Play the first game where the Mage is a total badass!
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (21 reviews) - 38% of the 21 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (1,647 reviews) - 63% of the 1,647 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 26, 2014

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Buy Lichdom: Battlemage



“... 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.”

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

    • 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
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum spec assumes user runs the game at 1280x720 resolution with "Low" graphics settings.
    • 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
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Recommended spec assumes user runs game at 1920x1080 resolution with "Very High" graphics settings.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Negative (21 reviews)
Mixed (1,647 reviews)
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Recently Posted
Awesome Enterprises
1.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
It's fun running around being a first person mage, shooting fire and ice. $40 of fun? Probably not, but definitely on sale or in a bundle.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
Pretty, but incredibly dull.

Spell crafting is extremely limited and what little you can make, you can only really equip a mere few to carry into battle. Very few of the spells you can make feel fun at all.

Story is mediocre, but the dialogue is okay.

Combat and general gameplay is where it falls the most though. It's tedious, repetative and just not remotely interesting.
It tries to have interesting battle combos and encourages you to do things like "Freeze your enemies and then blast them with fire for more damage" but given how little in terms of magic you can equip at once you end up limiting yourself to having only a couple of combos that get repeated again and again.
Getting through enemies feels like a chore. The game likes to throw large groups of enemies at you, that take forever to get through in a very unsatisfying manner.
On top of this all, the controls themselves feel clunky.

Overall, a huge disappointment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 22
Lichdom: Battlemage isn't very good. It's shallow and boring. It goes to show that graphics aren't everything.

Speaking of graphics, this game has some fantastic graphics. That's hard to deny. It uses the Cryengine, so you're in for a treat. This is complimented by its great medieval fantasy artstyle. All the magic effects look great!

But looks aren't everything. This game is so shallow. There's 3 ways to attack. You play as a mage, but you only have 3 ways to attack as a mage. You're telling me, as a mage, you can only attack in 3 ways. Yes, there's different elements of magic you can use, but they all feel the exact same. The story is shallow. This guy killed your wife for no apparent reason, so you set out to get your revenge. That's about it. The characters are very shallow. There's this girl that helps you along the way, but I never learn her name. I don't know why she is even helping me!

Lichdom: Battlemage isnt very good. It's a shallow, boring game that has a lot of glitter sprinkled on it. For $40, this game is an absolute joke. Luckily, I got this game for $1 on Bundle Stars, but that deal has since been ceased. That was honestly worth it, but for anything more than $5, stay away.

Should you buy it? If you're super interested in this game like I was, but don't pay full price!

You know this game is avaliable for $3 right now? Yes, that's right, and it's actually on the same site I got the game from: Bundle Stars. For $3, you get this game along with 7 other indie games. Click here to check this great deal out! Don't worry: Bundle Stars is a legit site. I've bought two bundles from them and all the keys worked!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.3 hrs
Posted: September 21
This is a great game if you love spellcrafting, spellcasting and discovering game mechanics.
- makes you feel like a badass mage
- robust spellcrafting
- core gameplay is fun
- teleportation (I love when games allow you to phase around)

- medicore story
- terrible optimization - there is something seriously wrong with the game - frame measuring soft shows 60FPS all the time, but the game itself feels sometimes like 20FPS
- level design
- no jumping ability (you relly feel it's missing)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: September 19
Couldn't make it further than a minute into the first level. Froze up, froze up again again, then got BSOD, decided to give it one more go and got another BSOD.

Hardest first level I've ever played.

0/10. Wouldn't crash again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.1 hrs
Posted: September 18
Even with a card that murders every game I throw at it on high or ultra (evga gtx 970 ftw) I am constantly tweaking in this game to keep it running smooth rather than just simply enjoying it without worry. This is definitely one of the worst optimized and/or coded games I have ever seen. However with tweaking/experimenting, it runs smooth enough now to a point of I can play and stay out of the video options. But what do they expect people to do, buy sli 980's for a thousand dollars just to run this game on ultra? I highly doubt even that could handle it because of the game's coding. "But our special particles and effects are really demanding." How about this: don't have killer special effects if the game is overall pretty mediocre which they had to have known because they obviously had to play it before release and there is no way anyone who worked on this game played it and said "man our game is really good!".

