Play the first game where the Mage is a total badass!
User reviews: Mixed (1,242 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 26, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"It certainly has some issues and can get repetitive, but if you are able to master the crafting system you can pull off some explosive results."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (32)

December 3, 2014

Lichdom: Battlemage 1.2 - Hotfix 2014.12.02.70219-Release_v1_2_3 Now Live!

We have just released a hotfix to our latest build for Lichdom: Battlemage 1.2. This 415MB patch includes the following update:

  • All loot machine events can be replayed when fast traveling in NG+
  • Increased loot rarity drops in NG+
    • As players move through NG+ rarity increases on random drops (not pustules, loot machines or chests, for instance) so that Common and Uncommon are removed from the lists and Rare becomes the baseline.
    • Lieutenants, Minibosses, and Bosses have a much better chance for a Legendary drop in NG+
    • Some ‘gift’ drops in Old Drivasser will still be awarded, but those drops exist outside the random loot drop system

9 comments Read more

December 1, 2014

Lichdom: Battlemage 1.2 - Hotfix 2014.12.01.70106-Release_v1_2_2 Now Live

We have just released a hotfix to our latest build for Lichdom: Battlemage 1.2. This 302.5MB patch includes the following update:

  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to change their motion blur and depth of field settings

1 comments Read more

Reviews

“... the combat in Lichdom sets a new gold standard.”
Paste Magazine

“Remarkably robust spell crafting system and spectacularly entertaining combat.”
The Escapist

“Never has magic felt as powerful as it does in Lichdom.”
GameSpot

About This Game



Lichdom: Battlemage is a first-person caster that gives the Mage the spotlight in a way never before seen in games. With limitless magical power at your disposal and brutal enemies around every corner, victory hinges on a combination of skill and strategy. You must carefully craft a vast array of spells and learn to cast them in the heat of combat.

You are your spells! The Lichdom: Battlemage spell crafting system offers an enormous range of customization. Every Mage is the product of crafted magic that reflects the individual's play style. Whether you prefer to target your foes from a safe distance, wade into combat and unleash your power at point-blank range, or pit your enemies against each other, endless spell customization lets you become the Mage you want to be.


About Xaviant
Lichdom: Battlemage was developed by a team of industry veterans at Atlanta-based studio Xaviant. The team embraced community involvement through the Early Access program to ensure that Lichdom: Battlemage reached its full potential as a truly unique and exciting experience for players.

Check out great crafting guides here!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz dual core or better (AMD FX 4100 or Intel Core 2 Duo)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible with 512 RAM or better (Radeon HD4870 or NVIDIA 8800 GT)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum spec assumes user runs the game at 1280x720 resolution with "Low" graphics settings.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
    • Processor: 2.8 GHz quad core or better (AMD FX 8350 or Intel i7 860)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 11 compatible with 2048MB RAM or better (Radeon HD 7950 or NVIDIA GTX 670)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Recommended spec assumes user runs game at 1920x1080 resolution with "Very High" graphics settings.
Helpful customer reviews
104 of 146 people (71%) found this review helpful
53.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
This is a hard game to review, one one side you see wasted potential and in the others what marvelous thing they accomplished. First off, they are right, never before has being a mage been taken to this extend as far i know. you craft your own spell from components, and each spells can be influenced in 9 different ways, some with varying results. Some spell can behave completely differently depending on their focus while others barely register a change. But this is because some spells are better suited for some things, Control fire is inherently less. interesting than say control frost, but destruction fire on the other hand.... The game feature a large quantity of spell sigil, a decently long campaign with a new game +, challenging boss fights, i for one thought i was too strong for as moment, and the boss put me in my place. Being an immortal mage never been this fun and i hope to see a Lichdom 2 someday. Takes everything that's great with this game and improve on the rest and its GOTY material. as it stand the game is not too pricey and you will get a good bit of fun. The game strength is not its story, it is its mechanic. The graphics are pretty decent and it is one of the only game that force my computer to work for them, noticeably. If anyone need a comparison, this is the Serious Sam of magic games! It is one of the game i will/have taken the time to finish. Blast away!

