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Mirage: Arcane Warfare free to play this weekend

Slash prices

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.

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