Mirage: Arcane Warfare free to play this weekend

Mirage: Arcane Warfare

I’ve sunk a fair chunk of time into Mirage: Arcane Warfare [official site], the first-person melee brawler in which you can both fling magic spells and lop a man’s head off with a giant axe, and I’ve enjoyed nearly all of it. But it does have one flaw: there just aren’t enough players. You’ll often run into empty servers, and those that are full contain a mix of every skill level. That can make it difficult for new players to settle in.

Well, the game is currently free to try on Steam, and will be until 9pm on Sunday (1pm Pacific). Player numbers are already picking up, which is promising.

If you’ve got a few hours spare, I’d really recommend trying it out. Coming from the creators of the excellent Chivalry: Medieval Warfare it’s as mechanically solid as you’d expect, with an emphasis on patience, feints, parries, and positioning.

It has six distinct classes to choose from, with varying degrees of emphasis on magic and straight-up melee combat. Team deathmatch is okay, but it’s a lot better in its objective-based game modes where you’re pushing payloads or capturing various points on the maps with the rest of your team.

It’s pretty brutal, mind — if you find yourself alone against two enemies, you’re toast. The combat takes a while to master (with attacks bound to mouse buttons and the mouse wheel), but when you get the hang of it and start racking up a few kills it feels really satisfying.

It’ll cost you nothing to find out if you like it! Fans of Chivalry should especially take note.


  1. hausser0815 says:

    Yeah … No. What made Chivalry awesome was the lack of magic mumbo jumbo.

  2. Zealuu says:

    I have clocked a couple of hundred hours of Chivalry, and think it’s excellent despite looking a bit dated now, but the recent Mirage beta was … Bad. They kept most of the movement and basic attack/parry/feint system, but the overall design of Mirage is much more like a “hero brawler” than Chivalry. That’s a pretty crowded genre where Mirage is not set apart by anything, like Chivalry was in the team-based multiplayer space by being a non-magical, medieval dismember-o-rama that relied on timing and precision.
    Mirage has smaller maps with few transitions, populated by fewer players, but the game somehow still runs very poorly. The objectives are completely devoid of the creativity that went into designing fun TO maps for Chivalry where you performed tasks that sort of made sense – torching villages, pushing catapults, opening gates, killing the king, etc. – here it’s just “stand on the objective 5 times, and then push a payload cart”.

    The core gameplay loop is still decent given its pedigree, but I never missed magic and outlandish, vaguely orientalist character designs when playing Chivalry, so I wound up reinstalling that instead (while quiely lamenting that War of the Vikings is dead).

  3. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

    I’ve been playing this game since release and I’m happy with the purchase, despite the serious lack of players. Multiplayer games never hold my attention more than a few months anyway so, by the time the already tiny community dies out, I’ll have gotten almost the same enjoyment.
    Still, I hope that this early free weekend revitalizes the community a bit: Zealuu’s well reasoned and articulated criticism aside, the game didn’t deserve to bomb this hard.
    It’s a solid brawler, with magic acting as a spice, a help for newer players and the basis for interesting combos in the hands of more experienced ones. The combat is more streamlined (and with MUCH less bullshit) than Chivalry with a more forgiving parry.
    Plus, novel setting and shouting. Lots of shouting.

    From a consumer standpoint, however, let me repeat that: the servers are rarely full outside of peak hours (evening in Europe) and free weekends. This would probably make getting into the game even harder for new players who would find themselves surrounded by the few people who actually stuck with the game. Also, they’d often have to make their own fun by improvising a duel server.

    It’s kind of surreal, to be honest: it feels like one of those communities who survived decades playing the same game and everyone knows each other, where they’re from and their playstyle, except that Mirage has been out for less than a month.

  4. Thirdrail says:

    No offense to anyone, but I think these guys picked a stupid direction. What I wanted for a Chivalry sequel was basically For Honor with dedicated servers. Instead they made this clunky nonsense that looks like someone stuffed the ghost of Heretic into Overwatch pajamas and sent it out the door.

  5. Cross says:

    I’ve been very interested to try the game, but i didn’t even know it released!

  6. LagTheKiller says:

    Well Chivalry were decent. For Honor is fun for the first 30-40 hours as long u didnt dive into meta players who master 3 combos and use it in chain over and over again (sometimes 2 ) and skill treshold to counter those (in halberd grab n throw u cant) is damn high. In Mirage fight is pire garbage. U hot 2 hits and weird “skills” which u have to remember at sight coz there is no sound effects special and in 8vs8 u wouldnt hear them anyways. Parrying in melee is easy. On some lowly crowded servers u can engage in 30 secs sparring when u both attack and block same attacks. Until some maggot flies and casts a fireball. U can block it and then previous dude killu bcs block is obligatory 0.5 sec skill with obligatory 1 sec rechrage time. Classes are often abused. There are 5 mages 5 other mages and 5 twohand axors in one team(read leap strikes and aoe). And it looks like Titanfall without guns titans and purpose. Also in beta or alpha connection stability loss sometimes happen and next match simply wpuldnt load. Sometimes ingame lags. I killed many guys chopping air and were killed by transcendent berserkers too. This game srsly need rebranding. Lets name it Mirage: Derpmare of autism fights. And add benny hill music when enemy got more than 5 axe wielders jumping around map.