Saturday, January 29, 2011

Magicka

 

Another game that is generating a lot of noise on the QT3 forums is a little game called Magicka. Published by Paradox Interactive, Magicka is the work Arrowhead Game Studios and is their first release.

In the game you play a wizard. The meat of the game is the very nicely done spell system. You combine different elements such as water, earth, lightning, nature, arcane, fire, cold, and shield to create different spells which can be cast on yourself, cast as aoe, or cast at other targets. Friendly fire is a part of the game, and the hilarity resulting from such accidents due to the spell system are a great part of the charm of the game. It is definitely meant to be played co-op, but can be played solo.

There are some problems with the game though. I haven’t tried it yet, but multiplayer which is the way the game is meant to be played has had a lot of problems. While the spell system is one of the best game design mechanics I have seen in quite a while, they coupled it with a horrid design decision by having one of the worst save game systems ever put into a game. You HAVE to complete a level for it to progress your save. There are checkpoints in a level that you will go back to if you die instead of the start of the level, but if you stop the game prior to completing the level those checkpoints do not matter and you will have to do the whole level over again the next time you play. The graphics are decent, but the engine seems to be very taxing (ie not well optimized or poorly coded) on systems for the quality of graphics that it does have.

Luckily the devs have been hard at work patching the game and hopefully the issues that have plagued release will be resolved and a sane save game system will be implemented. For $10 though it is worth taking a chance that they will solve it all and enjoy the hilarity that is Magicka.

As of now I would rate the game 5/10 due to the save game insanity and the fact that the multiplayer is broken and mp is the heart of this game. Fix those and this game is 10/10.

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