-Lost
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158 of 234 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
It might be fun to play for some people, but it wasn't for me.

Lichdom: Battlemage is basically a first person shooter with magic. The advertising goes like "be a mage with unlimited power, no cooldowns or anything". Having unlimited power, the "mage" feels fairly limited. Not only does your magic often enough feel incredibly weak and slow, the entirely unnecessary base damage/health value increase over the course of the game makes fighting a lot more annoying than it is fun.
The game starts off being rather easy. Enemies in the first two regions of the game (Drivasser City and the caves underneath) are pretty easy to defeat. However, during the course of the third region the player is introduced to (the snowy Greyteeth Mountains) difficulty tends to spike and reach a level where combat becomes a tedious chore and no fun at all anymore. Increasingly large groups of enemies dotted with more and more "miniboss" or "empowered mob" kind of foes start applying a headache inducing number of rapidfire CC effects on the player, which are terribly hard- to often impossible to dodge or deflect. For example, there will be a low powered ranged-attack mob shooting arrows that freeze the player. While damage to the player will break the ice, those mobs shoot these arrows in rather rapid succession, freezing you on every hit. This combined with CC effects of other enemies that usually spawn in tow of these can lead to the player being frozen, stunned, slowed or otherwise impaired litterally for minutes before there is even a slight chance to break such a chain, given that the player survives it at all.
That said, the players very few own useful CCs are usually frail, weak, slow to deploy and outright unrelieable. For example freezing: You can usually freeze most enemies with a simple Ice-beam spell or an ice shot, which usually works on trashmobs with no to little special effects. However, enemies which you would actually NEED to be frozen are either not affected, or the effect works only for maybe a half to two seconds, which doesn't really give you time for a worthy followup. That said, all enemies (especially bosses, minibosses and empowered mobs) seem completely randomly immune to CC effects like freezing or being held in place by a kinetic spell, which, as mentioned before, makes these spells utterly unrelieable. The fact that enemies tend to spawn around and right next to you, doesn't really help you keep control or fight systematically. I know that some level of chaos and surprise attacks by newly spawning enemies is an integral part of the fun in these games, but there is a fine line between it being fun or just utterly annoying.

Combine all that with a completely unnecessarily complex and unrewarding spell crafting system (granted, the smart inventory crafting system helps a little but it has it's limits), unnecessary difficulty spikes through utterly over-powerful enemy types being introduced, and a completely off-putting story and storytelling.
Story... I have yet to experience something of the sort in this game. Basically it goes: The Cult of Malthus is your enemy because it's evil. Go and murder as many as you can and kill their bosses. Oh and they have undead. Enjoy.
That not being enough, the "mage" (player character) called "Dragon" in this game, isn't actually a mage, but some random person the Cult has done wrong by, which is handed a pair of magic bracers that allow throwing spells, make you unkillable (if you die you get revived by waypoints without loadscreens and regular dying is actually part of the lore), and give you shields. The player character has actually no frickin idea how his/her magic works and is magic-wise generally a dumb n00b.

Personal note: I don't feel like playing a "mage" when the "mage" is just some random idiot with enchanted weapons and hasn't worked for their magic power by study or training AT ALL.

Anyway, now for the positive aspects of the game:

Amazingly beautiful environments. Seriously, the game world might lack some of the fidelity and dynamic effects of for example Crysis (this is a Cry-Engine 3 game after all), but still it is extremely beautifully crafted. Surroundings look entirely awesome, that much must be said. Characters, enemies and most special effects like spells or fire also look very nice (ice/freezing being the possible exception), but a game is not just about looks.
Sadly however, for all it's good looks, there's very little one can do in the environment. Shoot a few glowing plants or ice crystals here and there, and find a book or a scroll for some journalbound lore now and then, but that's largely it.


The soundtrack is decent, yet largely unremarkable.

The most positive aspect of the game for me is that, however in a game like this most people would maybe consider it unnecessary, the player get's to choose if the protagonist should be male or female, while the game is actually completely voice acted for both player genders. It might be a minor detail for some, but I find it very nice and would wish for more games to include that option.


