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.