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Written by Elliot Hilderbrand on 9/21/2023 for PS5  
More On: MythForce

You can say whatever you want about MythForce, but developer Beamdog has nailed the look they were going for. When I play, I am playing a video game that is meant to look like a Saturday morning cartoon. Nailed it. Full stop. I can’t get over how true to the trailer MythForce looks. Go watch the trailer and come back. This review isn’t going anywhere. Did you watch it? I know, right, nailed it. I can’t get over it. Those Saturday morning cartoons MythForce is trying to imitate are a little before my time, but I’m still familiar enough with them. Those shows that were more commercial than story, the same feels true here. A group of mythical heroes setting out to defeat an evil that only exists to be defeated. Sadly, even though the look and feel are completely on point, issues arise once you start playing.

MythForce has three chapters, each with three levels, totaling nine. Each level consists of procedurally generated sub-levels and at the end of each chapter is a boss fight. Each level has 15 rooms or floors to them, most of which involve you clearing the room of enemies and moving on to the next. On occasion, you find a treasure or buyer’s room where you can purchase additional upgrades besides the one you get for clearing a room. It’s very straightforward, too straightforward. I got the grasp of what was happening very quickly and was never surprised by anything. Even though the rooms are procedurally generated, I knew what to expect.

There is very little exploring to do in MythForce. You really go from room to room, take on a series of enemies, break all the jars, loot all the chests, grab an upgrade, and move on to the next room. Again and again. Levels feel straightforward after just a single playthrough. Having to redo a level because I died brings an audible ugh from me every time. Thankfully, the characters are each different enough that having to play the same level again isn’t completely unbearable, just an annoyance.

After clearing a room, you earn one of three random upgrade perks. There are constant upgrades; if you don’t like the current playstyle you have, give it a few rooms and you can change it completely. While there are multiple ways to play, once I found what works I stayed with that style. When I play as the Mage I stick with spells that damage over time. As the hunter I focus on my bow, or the shield with the knight. There is some room for growth and change, especially with 15 rooms per level, but I found it unnecessary. I liked that if I didn’t want any of the three upgrades, I had a few rerolls to get a different set of upgrades to choose from. I would suggest to new players not to be afraid to reroll the perks; it is silly to finish a run with four rerolls left.

Combat is interesting. I found myself getting frustrated in the first few hours. When you watch the trailer for MythForce it feels intense, action-packed, something at every turn. In reality, MythForce is a slow drip with combat. Enemies come in waves, so you have time to clear a wave, move to a new area and fight again. There is a big roguelike gameplay loop, but there are few surprises. Once you’ve played a level, or two, you know what is coming and when. You know when the next room is an upgrade room or when you know you are about to face off against the mid-run boss. Once I got a handle on combat and realized it’s not about playing fast and hard but slowly and methodically, I began to enjoy it more.

Playing solo makes slow and steady easy. I know what to avoid and when, I don’t have to fight teammates on upgrades, and I can go at my own pace. When I play online with random people its a race to get the upgrades. Screw that guy, I want to upgrade my spells. When playing with friends it’s more of a let’s screw around, make fun of each other, or the voice overs, and maybe we finish the level together, or maybe one guy carries us in the last room as we skid into the finish line. Three very different ways to play, and not all are fun. Playing with friends, then playing solo, and lastly playing online with strangers, each one a little less fun than the one before it.

It’s not just combat that feels off. MythForce feels designed for the computer, and controllers were a bit of an afterthought. Movement and combat work fine on the controller, it just feels a little off. It’s all the menus that really suck. Again, everything feels slow, and the same can be said about the cursor in the menus. It’s noticeable and annoying.

Online co-op was a lot of fun with friends. Getting everyone into the lobby was easy, starting up a level was also a breeze. I had the most fun when playing with a full party of people I knew. A lot of that fun was them; the four of us have been playing co-op games together for a little while and most of us know each other outside of just playing videogames. It’s bound to be a least a decent time. I never ran into the issue but I frequently heard through in-game chat about things not going the way they wanted. Upgrades they thought they had selected were not the ones they got, controls not working as intended, and a few other complaints were heard over the almost three hours we played together. It’s also run and gun with co-op. Someone may have yelled Leeroy Jenkins several times before jumping into the next room. Still, the best time was playing with friends.

Variety in enemies is lacking; even if enemies look different, they function so similarly to the other baddies that it doesn’t really matter. Oh, this purple humanoid mushroom man shoots purple balls of fire, and that mushroom man is orange and does a spin attack when you are close. Crazy. I quickly learned how each enemy worked and avoiding the combat element they had wasn’t the challenge, the real challenge became trying to take too many on at the same time. I would have loved to see more enemy attack options rather than more enemies per area.

The characters you can play as look great. Maggie the mage, Victoria the knight, Hawkins the hunter, and Rico the rogue all fit the archetype that they portray. Out of the four characters, there feels like three different styles of play; the hunter feels too much like a mesh between rogue and knight to be his own person, but still, plenty of playstyle to choose from. I liked the special abilities each character has, and when in a full group can really do some damage. While the characters look great they only have a few voice lines they repeat constantly. There was a running gag when playing in co-op about a few of the frequently used catchphrases, it was funny, but for the wrong reason.

There’s just not enough meat on the bone with MythForce. If the levels were shorter, a larger group of unique enemies, a faster pace of play, I might be able to really get down with MythForce. There is also too much needed to overlook to find this game average, at best. While the look is amazing, nothing is groundbreaking, nothing stands out. The best time I had was when playing with friends, because they’re my friends, we make our own fun. At the current price point I would not recommend this. If you can find this on a deep discount, have a few friends who want something to play on a Saturday night, I can see MythForce being an absolute blast and not feeling like I overpaid for the experience.


If you want the best experience possible with MythForce, play with friends. If you don’t have friends, then play by yourself. If you hate yourself, then try playing with strangers. Visually, style-wise, I love MythForce. While there isn’t enough dialogue what is there can be amusing the first couple of times. Combat takes some getting used to, but once you have the hang of that the game gets better. I love roguelike elements, I just need more randomness. With the exception of MythForce’s style everything falls flat after a few hours. Buy this on sale and convince a few buddies to do the same and you won’t be upset you did it.

Rating: 6.5 Below Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I'm pulled towards anything that isn't driving or sports related; having said that, I love a good kart racer. I Can't get enough RPGs, and indies are always worth a look to me. The only other subject I pay any attention to is the NFL (go Colts!).

While writing about games is my favorite hobby, talking is a close second. That's why I podcast with my wife Tessa (it's called Tessa and Elliot Argue).

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