So.
Very bad and annoying combat gameplay, unnecessary damage/healthrange increases, needlessly complex crafting system (with the recent addition of an automated crafting system which is alright), really really beautiful graphics, not mentionworthy story that doesn't really make too much sense, player choice of gender.

I cannot really recommend the game, but if you like first person shooters with a "challenging" gameplay in a fantasy setting with little in the way of a compelling tale and you don't mind retrying a lot, sure, go ahead.
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72 of 96 people (75%) found this review helpful
102.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
On my second playthrough of this game and I have to say it is unexpectedly beter than I thought it would be.

If I had to try to classify it, I would say it is a mix of the old school magic FPS games like Hexen and Herectic with some Diablo loot collecting and some crafting thrown in for good measure.

Requires a decent rig, but it is great fun once you understand the mechanics of the game.

With 8 spell schools to choose from(each with 3 spell types) and three spell attunements to apply to each of those spells, there is a huge variety in what you can do.

The game is also more tactical and less twitch than I initially thought it would be which is also a good thing IMO.

In short, give it a try. Freeze, burn, shock, phase, corrupt, force and necro to your heart's content! Oh and craft new spells too...
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65 of 93 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
127.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
I'd like for it to be very clear that this is a review coming from someone who only played it after it was released. It is not limited to only 3 types of spells - it's more like 8. you can only use 3 elements at once, but there's enough complexity to more intelligent builds that it is plenty.

I've heard people complain about how it isn't as interesting a spell process as Skyrim. As someone who has played more than 150 hours of Skyrim, I can honestly say these people are wrong. Could it still use some things from that game? Perhaps so, but if I had to choose one over the other, I have found Lichdom's magic FAR more entertaining. Just don't do the standard DPS only spells, and you will see what I mean. Using spells to fill your enemies with insect larvae, then use mindcontrol to buy you the 10 seconds you need for the larva to mature before setting fire to the right mob... Well, that's just not something you can do in Skyrim, and it's a blast juggling it like so.

Yes, it's quite linear - this is true. Only a few branch off options to do fights for "loot". They are worth it, are a blast, and are often a great challenge.

Give this game enough time for you to get to the first boss fight and get at least 2 interesting spell types in your inventory. You will find trying to build the perfect spell build to be very enjoyable. I seriously hope this game gets a sequel!
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86 of 131 people (66%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
I realy want to love this game, I did at first.
It has spell crafting, a variety of abilities and promises to let the mage be the focus of a game for once. What I got was a slow, disappointing and frustrating FPS where you are limited to 3 guns and 3 utilities with interchangeable colours where everything you do is delayed by having to either charge your attack for 2 seconds a shot or dodge hordes of brutal opponents who can corner you, stun lock you and kill you in very few hits.

The Game totes the idea of being an all powerful battlemage but if anything it just reinforces the stereotype of the pasty faced mage hiding behind a barbarian's muscles. It took me a while to realise this but the spells just aren't fun. There are clearly correct combinations I'm meant to be using and if I stray from this path I find myself penalised, not only that but you lose your experience points and levels BY experimenting, forcing you to commit to your choices. An equivalent would be if call of duty reset your progress with rifles just because you played one game with a shotgun.

In essence there are 3 targeted weapons, 3 AOE weapons and 1 perfect block. These are then either turned into either a non-damaging control spell (status effects or tactical control), an all damage destruction spell or a middle of the road, does some damage but not much mastery spell. you then augment this further by picking an element to give it colour. So what's the difference between a Destructive Fire Missile and a Destructive Kinetic Missile? The latter is purple and does half the damage, the same goes for all comparisons, they're identical safe for particle effects and damage numbers.

But this just means that the only spells that harm are your destruction ones so you will always need them to actualy get the kill. You might think then you use a freeze control spell followed by a destruction spell. That works fine when you're fighting 1 enemy but is impractical when you're facing 5 at a time with ranged support. You will find yourself running round in circles charging your ranged attack because all the spells are bloody mega-man style charge up guns and hoping not to get sniped in the mean time.

