Imagine this, you’re taking a nice, peaceful walk somewhere, maybe the park or the woods, and suddenly, you get this weird urge to manipulate the elements or even cast spells every which way. Out of nowhere, your buddy materializes and gets injured from a bolder you’ve flung. If this was in real life, he’d be dead. Luckily for him, you have the ability to heal!
2011 was a stable year for video games with releases such as Batman: arkham city, The elder scrolls V: Skyrim, Dark Souls, and the release of Nintendo’s then new handheld console the Nintendo 3DS, but for me there was one game that stood out from all the rest and that was Arrowhead game studios Magicka. In Magicka, you dive into the world of Midgard, based on norse mythology. You and up to three friends play as wizards from a not so secret order of the magick, under the watch of your, dashingly handsome… senior tutor Vlad who is definitely not a vampire, just a normal human… However, his pointy teeth and hate for sunlight might say otherwise.
The gameplay in Magicka is very reminiscent of most action-adventure games featuring a 3D environment from an isometric perspective, however, unlike most action-adventure games, there is no level or loot system. This means that all items in the game, aside from starting ones, are one of singular entities. So, if you lose them they are gone until the next playthru. It also makes it interesting while playing with friends. As you may find a sword or staff in the world that looks cool or is of pop culture reference, i.e the staff of the white wizard and Excalibur. In order for you to get your hands on such rarity, you’ll have to execute your friends if they claim them first! But be careful, they will most likely want to extract their revenge on you later down the line.
The main elements in Magicka are: Water, Life, Shield, Frost, Lightning, Arcane, Earth, Fire. You can mix and match these elements any way you want, tho mixing opposites such as Lightning and Earth will cancel each other out. Along your journey you can collect magicks, these tombs allow you to cast… well spells powerful enough to take down many of the enemies you face. Such as goblins, orks, trolls and even other wizards.
Magicka has a lot of downloadable content ranging from different styles of robes which all have their own starting weapons that boost or diminish different types of stats to 5 dlc campaigns. These five campaigns consist of:
The Stars Are Left, which features a new rising threat from another dimension.
Dungeons and Daemons: where you go on an adventure beneath Castle Aldrheim and uncover the mysteries of long forgotten wizards.
Dungeons and Gargoyles: here, you continue to explore deep under Aldrheim and discover the fate of the buried city of Aldreim.
The Other Side of the Coin: you play as Vlad’s original apprentice, Alucrat, as he tries to stop Vlad from forming an alliance with the humans, elves and dwarfs.
And lastly, you have Magicka: Vietnam Challenge Missions, where you travel back to the Vietnam war in a race against time to *insert Arnie voice* GET TO THE CHOPPER.
Overall, Magicka is a very fun and fulfilling game with a lengthy campaign and only a few minor inconveniences of crashing to the desktop mid adventure… so if you like wizards, magicks and a truck load of pre 2011 pop culture references you’ll definitely enjoy Magicka.
Reviewed by Lucas Djakic