Mythgard is set in a world not unlike our own, it is just a parallel to our world. That is the first draw of the game for people like me. “How can they tell a compelling story set in our world?” This is the variant of a question I tend to ask myself a lot when I find a new game. How can they tell this story?
Look, the game play is stellar. The art is phenomenal. The community is rapidly growing, stymied only by the fact that there are a limited number of slots in a friends and family alpha release (at the time of this article). However, this can be said about a vast majority of games coming out these days, and it has been said for decades about other ones. It was from an early age that I started choosing my games and my passion for them based on the story they were telling. Let’s take the Digital Card Game space for instance: I can think of 10 card games right now that all check the ‘mechanical’ boxes:
- Balanced mechanics
- Dedicated staff
- Great art
- Growing or established community
- Engaging game play
I literally have my pick of the litter. The problem for me, and for many of the readers here, is that a lot of the games do not get us invested because the story is drab, or unoriginal. Games taken from existing IPs cannot truly further a story along, any lore buff can tell you that. Plenty of original games try too hard with scenarios that are overly complex. Let me give you an example of the latter:
“The world is in chaos, [a thing] happened and now [a group] is in control. You have been tasked with gathering [some group of heroes or allies] to combat [the thing or group]. How will you proceed? What new mysteries will you uncover along the way? Play [this game] and find out today!”
How many games have this premise when they are trying to be original? Do not get me wrong, under the right circumstances I would even give this game a shot. Maybe the thing is something we have not seen before. Maybe the “bad” group is portrayed in a good light for a time. Who knows, there are a lot of scenarios. But, overall, this tends to be the de facto premise.
Now, let’s look at something that is (in my mind) substantially more original:
“Gods of ancient legend walk the modern world. Many of the greatest deities have not been seen in millennia, but creatures of myth still rival jets for control of the skies. Mortals now rise to contest with these ancient beings. Players harness both the edge of technology and the magic of myth as they battle for dominance over the powers of an earlier age.”
The player character in this game is you, albeit an alternate world version. In this world there is no real conflict outside of mortals deciding that now is the time to rise up and contest the gods to control their own world. Yes, there is still an “event” in the disappearance of the old gods. That event is overshadowed by the growing story. There is a group of women thundering across Europe and the rest of the world led by one of these lesser gods. Instead of being good or bad they are just surviving and growing their ranks. Why? There is a city of Angels trying to keep the balance until something can be done, led by an Empress that very well may be a collective consciousness AI that only wants to see order, it does not matter how. Then there’s the dark side. A coven of witches that hide cities in plain sight, and steal magic from the denizens within. Roaming packs of mortals who have been drinking forbidden godsblood to gain powers, turning them into vampires with a never-ending thirst. And so much more.
THIS is a story! It is in a setting that I am mostly familiar with, my world. It is based on mythos that I have known and loved since my childhood, the ones I grew up studying in schools and church or reading about in books from my parents. At one point in the first chapter (all that is released at this time) one of our heroes who is based on a Greek goddess leaves her realm to explore what happened to her mother. She meets a cute little puppy that turns out to be based on one of the strongest creatures in Nordic myth. EXCUSE ME?! You are telling me that in this world a Greek goddess can team up with a world-ending wolf? Sold.
Mythgard is set in a world where literally anything can happen. Do you want to see an Angel kick the hell out of a Mayan demi-god? It can happen, and very well might. Want to see who would win in a fight between werewolves and a god of thunder? Turns out you probably will. What would happen if one of the most legendary bards from the legends of yore had access to Twitter? Turns out he would do rock concerts to benefit charity. As I continue to delve into this game, the story, and all the characters I will do my very best to relay what I find to you. There are already dozens of theories about who characters really are and what they are going to try and do. I want to find the people who are going to engage in this along with me. If that is you, reach out to me on Twitter or in the Official Discord (Mantid). If that is not what you are about and just stumbled into this, that is fine too. Maybe, just maybe, if you give the story a chance you could find yourself as hooked as I am.
If you like the art enough, consider heading over to Inkedgaming.com and getting some of it slapped on a play mat or deck bag. Use code TRS12 to get 12% off your final purchase.