The enemies are tough, brutal and tanky, meaning that they will all need betwean 2 and 4 shots to kill, some also have disabling attacks such as freezes and knock downs which will leave you helpless on the floor or having to drop that spell you were charging to defend yourself, thus forcing you to start charging all over again.


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53 of 86 people (62%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
I REALLY wanted to like this game, but I just couldn't. It seems like it would be super fun, but after a handful of hours, I was purely bored and frustrated with the game. I'll investiage some of the changes made in the new patch, but I'm not expecting much.

It was pretty because they obviously spent a lot of time on the visual aspect of the spells and what they could do, but that was the main redeeming factor.

Gameplay was clunky and basically devolved into walk backwards while throwing X spell with Y particle effects until enemy is dead. However, you cna completely ruin your ability to play by crafting spells that don't do damage if you're not paying attention like I was at one point.

Sound and voice acting were fine; I'd say at least on par with most games.

I'd say pick it up if you can get it for ~10$, but that is about all it's worth. The story isn't interesting and the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.
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36 of 58 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
I have 44 hours on this game and I can say that it has to be one of the most repetitive and unsatisfying games I have played in a long time... The constant spamming and blocking really make for a dull ride, even if it looks nice. following a linear path just to constantly have enemies pop out of the ground makes it even worse. The story is the not so original revenge story. The spell system would have been nice if they actually made the spells more fun to use, without that it's pretty pointless. I understand that people worked really hard on making this game and I respect that, but you dont see me pooping in golden pouches and selling them saying "this will make you feel like a badass". this game in my honest opinion is nothing but a polished turd.

Good idea, horrible execution.
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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
77.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
Lichdom Badass!

If your superpowers, like kinesis or electricity ... or corruption, aren't nearly as good as you want them to be ....

means: you must get up and walk to your coffee.
means: your toaster will not work applied to a tree.
means: you pay full.

In this case you may try some alternatives or get some playtime as mage and roast some *sses!

Great game! Great skills! Great crafting!

Playing it since EA and the game is still updated / improved & i am not bored.

Many bad voices about difficulty (enemies or crafting / mastery) - so Xaviant made it easier and adjustable.
For myself i never played this on easy or normal and i like the difficulty. Sure, i will die sometimes before i finish but that's the game.
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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
The graphics are beautiful, similar to Skyrim. Don't buy this for the storyline, the storyline is confusing and relatively cheesy. Make sure to get it on sale, too. I feel they delivered on the "invincible badass battlemage" but you may have to adjust the difficulty and craft some good spells before you feel truly powerful. The crafting system is ok, there are a lot of spells, but most of them are very similar. Lichdom is not very RPG-like and I don't think it should be considered one. Lichdom is one of those games that I'd rather listen to music and shoot some fireballs at a walking corpse then try to follow the story line. 7/10 recommended but gets old after a while
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
This game is a new genre, I can describe it as Action-Magic FPS.

Its not like most RPG games, I didn't play much RPGs, but its totally different from skyrim and others alike.
everything is about making your spells and mastering them, upgrading and so on.
Its more like a classic shooter FPS games, but not with guns, with cool spells and magic.
So to enjoy the game you have to try different combination of spells, different abilities.
Gameplay is solid, sound effects are great, story sounds OK or generic so far.
Its built on CryEngine3, the graphics are very good.

So when you want to buy, consider what I said above, don't expect a casual RPG game, this is how to be a Battlemage.

