Mirage: Arcane Warfare adds bots to make up numbers

Mirage: Arcane Warfare Pit

First person hack-and-slash-and-magic ’em up Mirage: Arcane Warfare [official site] this week received its first major update since launching in May, with new weapons, maps, and abilities added to the game. Most importantly, the Gladiator Update added bot-assisted servers in which AI combatants will make up the numbers if players don’t fill all the slots.

The reason that’s important is that barely anybody is playing Mirage. There are 13 players online as I wrote this, according to SteamCharts, and the peak number of players in the last 30 days is just 49. Which is a great shame, because it’s genuinely a lot of fun. It’s from the makers of the excellent Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, and if you think what that game would be like with magic then you’re not too far off.

I played it when it first came out and really enjoyed the combat. Like Chivalry, there’s a pretty high skill ceiling, with lots of directional combinations for swinging your weapon of choice and magical abilities to smite your foes with. The empty servers were a big problem, and look like they still are. Hopefully this update will solve the issue for the loyal warriors still battling their way through the game, and maybe attract a few more players in.

The two new maps are called The Pit and Old Arena, and both look jolly good fun. They’re tight and chaotic, by the looks of the trailer below, and The Pit has a giant chasm in the middle that looks perfect for bashing people into.

The update has also added localisation for 12 new languages to go alongside the existing English and Russian. For full details on everything, hit the patch notes.

Mirage: Arcane Warfare is on Steam for £22.99/27,99€/$29.99.


  1. Creeping Death says:

    Played and absolutely adored Chivalry, but I couldn’t get on with this one at all. Chivalry but with magic sounds great, but unfortunately the melee combat of arcane felt terrible to me.

    The art style is a bit of a mess too

  2. Catterbatter says:

    13 players! For context, there are currently twice that many people playing Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch.

  3. Beefenstein says:

    Chivalry was not so great. It was beset by various mouse-movement hacks at high level which made it ridiculous to play.

    • Christo4 says:

      Totally. Never understood the praise it got, unless it was for just mindless gore, which is fun, but it gets frustrating when faced against those cheap tactics.

      IMO even dark souls 2 had better pvp. But i’m a sucker for it so there’s that.

      • Nelyeth says:

        Dark Souls 2 had great PvP, it’s the PvE most people have a beef with. I’d love to get back the offhand movesets, the backsteps, and the nice PvP spells, along with a few weapons.

  4. LearningToSmile says:

    I’d otherwise try it out but with Overwatch occupying my online multiplayer game time I had to give it a pass.

    Sad to see others did the same, because it’s a pretty interesting little game from what I’ve seen of it.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I’ve watched Overwatch get over-rated over and over again. The game is barely better than Paladins which is a f2p game. I’m not seeing why people compare every mp game to overwatch these days. It’s becoming a meme it’s so ridiculous. (I know you didn’t compare them but still)

      • Herring says:

        “I’ve watched World of Warcraft get over-rated over and over again. The game is barely better than Everquest. I’m not seeing why people compare every MMO to WoW these days.”

        Not trying to be facetious but it’s a pretty valid point I think. OW doesn’t do much massively groundbreaking but does everything with loads of polish, a low barrier to entry and a skill-ceiling “high-enough” for the majority of players out there.

        • Unclepauly says:

          That’s a better comparison though, they are in the same category. People are comparing Overwatch to any shooter that isn’t a military style shooter. Quake Champions gets heat because it doesn’t have as many characters as Overwatch, Lawbreakers gets heat because it doesn’t have as many characters as well. They aren’t even in the same category so I’m not getting the connection. Every mp game I read about has people spouting off about Overwatch. I’ve played it, it’s a higher quality Paladins, an evolution on the Team Fortress 2 formula. It’s good, but the skill ceiling is very low compared to many games it’s being compared to. Overwatch fans also get butthurt faster than others too, it’s like they found gold and others are trying to take it from them.

    • stringerdell says:

      Same here. I thought it would be more popular though as the combat is really satisfying and fun from what I played in the beta. Not quite good enough to tear me away from OW

  5. vorador says:

    That’s the problem with multiplayer-only FPS. Nowadays competition is fierce and is hard to make an impression, even if your game is good. There’s way too many choices, both free-to-play and paid.

    • Ghostwise says:

      And several of them are 800 lbs gorillas.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Yeah, that added benefit of “a few people I know are already playing it” is hard to overcome.

    • Grizzly says:

      Multiplayer games are also in the unique position that they are competing with earlier versions of themselves. Why would you buy Mirage when you can also buy and play the far more polished Chivalry? Why would you buy Mirage when Chivalry is already so much fun?

  6. Christo4 says:

    As others have said, competition is fierce, not to mention a LOT of good titles are also free to play (paladins for example) or veeeery cheap (i love insurgency).
    IMO if they actually wanted this game to have a following, they should have released it with 10 euro price (if not free to play) and then launch a lot of dlc’s with cosmetics and fancies.
    No one is going to pay 30 euros now for a game that they don’t know if it will please them or not, when you could probably get 5 good games for that price. And i’m pretty sure i’m not the only one with a ton of games left to try.
    Unless the gameplay is REALLY great or the game is REALLY popular, yeah, most people are not going to try it. Chiv was good because it was also cheap. Pretty sure i got it under a tenner.