The effects are gorgeous and that is about the extent to the hype of this game's appeal. Everything else is nothing special. The problem is that nothing is very memorable because the levels are painfully linear, bland, non-interactive, and the enemies are pretty standard fair. It also has another staple of many bad games: often very poor checkpointing, some of the worst I've seen in any game, ever. You just did 3 long time consuming fights with enemies spawning in continuously and each fight took a little while, then up the road you die on another fight? Let's warp you waaaay back to before those three fights so you have to do all of them over again. FUN!

NO! The boss fights are only hard in that they are extremely long endurance tests. Each boss fight consists of a boss with about 10x too much hp than he should have, making each boss fight around 10-15 minutes of throwing spells, dodging, ad nauseam. If you get bored or tired of the same old ♥♥♥♥ repeating itself over and over in that 10-15 minute fight and you die, you have to do it all over again. Just like this game's crafting system, the boss fights are very poorly conceived.

The game's crafting system is easily one of the most ill conceived crafting systems I have ever seen. It gives you a few tips then throws you in the deep end without any further explanation. The custom crafting mode is a convoluted mess. Which parts should I combine and why? Most people are going to be scratching their heads at this stupidly included mode. Thankfully there is a smart inventory option that lets you upgrade what you have, which is very helpful I give it that, but I'm still not sure how it works. Could I take the parts I'm finding and custom craft something better than the smart inventory option could? It explains nothing and leaves you just using the smart inventory system and hope for the best outcome. The god awful crafting system should have just been left out in favor of a much better tried and true rpg character progression system, or just not have been so heavily convoluted for no real reason.

In terms of difficulty, the game is all over the place. Sometimes I get one-shotted, sometimes I don't. The game constantly slaps you on the hand as if to say "no, you are playing wrong". But there is no "wrong" just a randomness combined with luck on whether or not you will be repeating entire sections and multiple long fight sequences because of p-ss poor checkpointing, some of the worst there is in any game.

"Lichdom's combat sets a new gold standard" lol compared to what? Wii Tennis? Had they even played another game in their lives before making that statement? To this game's credit, it is unique in its own right. But being unique doesn't always translate into a good game. It is actually fun and engaging for a short while but that fun quickly fades. Unfortunately for this game, finding much better fps's exists without much effort.

5.9/10. Catch it on sale for no more than $5 if it ever goes that cheap. If not don't worry about it because you aren't missing anything special.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.0 hrs
Posted: September 15
Charge a mastery spell, release, charge a damage spell, release. Do this 700 times and you just played lichdom. It tries to be a shooter, but lacks any rapid fire or quick gameplay that makes them so fun. All this game has is combat area after combat area, over and over, which I can enjoy in borderlands or God of War, but in this combat is a frustrating chore.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.9 hrs
Posted: September 15
The game is a hack n' slash with mages... HELL YEAH!

First of all I want to inform you that I did not read about the game before the releash so I have no idea about the hype if any, or the expectations.

I really enjoied the game play! the controls are easy, the story is nothing fancy but ok. I enjoied blowing stuff up and the combos of spells.
I 've read some comments that say, you basically spam left click and win, however in the hardest difficulty I personally did not find that ideal and preffered to do combos to deal extra damage and enjoy more gameplay mechanics.

The only negative comment I can think of is that the system where you create spells is basically useless. Thankfully there is an automatic upgrade to your spells. I tried creating my own variations but it needs a hell of a lot time to do so and the result is not that big of a deal.

Anyway, I recommend the game from $ 15 or less and if you like sorceries and hack n' slash!
Also I recommend reading the negative comments on any game before buying because you might find something that is a deal breaker for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
Lichdom: Battlemage is a bit of a mixed bag. The storyline is simple and forgettable which is in stark contrast to the actual gameplay.

The devs delivered on what they set out to do, this is the first game that makes you feel like an actual mage.

