One step forward two steps back.
Magicka 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original Magicka which features players as a wizard that can spin all kinds of deadly spells in order to take down their enemies. This game offers quite a bit more of the same, without changing enough to even make it feel as though it’s actually a new game. In fact, it appears Paradox is dipping its toes in the Magicka well a little too often when you consider the product they are putting out there.
That’s not to say the games in this aren’t fun at all. Magicka 2 offers something for people who are just looking to sit down and play a game for a couple of hours. Magicka 2 even gives the option of laying waste to entire towns if that’s what floats your boat. In the end, it’s one of the things that certainly floated mine, mainly out of some level of frustration.
The game kicks off with a narrator sporting a rather obvious impression of someone from the Carpathian mountains. In other words, someone who wants to sound like the stereo typical Dracula. This is just one of the times where the game tries to bring the funny, but ends up falling a bit short. The narrator who is in fact a vampire named Vlad also appears in the game, someone my character was supposed to meet up with at various points, but it’s not remotely clear why.
"One bonus in this game is that you can recruit your friends to help you along the way in your travels. I specifically tried to get into a few online games, and it goes without saying it's a ton of fun. "
In fact, early on, there’s literally no reason why Vlad is in the game, or why he’s interacting with my character. My character was one of the wizards that is seen quite often in this particular Paradox series. I had the same powers that have been featured in those other games. There was one aspect I was happy to see available that didn’t work for me when I was trying Wizard Wars. I was able to plug in an old Xbox 360 controller and use that instead of a keyboard and mouse. There’s a lot to be said the keyboard and mouse approach when talking about computer gaming most of the time, but I’ve found that in a game like this, a controller is the way to go.
There is just so much to control in this game that having to worry about clicking in the right spot or clicking and holding the button is just too much. If the movement of my character was a little more intuitive, then that may not be the case. Because there’s no intuition at all, I found that it was much easier to guide my little wizard around a rock than have him constantly bump into it.
The controller also makes spell casting a bit easier, once I was able to figure out the buttons that bring up different spells. Considering that the game is unforgiving when it comes to the speed of enemies, that’s a definite plus. The speed at which enemies come is something to take note of. Some of the more basic trolls and beasts look like they’re very easy to beat. It turns out that I needed to be able to figure out a spell and a defense quicker than I thought I would. That helps Magicka 2 stand out among the crowd when it comes to these games.
"The story mode just isn’t good enough to be all that enticing. That’s why the game never really gets off the ground as a sequel."
One bonus in this game is that you can recruit your friends to help you along the way in your travels. I specifically tried to get into a few online games, and it goes without saying it’s a ton of fun. There are slots to invite friends from my friend list and that seems like a very cool feature, when getting through the puzzles and ever growing baddies that I encountered along the way. I can invite my friends along for the admittedly less than flushed out story mode, or I can bring them along on something called the Challenge mode. This is basically Magicka 2’s version of an endless wave mode. You can go to any of the settings that you’ll see in the story mode and see just how long you can last.
Because this game struck me as one that very much wants to be a title people pick up and play every now and then, but don’t sit down and play for hours, this particular mode was a pretty good idea. Being able to shoot my death beam at as many enemies as could come at me, while also freezing them and every once in a while swallowing up an enemy in a plume of fire was a ton of fun. The issue is that this isn’t really supposed to be the kind of game where you spend all your time just blasting wave after wave of enemies.
The story mode just isn’t good enough to be all that enticing. That’s why the game never really gets off the ground as a sequel. Magicka 2 actually falls short of its immediate predecessor in Wizard Wars and that’s not something to brag about.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Being able to hurl spell after spell at enemies is always fun. There are plenty of tough enemies that make the game fun as long as all you want to do is take out as many things and people as possible.
The story mode is one of the weakest I’ve ever seen in a game like this.
The game has some rather fun elements but there isn’t enough game to really deserve a higher grade. Being able to play alongside your friends is fun enough, but even that doesn’t seem like a big enough perk.