Mages of Mystralia is an upcoming 3D action RPG from Borealys Games about Zia, an unexpected spellcaster. Unable to find a proper teacher, she sets out on a journey to master her magic and find her place in the world. While the E3 demo lacked story scenes, real-life wizard Ed Greenwood is writing the script. Greenwood is most well-known for creating the Forgotten Realms setting for Dungeons & Dragons and his long, sorcerous beard. Even without Greenwood's particular take on the travails of a young wizard to feed the demo, the game invited exploration and wonder from how Zia manages her power.
The most mechanically interesting element of Mages of Mystralia is building spells. Zia has four basic spells, each tied to a button on the controller: Melee, Self, Orb, and Conjure. Each spell is also keyed to one of the four elements, which can be swapped as necessary. In the status screen, these basic spells are modified on a grid with different runes like Move, Decoy, or Detonate. Each rune has a different set of connecting arrows that show how it can be linked to other runes and the spell's core. Since each modifier only acts on the parts of the spell it's directly connected to, players have a wide range of potential spells with which to experiment. Spells can be tailored to solve specific problems or just made as big and expensive as possible. During the demo, I attached Move, Homing, and Multishot to the Orb spell with the fire element to create an enemy-seeking fireball barrage. To cross a subterranean lake, I used Conjure crossed with Move and the water element to create a mobile ice bridge that formed in front of me. This was a little touch-and-go since my mana regenerated slowly, but demonstrated the non-combat application of spells.
The demo ended with a boss fight: a giant goblin who summoned mobs of smaller goblins. At this point, I was happy I decided to attach Homing to my fireballs instead of Random. By staying on my toes and tossing up the occasional Self shield to soak attacks, I guided Zia to a speedy victory. When Mages of Mystralia is released for PC in 2017, I hope she has many more.