"WILL YOU CHALLENGE THE ZIGGURAT ?"
The twisted son of Hexen and Binding of Isaac.
But let me explain your adventure apprentice...
Your are a wizard and you must find a way through the Ziggurat, an old pyramid filled with creatures and vanquish the guardian that waits at its top. This is the only way out, if you succeed, your masters will give you access to unlimited powers but if you fail... your bones will join the pile of those who tried before you.
Ziggurat is a "rogue-lite" first person shooter mixed with rpg elements. You can choose different wizards with their own skills. From the Apprentice, the well balanced to the Alchemist expert of explosions or the Vampire with more health but cursed by his origins... You can find the one that suits your tastes.
Ziggurat fights acts around weapons, shown as wands (the basic one cost no mana), scepters (in general fast and versatile), spell books (more specific but powerful), or alchemical devices (in general can be compared to explosives with bigger area of effect).
Your ammo are different colors of mana that you can loot in containers or on dead enemies. Green for scepters, blue for spell books, and orange for alchemy.
In fact you will find everything that made the glory of old shooters such as Quake, Doom or Hexen.
The only difficult thing is that not every weapon is easy to use or effective. Add to that the fact that many wizard have preferred mana, quite often you will have to be lucky to find the appropriate weapon.
The learning curve is slow and difficult, be prepared to face many failure in front of your enemies.
By talking about enemies, they are powerful, numerous, and ... they look like pokemons!
Frankly, it's the only game i've played where even if you rant quite often, you find monsters funny and cute.
Like the carrots that runs toward you like berserkers, the living group of mushrooms, or the slimes who seems to smile at out ...
Movements and perfect use of your weapons are necessary to beat them. Ziggurat is a hardcore game where fights are tight and requires skill. Every monster have spells that can reach you in many ways, so in general if you meet a new monster, you will have to get how to dodge his attacks and be able to land your hits without wasting your ammo/mana.
In fact this is the most difficult aspect of the game. Because dodging is already hard but keeping mana pools enough filled to fight all the way is another story.
To help you in your adventures you will be able to collect experience crystals on enemies and gain levels. Each level gives you more health and let you choose between 2 cards. Each can give you new skills to help you in your fights.
You can even choose between 3 cards instead of 2. Cards gives you more mana, more health or special skills such as telekinesis to get exp crystal from afar or reduce cost when you use a weapon. There are tons of cards to find and it's a real pleasure to discover new ones.
Each characters has a "deck” of skills that you can upgrade with the new cards you find.
It's automatic, but even if you die every runs into the Ziggurat makes you stronger, you can get new heroes as well depending of what you've done into the Ziggurat (you have to find the way to unlock them).
Add to that talismans, they give beneficial effects such as protections, manas or health.
You can find them in special rooms where you have to move across traps to reach a treasure.
Some characters can even start with a talisman or cards can give you the choice to get a talisman or change the one you already have.
This won't be too much to face the bosses of Ziggurat... in fact they remind me those of Painkiller.
With less health, you still have to run, jump, shoot like a devil. They have few attacks but in general they can spawn enemies around them. If you consider that nearly all of the bosses have attacks with area of effects... you can already guess that bosses fights are really hard. 3 different bosses per levels.
To finish all level are random generated, you can (you need to !) find secret rooms to get cards and know some funny facts about Milky stone, or you can use God altars to bet health, mana or nothing to get bonuses or afflictions.
Ziggurat is an excellent game. A perfect example of a rogue-lite shooter, the kind of game for real gamer. Beautiful, deep, hard as hell and with weird monsters. It will keep you busy for a while.
The only bad aspect is maybe the lack of accuracy during jumps or some rooms wich are horribly difficult to manage during tight fights. Like some rooms with stairs everywhere or when you run and get stuck in door frames!
Or some wizard who are just "cooler" than the others, such as the Novice. She is the best, in my humble point of view.
So "WILL YOU CHALLENGE THE ZIGGURAT ?"
N.B: The replay value is very high, dozen of hours to master every weapons, characters, monsters bosses. Maybe one of the most interresting shooters on steam in 2015.