System(s): PS4 (reviewed), PC
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher (Developer): Paradox Interactive (Pieces Interactive)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Violence and Blood and Gore
You never know what will happen when a franchise shifts from one developer to another. Sometimes it’s a disaster, while other times it can be just the fresh look needed to reinvigorate the property. Most of the time, though, it’s good enough just to keep things afloat while the original team heads off to do other things. In Magicka 2‘s case, original team Arrowhead Studios left after a few DLC packs to work on games like Gauntlet and Helldivers, leaving Magicka‘s later content and sequel to a new crew at Pieces Interactive.
Of course, with Magicka 2, there was certainly room to improve on Arrowhead’s technically challenged freshman effort: the fun was there, but a veteran team could remake it from the ground up and find a lot of success. Unfortunately, while there were some smart design changes and a seemingly more robust code base, Magicka 2 appears to have lost the, er, magic.
Magicka 2 follows the story of the previous games, and I mean all of them — even player-vs.-player spinoff Wizard Wars — are apparently canon. Basically, though, all you need to know is that the wizards largely killed themselves off, the townsfolk have been living a peaceful life now that they’re not getting accidentally killed all the time and somehow Vlad the totally-not-a-vampire is still around. There’s a powerful magical child that needs saving, though, so you and up to three friends are tasked with jumping back into action.
This results in a series of adventures and encounters for you and your mage buddies, and you’ll once again combine eight elements to make spells: water, fire, lightning, rock, life, death, shield and ice. There seems to have been more thought put into usability in Magicka 2, though, especially for those on PS4 or using controllers on PC. Instead of a hard-to-master series of right stick flicks to get to all eight elements, they’re mapped to the face buttons and toggled between sets of four with a shoulder button. There are also quick-use slots for specific spells on the D-pad, making it easier to pull off these maneuvers. Other than the spellbook combinations, you can mix elements to create various effects and cast each in multiple ways: as directional attacks, in a burst effect, applied to a weapon or inflicted upon yourself.
#ACTION #CONSOLES #GENRES #LOCAL CO-OP #MAGICKA #ONLINE CO-OP #PARADOX INTERACTIVE #PARTY #PCS #PIECES INTERACTIVE #PS4 #REVIEWS #WINDOWS #MAGICKA 2 REVIEW: A FRANCHISE FALLS TO PIECES
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