That being said the pros - Fantastic gameplay, wide assortiment of spells, create your own spells!
Graphic quality is superb (indie dev), no bugs, very stable ( 80 fps here),
has the right level of challenge.

The negative aspects would be - Story is weak, your standard good guy out to stop the big bad with very

little intricacy or development in the plot. I could imagine this being a 80's action flick, like The Beastmaster or something.

The level design is also a weak spot as the levels are very large and seem to drag on and on at times. They could have made them considerably smaller and it would have been far better albeit shaving a few hours off the final product. Bigger isn't always better.

So the question is, should you buy it? For me its a resounding yes based purely on the gameplay alone. I wouldn't pay the full asking price however, best to wait on a sale which happens on a regular basis.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
141.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
Very good game if u read the spell crafting instructions in order to actaully do good damage/control. Don't use SMART INVENTORY past Sigil Tier 5. You'll have plenty of time to farm after the campaign section so keep the good spell bases with the most augments in your inventory until you know for sure you don't need it anymore for a specific map's fighting strategy. During the campaign you have to be a bit of a miser with them to get them crafted best.

The NGP HUB after the campaign is still fun because it remains challenging even with the drops capped at Tier 20. If anything it's harder on some of the open terrain maps (due to some crazy ranged enemies) which is good since you have to actually work at completing them; changed sigils/spell combos up depending on the portal type. I found the game balanced enough to keep playing, and there's enough sigils and augments to keep you guessing which combo works best for max dps and the easiest/best synergies. The missiles were the easiest targeting spells to use (I highly recommend), be careful of crafting too many rays since they tended to bind the hands up and slow you down when you needed to do real quick Nova blocks or to just run like hell.

No regrets buying this one (especially after all the patches had been completed before playing). I didn't have any real tech issues other than having to back out of the spell crafting menu to get upgrades working correctly; i.e. wasn't recognizing an upgrade was possible, but no crashes, or major bugs in game-play/crafting like some other reviews/community discussions mentioned; pretty fluid game IMO. Regardless, it's polished enough to play the campaign or the NGBs a few times every so often.

I really liked it. Have fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
I really don't understand most of the negative reviews. Aside from the issue of price point for an indy game released in 2014, this is a fun, polished FPS-style game that does exactly what it sets out to do. Worth playing.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
It got a little bit repetitive at the middle, i'll open with this
But the game is awesome! the Spell-crafting system works so well, you can spend a lot of time just trying diferent spell combinations!
story-wise it's gripping enough, i admit i wanted more of it when it ended (maybe a sequel?)
even though it's on the CryEngine, the graphics are... just okay (not that this stops the fun)
soundtrack is amazing and voice acting is... good when is a main character, side characters have not-so-good voice acting
Well! it was worth it! i want another and i give it 8.2/10!
Good Job Developers!
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 28
t's like diablo, you always hunt for better loot. In Lichdom, you try to get that perfect shape with the right stats to deal big numbers damage. And then, mid-way through the game, you discover the SYNERGY shape, a special upgrade to the legendary item which enable you to mix two elements to cast some kind of ultimate spell. Now you're hunting for those special legendary items who can upgrade to the synergy shape and cast flashy spells that deals tons of damage.

Graphics are beautiful, the spell effects are amazing, the combat can be dull if you let it be, but if you're trying to combo elements and discover new ways to use your differents shapes with different elements it becomes a lot of fun for the whole game. The default BATTLEMAGE difficulty is challenging, not too easy not too hard. If you're dying often, your shield is too weak, craft a new one with higher HP.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
2,838 of 3,311 people (86%) found this review helpful
32 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
For a game that I had 0 hype for and wasn't even on my radar, it's shocking how let down I was by Lichdom. The concept really grabbed me. I love wizards and the idea of a game that could really let you cut loose and let you wreck havoc with its entire focus put on making you feel like a mighty wizard among mortals seemed like exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, you'll quickly find that the game's definition of "badass wizard" is extremely narrow, and even worse, they really don't deliver.