The game does well in what it describe itself, however it seems many have expected different things about it, and that's why there are negative reviews, and some just couldn't understand its mechanics as I said its a new thing. (also could be the price, I got it on sale so I won't talk about that aspect)

When I first started and didn't know how the game works, I just died a lot, but when I got into it, I had a good time, spells and shield change the gameplay. (see community guides if you need anything)

In short, if you like to try another kind of old school shooter with better graphics and some spell crafting, get this one. Otherwise, don't .. you won't like for any other reasons.
I will add more details later as I advance in the game.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
About five hours into it I quit. Frankly about 3 hours in it becomes way too repetitive. There are not enough variation of spells after it kinda just meshes into 3 different types and thats it,
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13 of 19 people (68%) found this review helpful
45.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
I loved the graphics and the game concept. However, the "smart upgrade" system doesn't do a good enough job of creating spells that are viable against the bosses you run into. I ran through the game at least 8 times in order to build up enough spell power to take on the second boss and still failed. The key to progressing through this game is to master the rather complicated spell creation process, which, for me, detracts from game play. Consequently, I gave up in frustration at the extremely high level of hit points you must damage in order to get past the super-tough bosses.

Many games balance the game play styles by allowing multiple levels of difficulty. This one doesn't. Ideally, a player should at least be able to downgrade the difficulty level to get past a particularly challenging point so that they can at least get some of the value they paid for with their hard-earned money. Some game developers just don't get this.

If you're an avid/hard core gamer and you like this kind of fantasy RPG, then you'll love it. If you're a casual gamer or one that doesn't like to get mired in micro-management then stay away from this one.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
29.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
First off, let me say that Lichdom is amazing! If you love wizards, magic, or just want experience what it would feel like to be one... this IS THE ultimate spell caster simulator. On top of that... the game is very well polished, looks and plays amazing and is very fun. As you can see there is a ton of negative comments and feedback but these neighsayers have not looked deep enough into the game to realize this is NOT Call of Duty... or your typical FPS.

Lichdom is a RPG spell caster simulator. You are gifted with the power of magic and learn how to craft and wield it to work toward your goal. There are no vast inventories of items like armor and weapons... you are a mage... you collect Sigils... and that is all. Consider sigils the magical essence of a soul that only you (a wizard/sorceress) can harvest. That is your currency... that is your lifeblood... Learn to get them, learn how to use them, learn how to craft and make them better. You take a simple lightning bolt and make it into a lightning ball ... you can take that and make it an area effect explosion trap... then you could add in chain lighting. Seriously, once you learn how the sigil system works... it will click and you will see that this is a really deep crafting game to your design.

The enemies so far have been challenging and every new area surprises me with something new and deadly each time. The graphics are top notch and very well done... down to the back grounds that go on for miles and miles.

The game is mostly linear but having a world open sandbox might be too much initially. Regardless, I love it.

Now, it can get some what overwhelming to learn the sigil system... an Idiot's Guide to Sigils would help as would a Mage Mastery Spellbook (hopefully these will come out in the future).

So far the environments have been beautiful and deadly to traverse... and I just made it to the 3rd area... and can't wait to see more!

I notice the team is very quick to put out fixes/patches and add new items for the game owners... I respect that.

Just to have the ability to create any type of spell you want to use in your arsenal over time... and blast through levels and have fun doing it... mastering the game itself is just as fun!

Boss monsters? Oh yeah... they are tough and they can be tricky! Some thought and uniqueness has been designed with them also... Kudos!

You can even craft new spells and go back in previous trodden areas and test it out (and get loot while you do it)...

Sure it could play like Call of Duty or Skyrim but the main focus is you are a mage... you cast spells and you design your own spells. No inns, no taverns, no swords or bows you can get... no chainmail or leather armor you can don... You are your own weapon... you have a mission... DO IT! :)
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
Good Start, Drags On, Combat Gets Repetitive, Combat Gets Boring, Game Continues To Drag On

Just wanted the game to be over by the end of it.