    • DamnCatte says:

      I liked Insurgency as well, but the only thing I really remember was me and a group of friends breaking one of the game modes a while back.

      Basically, I remember there was a game mode where you had a large team of players, and you had to fight your way to objective points and capture them to score. The reality of the situation, though, ended up being that the waves of enemies that were spawning became far too powerful to fight through.

      So it became a marathon.

      We basically just realized you could cap the points just by rushing to them, so it became a mad dash to each point during waves, and as other players dropped in, they picked up on what was going on, so it was a mass rush of several people to each point between waves of gunfire and rockets. It was amazing.

  7. Pulstar says:

    Arena/twitch/mindless shooters are boring and pointless, and they’re all virtually the same. Unreal Tourny at least had an assault mode. Angels Fall First recently tried to channel UT but it’s not garnering much success. Overwatch can go F itself all the same.

    • Unclepauly says:

      I hate overwatch dominating myself but that was weird talking about twitch shooters and then telling overwatch to f itself. OW is the farthest thing from an arena shooter or twitch shooter.

      • Doomlord says:

        Overwatch is the equivalent of eating Cotton Candy for supper. Light, fluffy, sweet but ultimately not terribly meaty or deep or filling. It’s a typical Blizzard “made for the masses and simplified to the essences” game, with little regard for depth and complexity of any real kind.

        It’s clearly a game meant for people who normally shy away from Shooters or who get very excited about art-styles and anime crap.

        So, SO many better shooters to be playing right now than that dross.

        • Menthalion says:

          I’m always on the lookout for good competitive / coop FPS, but they really are hard to find, especially without level based unlocks. So please tell me which ? Overwatch is pretty decent in that regard.

          Angels Fall First is excellent, but the devs are keeping a low profile until launch, since people bounced off perceived complexity hard, and they’re hard at work fixing that with the players in there now that understand what beta’s / ea is for.

          As for people saying it’s channeling UT, those must have missed Battlefront 1 & 2, since AFF is what BF3 should have been.

          • Unclepauly says:

            Yeah that game looks like a lot of fun(AFF), hopefully they can manage to draw in players for release. Steam is flooded with games, there’s going to be so many good ones getting left in the dust.

  8. Caiman says:

    Developing a competitive online multiplayer game these days must be like paying a small group of people to wait in line for 2 years to buy a lottery ticket in the extremely unlikely hope that you’ll hit the jackpot of whatever happens to be the in thing on the week of its release.

  9. JiminyJickers says:

    Make it playable offline with those bots and I will be interested.

  10. Jmnea says:

    Damn. I was kind of hoping this game would have orcs in it, so you could start relationships with them.

  11. interdimensional_ says:

    I loved Chivalry but didn’t get on the Mirage bandwagon mostly because I don’t PC game w/ a graphics card anymore. Mostly I lofi indie game on PC and get bigger releases on PS4, so this wasn’t a possibility for me.

    I think there could be a lot of factors other than, “there’s stiff competition”. I don’t know how to tier the reasons why this is happening as much, but let’s armchair and pretend like I understand economies of videogames:

    1) Being multiplayer only makes this a difficult sell for single players. I’m even busier now, so a game for friends is a hard sell. Pubbies is essentially harder AI bots, and I’m not exactly interested in the ‘hardcore’ mode for a couple hours of play, anyways. I think people interested in fantasy settings are also interested in single player, so I can see this being important.

    2) The humor in Chivalry was not as apparent in Mirage trailers, and I think that is a big failure. This was kind of huge for me because the goofy fan made videos really got me to buy the OG Chiv. I haven’t actually had time to check fan vids of Mirage, so this is a failing on my part, but I think most gamers watch trailers first and fan vids second.

    3) I’m sure there were a few bro dorks that played Chivalry because of its realistic Euro medieval setting, and while this really really fake Middle Eastern setting is still really cool and still “FP melee combat”, they needed to do more of a nod to the original. Maybe do a Deadliest Warrior type mix of cultures? Introduce a Chivalry x Mirage expansion? A single player mode that has no magic in a level or two and then ramps it up?

    4) They probably should’ve done something modern to get a boost from new types of players. Partner with a console, have it be F2P with visualization upgrades, etc. Chivalry is fun and unique in ways that Rocket League is fun and unique, but it’s still following an antiquated model that makes it seem stodgy. I think stodgy and old is fine if it’s a complete AAA package with cinematic cutscenes and superfluous single player, but stodgy and old and multiplayer online only is a harder sell.

  12. dreadful says:

    They expected the Chivalry players to blindly follow the path to the Mirage, big mistake.
    The Chivalry community wants a sequel to Chivalry, which was abandoned to bugs and mischief of the age, with no updates.
    Mirage captures no gap or creates any new need, inspires nothing.
    I stay at the Chivalry and look forward to Mordhau.