The game brags having thousands of spells, and while that may be technically true, it rings hollow. Spells are crafted by combining elements that you unlock through the story and spell modifiers that drop as loot, so you have potentially infinite combinations on paper. The result however is that you have 3 spell types with a million permutations that only change a few decimal points are on the numbers that pop up. Elements are meaningless, just pick what particle effect you want on your projectiles. If you were expecting some real magic, like summoning dogs, lighting them on fire and throwing them at your enemies, you will be sorely disappointed.

The gameplay is where things really grind down though. The levels are just corridors a mile long with the only interaction being busting up the game's equivalent of decorative vases. The enemies are mindless and predictable, and so is fighting them. You walk into a clearing, combat music plays, a bunch of skeletons pop up out of the ground, walk backwards and throw ice/fire/lighting balls at them until dead. As said before you only have 3 real spells. A basic fireball in whatever flavor of particle effect have on, an AOE attack/bomb in whatever flavor particle effect you have on, and a block that does damage if you time it right. In whatever flavor particle effect you have on. The enemies have little variation either. Melee guy that runs up and slaps you, ranged guy that throws ♥♥♥♥ at you, and sometimes theres a ghost that floats around and freezes you. Expect to see groups of about 8 of them pop up every 15 feet, about 30 times a level. No puzzles, no talking and investigating, just walking from one fight to another. The game promises dungeons and quests made specifically for a wizard, unhindered by needing to allow warriors or barbarians through, and all I could think while playing it was how much more satisfying it would be bashing skeletons to pieces with a hammer than dealing with the game's slow clunky combat casting.

The gameplay honestly just feels like skyrim's magic. Hold down button to charge fireball/aoe, point at enemy. Except in Skyrim you could dual wield magic. And you could summon creatures. And you could cast enchantments on yourself. And you could summon magic weapons and slash and smash enemies if you wanted. And there were more than 3 kinds of spells. And And And. The list goes on. When a game focused soley and entirely on one thing can't even do that thing better than a game that really only includes that thing in an ancilliary manner, you've got a real problem. Skyrim is NOT the best game to experience being a wizard, yet Lichdom has chosen to emulate its combat system more closely than any other game I can think of, puts its entire focus on that one aspect, and frankly only improves on it by a degree of maybe like, what %5? If that? But guess what, skyrim isn't 40 bucks, and it's got an entire everything else going for it.

Lichdom has some things going for it, it looks good and It's got a good working loot system. It's not painful to play or anything, but it isn't great, and above all else, it's not what it promises to be. It doesn't make you feel like you're an almighty wizard any more than sweepng the driveway will make you feel like a bulldozer.

Tldr: lichdom falls short of everything promised. Weak magic, repetitive gameplay, tiny scope. If you want to feel like a real unstoppable wizard, play morrowind and craft fireballs the size of cities. If you want frantic action with an interesting spell casting system and cathartic blow stuff up fun, play magicka and trap your friends in bubbles full of landmines and zombies.
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178 of 197 people (90%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2015
Usually when I write up a game, I start with all the good points and then transition to the bad stuff. I feel like this makes for a more positive reading experience overall, and should make my impression of it whole and clear by the end. I'm not going to do that this time, because the first thing you need to know about Lichdom is that it is too damn long. Now, this is not "the new Shadow Warrior is too damn long" or "the Hobbit trilogy was too damn long" or "presidential primary season is too damn long". This is an entirely new paradigm of too damn long, and you really need to understand this before even considering this game. My first playthrough took 22 hours. That's certainly long for an FPS, and short for some other genres with a little overlap here, but those 22 hours were stretched over eight levels. That's it! Furthermore, those eight levels play more like five, because three of them are continuations of the previous level. There's a lost city level, two ice levels, two desert levels, two swamp levels, and a proper city level. With each of those lasting 2-3 hours, you're going to be wandering through huge stretches of glacier and sand and muck.

But what really makes this game feel like it takes forever is the level design itself. Lichdom is constructed in the vein of an arena shooter, much like Shadow Warrior or Bulletstorm. Hallways lead to conspicuous arenas where you fight whatever spawns in, after which you take another hallway to another arena and so on and so forth. There are no puzzles, no doors, no interactables, almost no alternate paths, and very little reason to explore off the main trail. There are some side fights and usually one or two secret dungeons that can get you valuable piles of spell components, but in terms of gameplay you're just getting harder versions of the fights you're doing normally. So yes, the cardinal sin of this game is that it is 20+ hours of the same damn thing. What you get in the first two hours is what you're going to get times ten, with arguably even less variety as you progress.

