Our penchant for dungeon crawlers helped us settle into a hypnotic trance as we left-clicked our way towards level-ups and loot when we sampled an early build of Flagship Studios' free-to-play MMO, Mythos. It was fun, almost too fun for a free game. But it really wasn't supposed to be this way.
Developed with the same tools, graphics engine, database needs, and most of the same code as Flagship's much anticipated Hellgate: London, Mythos was originally created to help make sure Hellgate's network technologies ran smoothly. With Mythos, problems affecting things like Hellgate 's crafting and account management systems could be found and fixed faster.
But even though Mythos might've been designed to be a sort of videogame equivalent of a crash test dummy, somewhere along the line the game sprouted wings and Flagship decided to run with it. No longer shackled to the shadows of its Hellgate brother, Mythos will eventually take flight on its own via digital distribution later this year.
At first glance, the game seems like your run-of-the-mill grinder that tries to hook you in with its free factor before pressuring you to buy stuff. It also looks like Mythos’ world of Uld is filled with all the familiar lazy-bones NPCs who need you to help them get their fix for 20 spider eggs or wolf paws or whatever. So what exactly was so fun about our time with Mythos?
It's hard to say. But while so many other MMOs let themselves quickly fall into the trap of feeling like just another derivative and boring fantasy-based affair, Mythos somehow manages to steer clear of this common pitfall in several ways.