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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – Magicka: Wizard Wars

 

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Are you tired of working in a depressingly dull environment? Is your prolonged, uninteresting day-to-day life getting in the way of your overall meaningless existence? Don’t you long for the day when you’ll be able to freeze your co-workers solid, then shatter them into a million, tiny pieces? Well, if so, I suggest that you take up a relaxing hobby. That or play Magicka: Wizard Wars.

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Brought to us by Paradox, Magicka: Wizard Wars is a MOBA-like, spell-casting extravaganza, set in the ironically-generic Magicka Universe. The story simple; you’re a wizard standing around in battle-scarred terrain with other wizards and FUCK other wizards. Walking around all smug, in their cozy, gender-neutral robes and (most importantly) being alive. In fact, you’d be surprised at how little motivation one needs to mercilessly hunt down and slaughter an intelligent, self-aware, thinking fellow possibly-human being. To accomplish such gruesome tasks, you have 8 elements at your disposal (10 if you count the hidden ones):

~ Water, the one from the TLoK opening

~ Cold, the one you hate

~ Lightning, the one your teammates hate

~ Earth, the one that sometimes forgets to work

~ Fire, the one everyone keeps using

~ Shield, the one you cry behind

~ Arcane, the one that looks the coolest (because lasers)

~ Life, the one you’ll waste playing this game

~ Steam, the one with all the trading cards

~ Ice, the one with both the “whoosh” and “pew pew pew” sound effects

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These elements can be used to create different spell combinations, some of which are powerful, while others just kinda suck. Certain elements can counter with others, so your combination options are somewhat limited, which I guess is there for balancing reasons. Along with these elements, you also get a deadly weapon of your choice and four world-shattering Magicks, ranging from teleportation cantrips to summoning the anthropomorphic personification of the cessation of all life, Death himself.

 

Gameplay-wise, Wizard Wars is as it should be, fun, fast-paced and frustrating, or FFF; the initial sound you’ll produce when someone pulverizes your vital organs with a cheeky QDR combo. In Wizard Wars you can conjure shields, wards, barriers, laser beams, icicles, arcane mines, lightning tendrils and large, heavy rocks that are on fire. However, so can your enemies and things can get quite hectic when there’s 8 bastards running around, each one acting like their own brand of sociopathic, in vaguely magical ways. The game is split between 2 separate modes; [4v4], where two teams with a limited number of lives have to struggle in tight, survival combat and the 1v1 Duel mode, which no one ever plays. And I still support that this game need a “Fabulous mode”; a game mode in which players must kill each other in the most elegant ways possible. Perhaps they could release a Rainbow Robe for the event, with a matching rainbow sword and staff. I doubt it though,because the item store is already full of tat.

Speaking of which, you can spend actual money in the in-game store, purchasing better equipment, cosmetics and Magicks for your character. Of course you don’t really have to; most of that stuff is unlockable anyway (if you spend enough time leveling up), although they might give you a spell-casting edge at the start. And while some have condemned the game for being “Pay to Win”, I’ve seen a lot worse P2W games (*cough* EA *cough*), so I wouldn’t be too quick to judge. Besides, the normal character progression is still exactly the same and better items matter less the more you play, as you are gradually ranked with more experienced players.

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And lastly, the pop-culture references. Magicka’s plot was centered around them, to the point where I’m still unsure whether it wasn’t just an interactive internet meme or not. So it makes sense for Wizard Wars to be filled with secrets, Easter eggs and more pop-culture references. Indeed almost every aspect of the game is, in essence, a reference to something else, from the flavor text to the map design. And while they’re all awesome, my favorite one was the spawn point runes, which a crafty Wizard Wars fan managed to translate (look it up).

To sum up, Magicka: Wizard Wars is a really entertaining MOBA-ish game, that has captured the infuriatingly-awful insta-deaths of Magicka, along with its unnerving combat. The satisfyingly-explosive spells, combined with the pretty graphics will probably be enough to sell it to you. It definitely was for me.

-The Fairy Wizard

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Posted on January 31, 2015, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, Video Games, What's Killing My Social Life This Week and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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