Still with me? Good, because if you can get past that admittedly enormous flaw, there's a pretty great game in here. The whole reason to play Lichdom is to make good on the whole BADASS MAGE thing, and the magic system delivers. Instead of guns or swords, you fight solely with magic that you can customize to an impressive degree. Over the course of the game you unlock eight sigils, which are elements like fire and ice but also more curious concepts like corruption and delirium, and you can have three equipped and ready to use at any given time. Each sigil has three spells attached to it for you to use. There's a targeted spell that can be built as a homing missile, a bomb you lob, or a channeled beam. There's an AoE spell that can be an explosion, a pool, or a trap that must be triggered. And there's a nova that has conditions for triggering it depending on your shield (more on shields later). On top of that, you can determine the EFFECT of each spell, either direct damage, a status effect, or a damage multiplier, which also varies in its function by sigil. Fire spells can knock down and burn over time, lightning spells can stun and chain across enemies, delirium spells can mind control and make enemies flee, and so on.

And honestly, that's just the basics. Spells can critically hit for additional effects, or be charged before casting for a guaranteed crit. Charged spells can do a special crits charmingly named "apocalypticals" which give you a bonus effect based on the inflicting sigil. You can craft special synergy spells that use two sigils instead of one and have awesome room-clearing effects like collapsing black holes or summoning exploding zombies or conjuring a hurricane. You also build a shield spell for yourself that represents your hit points and determines additional abilities like teleporting and blocking. Spells are crafted out of Diablo-style loot drops from enemies and chests, color-coded by rarity (white-green-blue-purple-orange-red, of course). These components can be combined up to higher grades, disassembled for specific parts, or gambled away for a chance at rare components. If this sounds overwhelming, there's a Smart Inventory option that will upgrade your spells and combine up your components for you. Honestly though, if you're not in it to ♥♥♥♥♥ out over your spells, you're missing a huge part of the game. You've got a ton of control over your arsenal, and experimentation is incredibly fun with the enormous range of effects and combinations your can produce.

As hard as I slagged the level design, I have to say they are pleasing to progress through. The CryEngine makes for some gorgeous scenery, and a lot of love went into rendering the battlegrounds and cesspools you traverse. The levels themselves can be pretty creative, even if their layout is not. The third level is particularly impressive once you figure out what it is. While there is a lot of detail, it's worth mentioning that there are no destructables or physics objects. This felt particularly disappointing while slinging around devastating spells, even if the spell effects themselves are meaty and satisfying. There's a pretty good variety of enemies as well, or at least there would be for a shorter game. About half are introduced early on and the rest are slowly sprinkled in so there is some variety to the battles, even if you're going to be fighting every possible combination of foe at least twice.

The story is nothing special, classic fantasy revenge story, but the voice acting is pretty great. You get to play as Troy Baker or Jennifer Hale, and whichever one you don't pick becomes your NPC traveling buddy. And let me tell you, they are some clever, snippy jackasses. The other characters mostly talk like Tolkien characters but these two love cursing and quipping at each other and everything in a perfectly charming way. Your mentor figure is Clancy Brown (swarthy Lex Luthor from the Superman cartoons!), and the villains and side characters all turn in quality performances as well. I will say that the plot does something dumb in the swamp levels that cuts into the voice acting fun quite a bit, but by that point you're probably just trying to power through to the end. There are some pretty good and challenging boss battles, and the New Game Plus mode if you manage to beat the game is great for dicking around and tricking out your mage; it's a big series of challenge portals with different randomized fights and scaling difficulty.

