Magicka Review, A Great PC Game Worth Your Time
Magicka is a fun RPG with really fun gameplay and an OK story
Magicka is fun there’s no doubt about it. Developed by Arrowhead Game Studio This $10 action-oriented role-playing game features catchy spellcasting and a lighthearted story.
The plot behind Magicka is about as generic-seeming as the wizards cast as the protagonists. There is a dangerous force that is awakening somewhere far away. You, of course, have the unenviable task of resolving this issue and must embark on an epic quest in order to accomplish this. But really, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just an excuse to rampage across the countryside, toast things and laugh at the absurd dialogue. While I badly want to share the things I’ve found in the game, I’m going to refrain from doing so; it’s a lot more fun to uncover them yourself.
Gameplay stands out more than the story. Although the role-playing aspect of the game has been stripped to the essentials, the action is captivating even without such amenities as being able to pick a class, keep an inventory, track mana, level up, and so forth. Here, all you really do is run around and cast spells to kill bad guys in the eight-hour campaign, either solo or cooperatively with up to three friends. Or you can do so in an arena Challenge mode where you try to survive as long as possible. But you don’t just point and click; instead, the magic system is based on a core set of elements, such as lightning, fire, earth, water, cold, and so forth, that are accessed by clicking on keys. So you cast something basic like a lightning bolt by hitting a key to ready the spell and then click the right mouse button to fire it off. Combos are also possible, and they can be learned either by experimenting or collecting spellbooks during the campaign that provide the formulas for magic stand-bys like haste. At times, Magicka can seem like organized chaos instead of a game. I found myself trying to mash buttons to do spells when I was surrounded by enemies.
Messing around with various combos is entertaining just to see what might happen, as you generally either fry yourself by accidentally combining opposite elements or come up with something supercool like a shield made out of water. Spell effects are environment sensitive, too, so it’s not a great idea to blast off any lightning bolts when standing in water. Having so many possible spells gives the game some replay value because you can always discover new incantations that make it worthwhile to go back and toast monsters in different ways. Playing cooperatively reveals even more of the strengths of the magic system. There, you can cast area-effect spells that emphasize teamwork and give you virtually unlimited options when it comes to tackling big fights and boss battles.
On the subject of death, let’s make one thing clear: there’s a million ways to be snuffed out in this game. Much of this can be contributed to the Magicka’s incredibly dynamic combat system. There are eight or so elements available to the enterprising wizard. At any given time, you can combine up to five of these in order to cast a spell. Can you see where I’m going with this? The possibilities, in a word, are endless. That troll lumbering towards you? You could kill it in so many ways – fire, lightning, a field of landmines, electrocution, a boulder to the head. Mind you, you could also get yourself horribly maimed the same way too. Magicka features “full friendly fire.” Everything and anything you do can and often will come back to bite you in the proverbial posterior.
You are going to die in Magicka, A lot.
Magicka is also a surprisingly gorgeous little game. Though it breaks no new benchmarks in terms of its presentation, there’s very little not to like. From the particle effects right down to the gibberish utilized throughout the game, everything is remarkably well-done. The only flaw that can be found here is, perhaps, the voice acting as the voices occasionally do end up grating on the nerves after a prolonged period of time.
Magicka can be played both online and offline via Steam or local co-op. The former can occasionally lag depending on the time of the day. However, it looks like coverage here has been improving so things could be different now. Alongside the fantastic game play, there’s also the sheer amount of support the developers have been providing.
Magicka is worth the ten bucks and if you’re lucky you can find it on sale on Steam for cheaper. There are some points where dying can be annoying and if you’re playing with friends it can lag from time to time.