MU Legend First-Look: A Diablo Player’s Perspective





MU Legend, the new hack ‘n’ slash from Webzen, is the highly-anticipated sequel to the successful MU Online. MU Legend touts itself as a dark take on the hack ‘n’ slash action-rpg genre. Anyone who’s been around gaming long enough generally thinks of one series as king of dark ARPGs – Diablo. As someone with thousands of collective hours between all of the Diablo games, I was intrigued when I heard about MU Legend. As luck would have it, I managed to get an invite into the recent beta of MU Legend and decided to give it a whirl. 

Before going further, it’s worth noting that MU Legend is a F2P MMO, while Diablo 3 is a $30 product with 4 years of patches and updates, as well as an expansion. I took all of this into consideration when playing MU Legend. 


Upon starting MU Legend you’re greeted with an illustrated cinematic. I was immediately reminded of Diablo 3’s illustrated cinematics, which come between the beautiful life-like cinematics Blizzard is known for. The style of the illustrations in MU Legend as well as the design of certain enemies – including the horned big baddie that’s taunting you throughout the game – were very, very similar to Diablo 3 in many cases. This wasn’t completely off-putting, but some of the enemies were a little too close for comfort when it came to their likeness to Diablo’s roster. 

Inspiration, or imitation?
Once at the character creation screen I was immediately impressed with the graphics. Your character model is surprisingly detailed and realistic. This was a pleasant change from Diablo 3’s rather colorful and often too-cartoony aesthetic. Earlier Diablo games were known for being dark, gritty, and mature. MU Legend definitely captured the more mature tone from the get-go with their realistic aesthetic.
From the lighting to the human-like modeling of the characters, MU Legend definitely has a more realistic look than Diablo.
Diablo has a style of its own, but the characters are nowhere near as realistic as MU's. It's okay, Diablo. I still love you.

The in-game world of MU Legend is equally well done and pleasant to look at. The game has a rather muted color palette in many cases, giving the landscapes a more believable look than the often whimsical color scheme of Diablo 3. Again, this was a pleasant surprise as I expected MU Legend to be absolutely over the top in its presentation. 

The enemies, while not completely creative in their design, look pretty great as well. The textures are all fairly clean, meaning even the generic dog enemies look good while getting mowed down by your insane powers. Speaking of powers, the spell effects are rather delightful in MU Legend as well. Even as the game’s tank class, the Dark Lord, I was constantly lighting up the screen with flames, enormous magical chains, and explosions. 

Overall, the graphics leave little to be desired. Even taken out of the context of F2P, MU Legend is a visually pleasing game. That being said, the female characters all look absolutely ridiculous, as is the case with many Korean MMOs. I get that sex sells, but the mature look of the game conflicts heavily with the juvenile approach to the design of female characters.
I mean, come on. Look at all of those exposed vitals. 
Teenage boys, eat your hearts out.


One of the things that’s always stood out to me in the Diablo games, especially the latest iteration, is the sound design. Diablo 3 has some incredibly great sound effects, from the horrid screeches of enemies to the thunderous booms of the Barbarian’s weapon colliding with the ground. Who can forget the first time they heard Andariel’s awful voice as she ran toward them, poison at the ready? 

When it comes to a sound vs. sound competition, MU Legend never really stood a chance against the Diablo series. This isn’t to say the sound effects in MU Legend are bad, they’re just decent. The monsters make stock monster sounds, the characters grunt and growl when attacking, and the NPCs chatter in the background as NPCs often do. That being said, it’s all rather forgettable. Even when slamming the ground with my Dark Lord’s giant weapon, I never felt the same level of oomph or power being conveyed as in the Diablo series. 
Pictures can't capture how insane and awesome Diablo's sound effects are during moments like this.

When it comes to music, MU Legend is also not up to the caliber of Diablo. The entire Diablo series packs some incredible music, from the orchestral masterpieces that play while fighting bosses, to the haunting guitar riff of Tristram. MU Legend’s music is still fun and of a much higher quality than many other F2P MMOs. But don’t expect it to get stuck in your head in the same way as Diablo’s. 






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