So there you go, a writeup almost as long and meandering as the game itself. I've certainly gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it, chiefly because the spellcrafting and combat are excellent and the presentation is fantastic. But even I was getting sick of the game by the ten-hour mark, and that wasn't even halfway. I really pushed myself to finish it, and I'm glad I did, and I still kinda want to play it now and then. It's just important to know what you're getting into, and prepare for a lot of monotony if you want to get to the meat of the game. Pick it up on sale like I did ($5 is a steal for a game of this quality, at least!) and give the first level a try, and if you're cool with that for another 20 hours, enjoy depopulating a faraway kingdom with fire and locusts and zombies and time rifts. Forever.
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637 of 827 people (77%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
23.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2014
Game was a ton more fun in beta. Then they went and changed a ton of minor (but very important mechanics in the game, like how often you get upgrades. Which was decent in beta, now with release its almost never). They also did a major overhall on the ability to dodge enemies (unlimited unless you limited yourself but got other boosts, now it is 3 dodges max, with a long long cooldown). I had 10 hours in the beta and loved the game, just played an hour of official release and I just cant bother. Their whole thing about making mages seem strong was completely destroyed with the official release, and like many games (as a mage) with every encounter I am spending atleast 2/3 of my time running away and less than 1/3 attacking. Which frankly makes me feel against like any old squishy mage, and you might as well just throw in a mana bar that regenerates over time because its comes out to the same thing, if you dont spend most of your time running way you just straight up die before you can cast enough spells to kill anything beyond the weakest of the weak enemies. I seriously cant believe how much they destroyed their main selling point when they went from beta to release.
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124 of 138 people (90%) found this review helpful
53 people found this review funny
137.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2015
This game is exactly what it says on the box. You are a mage. You have great power. You have no responsibility.

I have one huge gripe with this game and it's that nothing is explained, which makes the crafting system a ♥♥♥♥♥.

I had spells with 10 different variables listed on them. After playing through the game thrice I only understand HALF of them.

I'm not even kidding.

Luckily, you don't have to understand the chemistry of flammable materials in order to pull a trigger and the spells work just fine even if you don't know wtf you're even doing.

Just find a combo that gets the job done, and stick with it.

For example, after skimming tutorials on crafting I made a build that allowed me to debuff my enemies, freeze them in place, set them on fire, explode them into bloody chunks, STOP TIME FOR 5 SECONDS, and then kill all their friends.

This pleases me.

On my second playthrough I made a build which involved infecting my enemies with the eggs of stinging insects, waiting for the eggs to 'mature' and then killing the first enemy, which freed the insects to attack the second enemy, which then spawned more insects to attack the next enemy...and so on.

This self-perpetuating insect cascade scoured the board clear of anything that irked me.

And if anything survived I electrocuted it to death.

And don't get me started on the kamikaze ghoul you can summon who breathlessly chuckles at you while he searches for enemies to blow himself up against.

"Huehuehuehue. Huehuehuehueueueuueuueueue!" - Dat Ghoul

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371 of 493 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
44.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
I admire this concept. I was excited by it when I first read the description of Lichdom somewhere on the Internet. World certainly lacked a game where you could really feel like a mage, casting endless spells and wreaking mayhem around yourself.

You even feel wrong while playing it, because until now, in any other game, this kind of gameplay has only been available through cheating. You are basically immortal (in case of "death" you actually just despawn and spawn back at the nearest checkpoint), you have an abyss of magical energy that never exhausts, and you can just keep throwing orbs of fire at your enemy until it dies. Overall, it's all you could only dream of if you ever chose to be a mage in an RPG. Do you remember how you had to sleep in order to restore your mana after killing every_single_enemy in Morrowind? Feels like nightmare now.

Lichdom makes use of the old principle of making magic that you could find in certain games in the past. You need to 'craft' spells by means of combining certain elements: the basic source (like fire), shaper (like projectile) and effect caused (like damage). Shapers and effects have several levels of strength and can be upgraded to improve them. The crafting system is tricky: a lot depends upon your ability to analyze the spell components, understand the way they work, and pick up those that would make the spell the most efficient. Thus, your work on the spells should be scrupulous and meticulous. Certain people fail to understand that, and it's rather funny to see them complaining that enemies are too strong, spells are too weak, and they can't just come through the whole game with one set of spells they created at the very beginning.

