Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Review of Magicka


The First game from a small 6 man team called Arrowhead Studios. Magicka manages to really capture something missing from most modern games Fun, Creativity and Humor. The story is really simplistic and is simply a framing device for the core mechanics basically you are a wizard and you must defeat a dark wizard from taking over the world (OF COURSE!).

For being so simplistic and cliched it somehow adds to the overall experience and enhances the humor of which there is a lot. You really do want to see what randomness will plague your little randomly colored robed mage next. Fun characters also help to flesh things out: From Vlad (who is totally not a vampire) to Admiral Agnar (It's a Trap!). The humor is fun and many times you will actually find your self both groaning and grinning at all the little references being thrown around. Just take a look at the list of achievements to get just a small taste of all the references thrown into this game.



The Combat system is where this game really shines it is an innovative and ingenous idea that I am very surprised no one has done before.  Basically you have 8 different elements to choose from shown here:
Top Row: Water, Life, Shield, Cold
Bottom Row: Lightning, Arcane, Earth, Fire [wind water heart ahem]
Each element does basically what you would think they would: Lightning lets you act like emperor palpatine, fire shoots fire, earth lets you shoot a giant rock and life can heal. You can combine up to 5 of them together and then either shoot them forward, do an area of effect or hit your self with them or place the spell on your melee weapon. Some elements cancel out and can not be combined for example lightning and water can not be mixed together. There are also two "hidden" elements that of Water+Cold = Ice and Water+Fire=Steam..

So some basic spell combos would be 3 part fire + 2 part earth would make a fire ball or 2 part shield plus 3 part life would make life mines on the ground that would heal anyone that walked over them or one of the most powerful 1 part Arcane+1 part steam+3 part lightning will make a steam lightning beam that soaks a target and electrfries them (wet opponents take more lightning damage). this system is almost perfect everything just works and produces results as you would expect it to and there are so many spell combinations you will spend an hour just experimenting.

Along with the on the fly spells there are Magics which can be learned which do more advanced things such as summoning zombies or elemental minions or creating giant black hole like vortexes that suck up all the enemies throwing them into the abyss.



The Game can be played in single player but the co-op multiplayer is where this game really shine as you and 3 of your friends can choose to either go through the story mode together or simply do one of the arena challenges and suffer through 20 waves of monsters trying to rack up kills. Oh yeah and friendly fire is on so expect to hear many calls of "hey you just killed me" over vent. This is half the fun and being a dick just comes with the territory of your new found wizard abilities. You can also combine beams with your friends (or depending on you have been playing enemies) to create devastating power attacks (as shown in the SS above).


One final thought to mention is on Bugs and Support. At release the game was indeed very buggy and almost unplayable in multiplayer because of the lag and random crashes to desktops. How ever the dev team has been excellent in providing patch fixes they have put out a new patch almost every day since and have basically got most of the major bugs ironed out. Even with all the various problems me and my friends still pushed through with the game just because all the fun we were having far far out weighed the bugs and other problems that cropped up.


In conclusion Magicka has been one of the best gaming experiences I have had in recent memory. The game can be bought on Steam and several digital distribution companies and there are rumors of a console version in the works. For only 10 bucks I certainly recommend you give this one a go and give it a final score of 5 Arcane fire ice beams out of 5!

53 comments:

Patwa said...

hmm loks nice

Ono Mock-O said...

Great review!

Banacek said...

Hooded figures with swords... sounds like a fraternity.

Daniel said...

Nice review, you've put a lot of effort into this!

BrandonHeat said...

Looks interesting. Might give it a try.

highlights said...

gotta get me one of those! Seems fun x)

Ono Mock-O said...

Amazing! The characters look really cool as well.

MichellAnderson said...

looks pretty cool

Kazon said...

Sounds quite original in places.

Brendan said...

Very nice review. Havent played Magicka before will try it out though!

Glovey said...

i've played this game, wasn't for me though... Nice review!

-DO- said...

thanks for the review, playing this game since yesterday

Daan said...

looks nice, thanks for reviewing.

RTesch said...

Never tried it but might now.