Spoiler Infused Rage at Completion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2vgN1_lVek
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
This game was meh... It was really pretty and the effects were cool looking, but honestly I was on the fence when I started. I played as the girl until I got to the first part where you can actually select a new spell line, but after another hour I got bored with Necromancy and decided to try something else, was equally disappointed with Lightening on the male as well. I think it mostly comes from the long charge times on spells in general. I understand for a more powerful boom that it takes a few seconds but omg. Even just quick clicking them instead of charging takes forever. A lot of my friends that played said "it's like a FPS but with magic", uh, yeah no. I don't remember any gun having several seconds to wait after pulling the trigger for it to actually fire something. This was obviously not the only issue I found with the game, but it was enough to make me stop playing after like an hour each time I tried. Playing the game is pretty easy but holy god the crafting system to upgrade spells. I had to just let the auto upgrades do its thing and just look at the results, if I liked the upgrade I used it, if not I waited until I got something else... if you're going to make a crafting system that almost requires the auto-upgrade system to figure it out, why bother even having it? Even the tutorial hints at "hey just use the auto crafting, it's easier". With all that in mind, when it comes down to it, if a friend asked if they should buy this game, I would likely say no. Glad I got this on sale with a 50% of coupon through Loot Crate else I might be pissed. Still a waste @ $12 IMO. Sorry.
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17 of 29 people (59%) found this review helpful
32.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
This game is so much fun, love it. The crafting system is challenging but worth the time investment to learn, the power it makes you feel is awesome. Love the improved crafting sytem and guides btw. The story is basic but well done, graphics are awesome, but most of all the spell combos are amazing and super fun. Great job.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
This game has its weak points, but it really has it's strong points. I've been sick of all the dumbing down games have been doing over the last 10 years. This game brings back that need to think on your toes (fingers). This game has made a very small list of games that I have, that don't hand you over powered in the early stages of the game, and expect you to grind through the next few hours, or days just destroying your enimies without thought. Now, I did say it has it's weak points and there is still grinding, and the story imho is meh, but the rewards you recieve from the gameplay style such as satisfaction and or excitment far out weight the negitives. That first boss I tried to beat without trying and got may @$$ handed to me really p!ssed me off, but I adapted and killed him. I've found that this game has alot of simple guys (hence the grinding), but it also has a good deal of variety in the bosses and they throw in mini bosses here and there to keep to on your toes (fingers). Overall this game is about 4 out 5, but could become so much more in future games.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
After playing this game several hours, I can say for a discounted price it's quite worth it. Don't expect too much from it though.
The centre of the gameplay is crafting. You find tons of parts to craft your spells. You first start off with just 1 spell-"element" and gain another with each level you finish. By using them you can level them up and choose between 3 things to upgrade which are damage, critical chance and critical effect.
The whole crafting thing is pretty much too complex to explain in detail here. With wrong crafted spells, bosses can become hard in a dark souls kind of way. With well crafted spells you might be able to kill them in under 2 minutes.
The fun really lies in discovering what spells you can create for your special needs.
Basically there are 3 type of spells you can cast. One of which is a offensive ball or ray. there are different types of those too. The other one is an AOE which can have many different effects and a shield (which I barely use ever so it's pretty useless to me).
The story doesn't really get rolling and isn't that exciting. The levels - although not open world but very linear - are beautifully crafted thanks to the Cryengine 3. Enemies spawn every few meters and you gotta defeat them. New enemies are introduced only about every level and there is much re-use in enemies.
For less than 10€ I'd still recommend it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
I cautiously recommend this. Let's do a small breakdown as to why:
The good
In short, it's a linear FPS (First Person Spellcaster :-P) with a lot of neat mechanics and insane, yet rewarding crafting system and it is fairly well executed and polished up. So far so good. If you play your cards right and learn the crafting system, you have the very real possibility of becoming a skeleton-summonning necromancer who drops meteors on the heads of his enemies, infects opponents with swarms of insects, debilitates them into fear and betraying their comrades, teleports them around the battlefield and manipulates time itself. But all of this takes time and a lot of mastery over the game's mechanics. Now I'll delve into the complexities of how does it work and why do I like it...

The game technically delivers on what it promises. You do have a bazillion of spell combinations, sort of like you have a bazillion of guns in Borderlands 2 or bazillion of distinct items in Diablo, but let's look at facts - there's 3 basic elements, being Fire, Ice, Lightning, Corruption, Kinesis, Delirium, Necromancy and Phase, there's a bunch of patterns in which you can cast said elements such as guided missiles, continuous beam, curved lob and various kinds of area of effect patterns, and lastly, there's three kinds of modifiers - Destruction, Control and Mastery.