Speaking of which, you can have 3 sets of spells at hand, each set consisting of a single-target spell, a multiple-target spell and a protective spell. Personally I could use more creativity and variability in both crafting and management of spells: you can't combine two different kinds of shapers or effects, for example, or have two single-target spells in one set. Still, I think it's fine the way it is.

People criticize Lichdom for making promises about thousands of possible spells that come out to be not entirely true. There's a bit of marketing manipulation in that, indeed; it would have been more technically correct to speak of hundreds than of thousands. The arithmetics is as follows: 3 types of spells - 3 ways to attune them - 7 main types of shaping - 8 basic sources; that's 504 in total. Also, unique and extra-strong synergy spells can exist between the basic sources, adding another 49. The rest of spell variability resides upon random modifications that come up with certain shapers and effects: damage boosts, projectile speed increasers, critical hit chance multipliers etc.

I have also seen a number of reviewers who believed that basic sources ("sigils" by in-game terminology) are all the same and only change the color of projectiles you cast. That's basically a bitter mistake of people who saw the first three sigils and decided that they've seen them all. I feel pity for them, because they will never know that you can hang your opponents in the air and smash them into the ground, summon an army of creatures to assist you, slow the time down, control the minds of your enemies, create black holes that tear them apart, cast meteor showers or whirlwinds of fire and ice etc. Also, each sigil is suited for a certain purpose, so by means of careful and skilled attunement you can create incredibly powerful spells. What do you think of killing the main endgame boss with all his monstrous health in a couple of minutes?

CryEngine obviously is not designed for open-world games, so this game has a strong resemblance to a first-person shooter where you just follow a wide but still limited passageway. I would have preferred a greater freedom of exploration and probably some other things that might make Lichdom more Skyrimey as well; but maybe it's not that bad, because you have enough trouble dealing with all those shapers and augments to care about grabbing loot or running around with a map.

There's also been a lot of criticism for repetitive gameplay. As one person had said, "you just travel from one pack of enemies to another". The trick is that Lichdom is a shooter (as I've just said), and any shooter can be called repetitive. Games of that genre are played for the action and for the process of killing enemies standing in your way. Take Crysis 2 or 3, that are built upon the same engine, as an example. Can't you say that it's travelling from one bunch of CELL soldiers or cephalopods to another? Meh, you can even call Half-Life repetitive: "oh come on, kill some headcrabs - solve a puzzle, kill some zombies - solve a puzzle, repeat ad nauseam".

I won't be saying anything about graphics here, because again, it's CryEngine. You know what I mean.

You can choose whether you'll play with a male or a female, but there are no editing options for the character. That's not a big problem, because the game doesn't have a third-person view, so you won't really get a lot of chances to enjoy their exterior. I enjoy the female character's voice instead; it's quite nice, and it reminds me of Commander Shepard.

I've said about things I liked and things I'm fine with, now I'll say what troubles me.

The game is still slightly buggy. It's not critical, it won't crash, freeze, or make you lose your progress, but there might be minor issues like character starting to move automatically in one direction with no way to stop it except for exiting to game menu and loading the game again, or birds hanging in mid-air after they were supposed to fly away. It's a new release, though, and probably these things will be dealt with in future.

It also seems to me that spells and their effects are not that action-like. It's a common trouble in many games, and it partially exists in Lichdom too. What happens if a fireball impacts an enemy and explodes? Yes, your guess was right: the enemy continues to run at you without even losing a step. This is a fireball, after all; it should knock the enemy off its feet and bump it into the nearby wall. If you decide to use a lightning projectile, be ready that your character will cast a slowly flying orb of electricity instead of a flashing lightning bolt. I'd like to see a swifter and more explosive gameplay. Maybe it's a matter of personal taste, though.

the primary positive feature of Lichdom is its concept to unshackle the mage,
and the primary negative feature of it is that I do not actually feel badass. I feel cool, but not badass.

In general, I like this game, and I support it. To me, its virtues outweigh its drawbacks. If you like the idea behind it as much as I do, if you ever dreamed of limitless magical power, then don't hesitate and get it - it won't disappoint you.
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