Raid: Shadow Legends Review - A Visually-Stunning and Character-Driven Entry Into the Turn-Based RPG Genre

* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of Player One.
Raid: Shadow Legends.
Raid: Shadow Legends. Plarium

This is a sponsored article.

Raid: Shadow Legends is a freemium game for Android and iOS that was released by Plarium in 2018. It sits firmly in the turn-based, RPG genre and has a strong team-building element, where players can swap in-game currency and artefacts for characters (or “champions”) of varying rarity.

While Raid: Shadow Legends doesn’t offer much in the way of outright innovation, the execution is top-notch. It’s a fairly traditional RPG game, but it’s done exceptionally well - the graphics are breathtaking, the storylines and various play modes are well-thought-out, and the many characters (and races to which they belong) are compelling.

If like me you’re a fan of these types of games, then it comes highly recommended. You’ll spend your time collecting champions and developing your team, building XP in the “dungeon mode”, battling other characters, and enjoying the campaign or story mode. You’ll also find that you aren’t forced to spend heaps of money to advance through the game, which can be a real issue with popular freemium titles.

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Play Modes

Let’s kick off with the basic structure. There are numerous forms of currency - silver, gems, shards, etc. - which can be exchanged for various kinds of in-game items. Shards are used to unlock champions, which are of varying degrees of rarity, to build your team.

Most gameplay is spread across three different formats:

Campaign - This is the “player vs game” mode, in which you will follow a linear storyline to liberate Teleria, the fictional setting of the game, from the main antagonist, the “Shadow”. You will progress through various levels and environments while facing an array of bosses.

Arena - As you build your team of champions, you will have the option to face off against other players. You will do this in the “arena”.

Dungeons - Dungeons are the main environment for gaining experience points (XP), finding artefacts and potions, and facing difficult bosses. Dungeons are a key component of the game, and essential for developing your team of champions.

Players also have the option to join together to go up against extra-difficult clan bosses, which may take multiple attempts to beat. As a slight aside, there has also been talk of Plarium introducing a new gaming mode called “Faction Wars”, where players can compete with characters or champions from only one faction.

Overall, I find that the high-level design of the game worked quite well. It isn’t over-complicated, and there’s a nice balance of story elements, team-based play, and experience-building.


The game centres around “champions”, factions of characters that players can unlock to complete missions and battle against others. The battle format is turn-based, with an auto-mode for players that want to focus more on collecting champions, and the primary skill element involves putting together teams with the right balance of skills, special abilities, gear, and affinities (advantages over other champions).

The turn-based gameplay can get a little repetitive after a while, especially when you’re not up against a boss or player that requires you to think strategically. And there is an element of “grinding it out” in dungeon mode to gain enough currency and experience to progress through the game. That said, the battle engine is very straightforward and you do have to think about your options in the more intense fights.

I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention the graphics at this point. One of the big selling points of Raid: Shadow Legends is the attention to detail when it comes to the visuals. The environments and the characters are beautifully-rendered and I quickly found myself getting lost in the immersive experience of the game. There are thirteen locations in the campaign mode, all with an array of bosses, environments, and enemies.


Champions, which are unlocked by shards, form one of the core components of the game. I was very impressed by the quality and number of characters and the array of skills and abilities that were available.

There are over three hundred champions in total, all of whom belong to one of a variety of “factions”. Examples of factions include high elves, barbarians, lizardmen, undead hordes, and others. Furthermore, champions are split into different categories of rarity: common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary.

Shards, which are attained by progressing through the game, come in four different types, with each one representing a higher or lower probability of unlocking harder-to-get champions. “Mystery” shards, for example, have a 74.2% chance of unlocking a common character, while “sacred” shards have a 94% chance of unlocking an epic one. Players can also undertake special quests to unlock extra-rare champions.

If you like the character-collection aspect of RPG games, Raid: Shadow Legends will definitely scratch that itch for you.


All in all, I was very impressed with Raid: Shadow Legends. It takes the best elements of turn-based role-playing games and executes them perfectly. I was particularly fond of the extensive collection of characters, the wonderful graphics and storyline, and the relatively straightforward game structure, consisting of three main modes. It’s free-to-play, so it’s well worth giving a go if you like the RPG format. Just don’t blame me for all the late nights that lie ahead!

Pros: Free to download, excellent graphics, immersive story, well-developed characters.

Cons: Repetitive gameplay

Compatible with Android, iOS and PC (web).

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