Riders of Icarus is all about riding mounts. From the ground to the air, you're going to sneak up and hop on the back of a myriad of creatures. The amount of options seemed pretty vast, but then the developers of Riders of Icarus very kindly gave us a sneak peek at several of the choices and I've been amazed. I don't think this is all of the possible mounts out there, but there are a huge selection that we've been shown. So, based solely on visual impressions and information offered by the dev team, here are my top 10 mounts in Riders of Icarus.
10. Taslan the Devourer
Spiders, man. Ick. But then again, you can't deny that riding on the back of a spider will definitely make an impression on friend and foe alike. Listed as an Elite mount, this spider buddy comes from the Brakarr Forest. There's mention that the Taslan spiders are under the thrall of dark mages who use some kind of spellbook to control them. This is likely a clue on how to get to ride the back of a big, crawly spider. If that's your sort of thing, anyway. Personally, I'm not sure I could stomach the sight of being borne on spiderback through the realm. Still, you can't deny the ability to tame an Elite spider for a mount is pretty darn cool.
9. Spotted Cow
Yes, you can absolutely ride a battle cow, which is completely awesome. It's a bit of a shame it's not wearing any battle cow armor, but then you'd be denied looking in to its big, brown eyes as it looks at you blankly and chews. There's not much info on where this big boy is located, but I have a hard time thinking he'd be difficult to find. It's one of those mount choices that isn't exactly practical or intimidating. It's something you ride around on because you can. It's like a Corvette... that's a cow.
There's a variety of flying dragon mounts that can be tamed and ridden in Riders of Icarus. This one gets a nod because it just has a neat shape to it. It looks very menacing and snake-like, which is a favored shape versus just the giant, lumbering powerhouses that are more assumed of dragons. The Screamer also looks like an incredibly fast mount, owing to its sleek body and large-looking wingspan. In fact, Riders of Icarus has a pretty broad variety of different dragons in several shapes, colors and levels of rarity. If there's one that you don't like now, there's likely another you will like later.
7. Terrible Pyludd
This is a very cool-looking mount. It's a shadow-fire-lion with horns, which just screams high-fantasy MMO mount to me. It's everything that's ostentatious about mounts in MMO games and there's a certain level of charm in that. There are mounts that are just goofy, mounts that are stylish, and mounts that are part of a character or mounts that you just want to show off on. This definitely strikes that "show off" chord.
Look, I don't know about you, but if I saw this thing rumbling towards me, I'd probably brick myself and run away screaming. This thing makes one heck of an impression, even if it looks more uncomfortable to ride than a Range Rover with solid wood for suspension. A creation of a group called the Khabim Order, Garme is accompanied frequently by a young girl who keeps the monster under her thrall. References to getting a perfume to keep the beast under control is made, and again illustrates how mounts can be gained by different means. I don't know about you, but I am mightily impressed by any perfume that can manage to control that hulk.
5. Golden Laiku
Mounts in Riders of Icarus aren't always about being threatening or creepy. There's also examples of cute like this little fella here. The Golden Laiku is one adorable little flying mount that you can't help but grin at when you see it. Details on acquiring one were not provided here, but the draw to the d'awwe is hard to ignore, and needed to be in the top five at least. There are several other Laiku-style dragons available that were included in the examples we were shown, and all of them are equally as cute.
This bear is dressed in war paint and ready for battle, and was an example of a higher-level mount that required a little different approach to taming. In order to snare Trutan, you have to fall on top of its back from a nearby cliff. And then you have to tame it as it tries to buck you off. There's a few mounts with requirements like this, both on the ground and in the air. Trutan is yet another example of the character and personality that the mounts in Riders of Icarus can convey, from appearance to requirements to obtain.
3. Woodland Joey
Okay, I'm gong to admit to some bias here with the placement of the Woodland Joey. I can't help it, though. In my beta preview, I was absolutely taken with the fact that I could use a giant kangaroo as a mount. There are not a lot of words I can use to adequately describe how happy the Joey makes me. It's one of those silly mount choices that has no business being in a "serious" game, but it's just too cute and too fun to pass up.
2. Magma Hound
What's more awesome than a wolf? A wolf made out of molten rock. The Magma Hound is listed as an Elite mount that seeks revenge for having its heart removed and made into a watchdog. If you can replace its heart, then you can ride your own giant flaming puppy friend. The look of this thing is impressive, from its cracked skin to the fire burning inside of its mouth. This mount combines two of my favorite visuals - fire and wolves. It's a really basic choice, but it's also one I enjoy. There are various other types of wolves in Riders of Icarus if fire isn't your thing. Even a standard wolf can be tamed as a Mount.
1. Agnas the Red
This is a dragon, which by itself is pretty unremarkable, but Agnas the Red is a bright example of how this game's mounts can have capture requirements that are quests by themselves. The story behind Agnas is that he was tricked, or was otherwise deceived, and left in protest. He's very distrusting of others as a result of his past transgressions, and he has to be approached with a token of friendship. Specifically, you have to assemble a dragon signet, made out of dragon scales and a dragon heart. In return, you get a quest reward that spits huge jets of fire at anything you point at. Agnas is an example of how the mounts in Riders of Icarus can carry style and a story all at the same time, and having a mount tied to a unique quest is a pretty cool idea.
This is just a sample of the variety that this game has to offer. The preview details I was handed included a huge variety of creatures, from scorpions and gorillas to horses and giant kittens. The menagerie of mounts in Riders of Icarus is truly impressive, and will be available to all during the game's open beta period on July 6th.