Stuff that matters, stuff that don't said...

Looks fun, I'll be sure to check it out.

S.S. said...

I heard the co-op multiplayer is just amazing. i will definitely try it

lumineko said...

I actually have this game, but the co-op multiplayer seems to really bug up after a while.. still happens even now after the patches too. o.o

Uklaxer38 said...

Looks fun, might have to check it out

Primus said...

Sure looks interesting, i'll check it out.

RaZer said...

Game is very good, I've completed it twice now. Co-op is a little buggy still but its worth working through since the combat is so much fun.

Con Queso said...

I hope the amount of bugs isn't hurting the sales of the game. It really is worth checking out and for $10, there's really NO reason not to pick it up (unless you have no friends and refuse to play it with other people, then maybe).

I only use ASF and Shift+ASF. lol, I should branch out.

anoodle said...

@Con Queso
I have no friends :[. Maybe that's why I've been playing OpenTTD nonstop all week.

Sieger said...

ah damn i was hoping this was a RTS multi-player game like diablo. i don't really play games unless i can interact with other jerks online.

Tasty said...

The combat/element system alone makes me want to check this game out, but add the co-op multi-player and I'm sold. Thanks for the interview!

Warlaw said...

I watched Total Biscuits review of Magicka. I'm thoroughly impressed that such a small team could get it right on the first game they release. I'd buy this game in a second if I had the money to spare. The number of magical combination's alone is incredible!

AuditorAwakening said...

I've wanted to pick this up on Steam for the past couple of days. Thanks for the review. I'll have to give it a try.

Ramsay said...

Sometimes simple is better, and this game sounds like it delivers with the humor and good game engine, I'll definitely check this one out, I just downloaded steam 3 days ago! thanks a lot for the review I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

Das Auto! said...

sounds like it could be a good timekiller

MikeJoeMuse said...

It actually looks fun! Looks like the mages from Final Fantasy 9!

Kerykeion said...

I want to try this game out when i get the chance, looks great.

PvtCarlin said...

Tryed it out. It's definately a lot of fun, thanks for the link!

Araita said...

Got to try this at a friend's house, I really enjoyed, I'm thinking on purchasing it myself...

Morphen said...

I really like the style of this game.

The Penguin and Mr. Batman said...

Just because of this review im buying it!

Zennith said...

Well, I'm all for the revival of older-style games, I'll give this a whirl!

Penguin Master said...

game looks pretty decent and a good price.

Televangelism.biz said...

needs more roguelike random dungeons, IMHO

psychofish said...

my friends rave about this game, one of them says its a btch and a half to play. but sounds interesting, i might look into it now, thanks bro.

Thuganomics said...

ahhh looks so fun. looks like a simpler d2

Bring_Napkins said...

I got an idea from Angry Joe of angryjoeshow.com that this game is too buggy to be perfectly playable right now, but I'll definitely give it a go when its up to scratch.

Major.Mack said...

ill check it out. looks cool

Dwrek said...

I can say that I've been having a lot of fun with this game.

trippinkets said...

really a great game

The Game Store Guy said...

This looks like an enjoyably goofy and fun game. I might have to check it out if I get some time. Thanks.

Glovey said...

Got to try this game definately!

Dilgaf said...

i tried it and its fun, but it got kinda repetitive after a little while. but the whole game has a lot of potential

Adam said...

Great review. Might have to get the game myself.

followed

Ciriis said...

Very interesting, not normally a fan of these type of games but am going to give this one a shot

Reilly said...

It seels fun to me !

The Penguin and Mr. Batman said...

Loving it more

Gregzilla said...

I watched a video of this the other day, Looked interesting definetly thinking about a purchase.

Aesop said...

I have REALLY been enjoying Magicka, it has such an innovative combat style that it shines above all other hack-and-slashes.

I would even argue that it will outshine Diablo 3 unless it can produce something as unique and new.

Anyone up for multiplayer? Message me :)

Scott said...

I'm getting sort of bored of my current games and looking for something new and interesting. I'm going to check this out more tomorrow morning and hopefully have a new game for a while! Thanks!

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