Now, the incredible variability of the game's magic comes from the fact that every one of the 8 basic elements gets a distinctly different effect based on which one of the three modifiers you use. The differences vary quite wildly, so let's take Corruption and Fire here - When you combine corruption and mastery, your corruption spell infects an enemy (or a group of enemies) with a blister which slowly grows and matures, and if you kill an enemy after it manages to mature, a swarm of flies will emerge from the dead opponent and start to seek and attack other enemies on the field. If you use mastery, however, the blister spawns a nest upon maturing, which orbits around you and infects enemies with insects that then increase your damage output done to them. Fire, on the other hand, just deals damage over time with control and stores its damage to be released later with mastery, IIRC. You can see some common patterns - destruction increases direct damage done, control causes some indirect effect and mastery debuffs enemies and increases damage done to them later down the line.

And then, when you master the crafting system, you'll find that there are also synergies between the individual elements, which will allow you to do things such as summonning suicidal, burning corpses, conjure a small black hole and so on and so forth (hint: You can get these by upgrading a legendary trough synthesis screen)

Now, it took me some time to get used to all of these various systems as these are the most important and unique part of the game, and for some time, I couldn't quite decide whether or not I like them. See, for an action game, Lichdom is an extremely slow burner and it'll take you several hours to get to the actually awesome bits, and it really takes a lot of getting used to. But after you do, it's a blast - discovering various new ways how different spells can synergize with each other, creating different patterns and seeing how it can affect your playstyle, it's just really cool, but it does require player to actually put in the effort and experiment - if you choose to remain stuck with basic three elements, which you can and nobody is stopping you, I can see the game getting very old, very fast. Oh right, three elements thing - at any given point in time, you can only have three elements equipped, where each element contains three spells - single-target, AoE and block/blink spell. That's 9 spells equpped at any given time, with some having similar roles.

Of course, then there's the actual casting of spells itself. You're a glass canon, so you have to be very mobile (depending on the sort of shield you have equipped) and while there are no limitations on casting, casting a spell properly can take up to 2 seconds - doesn't seem long, but it does serve to change your traditional twitch gameplay style into something much slower and deliberate, which isn't something I've really seen in any other First Person action game, not to this extent anyway.

There are other good bits worth mentioning - graphics and aesthetic design are fantastic, post-release support is absolutely stellar and murdering stuff does actually feel very good, but none of that is quite as unique as the core mechanic of the spellcasting itself, why is why the game has earned my recommendation. However...

The bad
Right, here comes the biggest flaw the game has, and I feel it's gonna be a dealbreaker for some - and that is enemy variety. There are ranged dudes, meele dudes, dudes spawning other dudes and dudes who are casters, but are actually just a more difficult kind of ranged dudes. They come in unded and living variety, but you hardly ever notice what it is exactly you're fighting, unless it's a boss or a miniboss. I would have definitely liked to see more distinct enemy types, which would ideally force me into switching my sigils around to see if I can get more effective against them.

Then there are the 'powerful' enemies - I don't have issues with those per se, I have actually enjoyed the major boss fights the game throws at you, it's the randomly generated mini-bosses I hate. Sometimes, and note it doesn't really happen that often, sometimes the game just generates boss abilities which lead to extremely ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ deaths, where the enemy one-shots you without you being capable of doing all that much about it. Thankfully, this does not happen all too often.

And lastly, there's linearity. Aside from an occassional side-dungeon here and there, and a few quite open maps, the game is extremely linear, with slightly more open arenas for larger battles. There is some exploration involved, but not quite enough.

Judgement
The game is extremely ambitions, but flawed. I'd suggest getting it on the sale, unless you want to support the dev who's extremely generous with functional updates. All in all, have enjoyed the time I have spent with it, and I would recommend it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
Absolutely loving this game! . . . Throw on some tunes then run around and blow ♥♥♥♥ up! Kinda feels like if you took borderlands and replaced guns with magic. Which is completely cool with me

10/10
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