Today i’m taking a look at a satirical action RPG that has been out for a while now, Magicka caught my eye over the christmas holidays and I snatched it up for a bargain price during the holiday sales. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the game recently. Its a good little game on its own, but with over twenty very cheap expansion packs, this game can really keep anyone happy for a very long time.
Magicka is the product of Arrowhead studios, a relatively small development team who are currently working on their second title ‘The Showdown Effect’ a 2.5D multiplayer action game. It was published by Paradox Interactive, a company famous for games like ‘Europa’ and ‘Mount and Blade’. Magicka was very well received for such a small developer, having achieved over 1.3 Million sales worldwide and more than 4 Million sales of expansion packs and DLC. I bought the game on steam during a sale, but it can currently be purchased at £7.99 in the UK, which is a good investment if you plan on buying any of the expansions.
This game tells the tale of a wizard from a sacred order that is tasked with ridding the world of a powerful and evil sorcerer whos’ foul creatures roam the land destroying all that is good and pure. The player must guide his wizard through a tutorial level in the castle’s basement before they are released into the big wide world. Within the basement the player will learn of the many types of spell that the wizards of the land can cast, these range from a spell that can heal even a mortally wounded man, to a spell that will tear open the land itself. Some spells are easier to cast than others, as some spells require a combination of many different base spells. When the tutorial is over the player is released into the main game, and they will start their quest to save the world! The player must defeat any number of evil creatures on their quest and will quite possibly find this task a little trying if they are playing solo. Thankfully the game comes with a great multiplayer system that makes taking down some of the larger beasties much easier, for example when taking on two trolls I found that the help of a friend was incredibly useful, I was busy casting the long-chain spells that took a while to charge up, whilst my friend was keeping the trolls busy with some rapid fireballs. As you progress through the game you will pick up an assortment of different staffs and weapons, each of these staffs has a different ability which can help you through your quest to save the world.
I had great fun in my first playthrough, and found that the little side quests scattered throughout weren’t as tedious as I had suspected they may be. The main quest was quite gripping and the characters of the lands of Magicka all seem to have something amusing to say, with a couple of funny references thrown in at the opportune moments. One thing I did notice was that when I went to play the game again, I played each part of each quest in the same way, this meant that the replay value for me was pretty much non existent. Luckily for me I can always pick up a DLC for 99p and play through another couple of hours of new story. I personally enjoyed a DLC called ‘Magicka:Vietnam’. My favourite spell was a type of mine that, froze, shocked, and blew your enemies sky high. Unfortunately I spent most of the game using these and didn’t get much of a chance to experiment with other spells.
The graphics in this game are fair for an old arcade style top-down shooter like Magicka. I enjoyed the top down style because it reminded me of an old arcade game I played once and loved. When starting a new game the player has the option to choose between many different skins for their avatar, each skin coming in a variety of colours, designed to make multiplayer playthroughs a little less confusing.
Another down point of this game is that after a couple of hours of playing, I became rather bored and decided to leave the game alone for a week and a half. The repetitive spell casting and the recurring armies of goblins left me bored out of my head, which meant that I was in no great rush to play again. After a few more days I decided to start playing the game in shorter sittings and decided that this was the preferable way to make the most of Magicka.
I would recommend this game because its a good laugh when playing with your friends. If you don’t mind spending a couple more pounds on some DLC it would be a great idea to look into this game. I’d recommend buying a couple of DLCs even if you are playing with friends though, as it can still get repetitive. I have to stress though, the only reason this game gets repetitive is because I didn’t play enough downloadable content, with more of this installed I assure you, you will have a great time playing Magicka!