyer, Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion, Tom Clancy’s Shadow Break, Rabbids Crazy Rush, City of Love Paris, Just Sing, Hungry Shark World, Assassin’s Creed Identity, Rayman Adventures, Driver Speedboat Paradise, Horse Haven World Adventures, Trials Frontier, and the list goes on…boy was I wrong.
The Catch is most of these titles are recent releases, in the past year or so, but we were denied a Might & Magic game for quite some time now. Ever since Heroes VII were released in 2015 to be exact. And, now Ubisoft seems to be trying to hit the spotlight with this Elemental Guardians turn-based strategy RPG release because the game features a sort of familiar play style and mechanics, set in the M&M world.
Ubisoft actually has a separate section dedicated to mobile game developing, as I found out, it is set in Barcelona, and it is called Ubisoft Barcelona Mobile.
In a nutshell, it’s Summoners War played in the Heroes of Might and Magic world.
That was my first impression upon trying out this game, but naturally, it is an oversimplification. Ubisoft seems to have purposefully developed: Elemental Guardians to draw in the turn-based strategy RPG gaming crowd, while at the same time doing what they’ve been doing for years – making strategy games. I immediately noticed the unavoidable similarity with Summoners War, but I also noticed the significantly improved graphics, models, and animations this game possesses.
Without going too deep into Ubisoft’s motivation behind this game’s creation, let’s look at some of the basic elements and features it offers before I give my opinion on it. I value visuals very highly, but as a gamer, I must value mechanics and the game’s inner workings most of all. Finally, as a writer, I like to play a game with a good story narrative, which is hard to find in a mobile gaming world, not counting some games from other platforms that developers port to mobile. So, I shall try and analyze this game’s visuals, mechanics, storytelling, and overall playability (is this game fun to play).
I must immediately say that I am impressed by this game’s looks. Compared to similar turn-based RPG’s this one rocks, especially when played on your mobile device. I imagine people who play mobile games via some emulator could be less impressed by the graphics of Elemental Guardians, but on a mobile screen the models, the environment, and the effects look amazing!
The models are much more detailed than in similar games like SW, and the icons, effects, and animations that are happening on the screen are obviously more refined and overall impressive. Also, I have to remind you that this game is set in the M&M universe, so the fans and players who play other games from this franchise will often find familiar things, like characters, monsters, and settings.
The Game Mechanics
The mechanics are however nothing new, as this game is almost exactly the same as Summoners War or any other turn-based RPG. Things do look better and more refined, but the game basics and features are practically the same. But, this is I think a good thing, if I may say so. If something is not broken, don’t fix it. There was nothing wrong with the gameplay Summoners War offers, and it is an awesome game loved by many. The only question is how are people going to react to the fact that this new game features the same gameplay as in another game. There has been much controversy about the same problem PUBG has with other Battle Royale games which followed.
Well, this is the part where I usually write the same thing when I review a mobile game, lately. Games with good storylines or any storyline, in fact, are becoming almost extinct. This game does have some basic story introduction but it is as if though it doesn’t exist. You enter the world of M&M, you choose between 3 different Houses of Magic (Materia, Chimera, or Anima) and you go about your leveling monster business. No engaging content whatsoever. This is naturally not a hard critique, because as I said, most of the games have the same problem, so in fact, it can be viewed as a critique of the entire game developing industry.
Overall Playability or Addictivity
Same as similar games, M&M: Elemental Guardians is addictive as hell and insanely fun for the fans of the genre. The game does include in-game purchases, naturally, but you can farm any resource without spending any actual real money on the game, just much slower as you might expect.
The game features the expanded system Summoners War uses, with its monsters having four elements in their core: Fire, earth, Air, and Water. This is precisely the specific order for the elemental advantage of units.
Fire > Earth > Air > Water
This four-element mechanic means that you are going to have a much easier job of composing your monster team because it means you will always have two options for neutral elements. An example of what I mean is that if, for instance, you have four different enemies on the battlefield and they are all different elements, your monster with a certain element will be neutral to the monster with the same element and one other, while it will either have advantage or disadvantage towards the other two.
Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is a good addition for any fast-paced/turn-based strategy RPG games fan and an improvement for all those who prefer good aesthetics. This game does provide a solid rewarding experience in terms of planning a good strategy, picking and preparing your monsters for the battle, and making the right moves at the right time. I will rate all the categories I talked about as well as leave an overall rating below, but if you want your own opinion – try it out.