Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Paul Dean)

I have accidentally killed Peter Cornelius. I have accidentally killed him several times and this has included (but is not limited to) the time that I launched a rock at his head, the time that I electrocuted him and the time that I pushed him off a cliff. On each and every occasion it was an accident and I don’t think I was entirely in control of either my actions or my powers. I am sorry, Peter Cornelius, associate producer on Magicka 2.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

According to Paradox Producer Peter Cornelius, all Magicka fans want is more Magicka. Magicka 2 is certainly that, and I enjoyed the first game as well, but from the little I've played of it at a recent demo, it also has the same problems. Mainly, that its complicated controls lag behind its amazingly creative spellcasting system.

Magicka 2 doesn't do a whole lot to change the formula at all, though in Pieces Interactive's defense, it's a brilliant formula. It's a top-down shooter where you play as a wizard who can cast a staggering number of different spells by combining a handful of basic elements. Take Fire and Earth, cast it as a projectile, and you get a fireball. Take Ice and Arcane, and you get a freeze beam. Pick Fire instead of Heal by mistake and cast it on yourself and your three wizard friends, and you've committed a murder-suicide.

Such mistakes are common, even expected in Magicka. Friendly fire is always on, and while enemies get bigger and harder as you progress, the real challenge is always in improvising the right spells for the right situation without launching ice missiles at yourself in the process.

Ignoring the sheer amount of brain processing power this requires, the button inputs alone are confusing. 

My proudest moment during the demo (which barely redeemed me from numerous times I killed my partners), was after the rest of my team had died while exploring a large, damp cave. I was being chased by more goblins I could handle across a narrow bridge, and as I ran, I rained meteors on myself. As I stepped out of the area of effect, the enemies chasing me stepped into their deaths.

Cornelius said he's never seen that move before. He said there's a lot of combinations and strategies that won't emerge until the game is out in the wild, which is part of what makes it so much fun. There are near endless possibilities open to you from the moment the game starts, and it's just a matter of discovering and mastering them.

Central casting

It's not easy. Demos often make me feel like I suck at games—it's just a result of playing something I've never played before in front of an audience, but I don't think I've ever embarrassed myself by looking down at the controller to make sure I'm pressing the right buttons. Magicka 2 was so confusing at first, everyone who was playing was looking down, bewildered.

It will doubtless get easier with more time, but I'm disappointed Pieces Interactive has seemingly done nothing to teach, encourage, and in general make the whole learning process easier. I didn't play the first level, so I don't yet know how the game introduces itself to new players, but even if it took the time to walk me through a few example spells and what they're good for, casting accurately and consistently is still difficult.

Each spell can take five out of eight elements in different combinations, and be cast on yourself or others in different methods. Even ignoring the sheer amount of brain processing power this requires, the button inputs alone are confusing.

In the first Magicka, different elements were mapped to different directions of the right joystick, unless you were playing with a mouse and keyboard, in which case every element was mapped to a different key. In Magicka 2, the elements are mapped to the face buttons, with two elements for each button that you can alternate between by pressing a shoulder button.

At best, this is a slight improvement which ignores the real issue. It's something that modern character action games have figured out in recent years. Pressing the buttons in the right order is not as interesting as choosing the right move at the right time. In the first Magicka, you could learn a special spell, and look at the combination of elements you needed to choose in order to execute it. It's silly and tedious to bother dialing in these elements every single time for every single spell.

What I wanted to see in Magicka 2 but haven't yet is some kind of method to not only look at special spell recipes, but save them, map them to different buttons or keys, and cast them without having to press five or seven buttons. That would allow me to focus on the the twin-stick shooting, and, more importantly, the creative aspect of crafting spells without frantically pressing buttons and making mistakes.

Without some kind of spell casting refinement, Magicka 2 is just more, slightly prettier Magicka. Maybe it's what fans what, but to me it's not enough of an evolution.

Community Announcements - [Pdx] Escher
Daily Deals Join with New Paradox Game Bundles for Savings on Fan Favorites

STOCKHOLM – October 2, 2014 — It’s Steam Sale Weekend for Paradox, which means that some of our biggest hits will be sold for new low prices! Starting today and lasting through Sunday, October 5, 2014, a different game from Paradox will be available each day at steep discounts through Valve’s Steam platform.

We’re starting the daily deals by offering Crusader Kings II for 75% off. Crusader Kings II recently hit the “one-million sold” landmark, so feel free to help us make it to the next million – even if you have to buy it for a friend.

Not convinced? What if we let you play Crusader Kings II for FREE for the duration of the sale? Yes, a free-to-play weekend could be just the thing for you to explore the nooks and niches of medieval wheeling and dealing.

In addition, to celebrate this great Steam event, Paradox has wrapped several of its games into new themed bundles. Every genre, from strategy to action, from horror to humor, can be purchased at a savings, making Paradox’s celebrated catalog available to entry-level emperors and wizened warmongers alike.

Paradox Grand Strategy Collection, a set of signature hits from Paradox Development Studio, with the depth, challenge, and freedom the company is known for. The set includes:
o Hearts of Iron III
o Crusader Kings II
o Europa Universalis IV
o Victoria II

Paradox Indie Bundle, a collected package of unique and unforgettable games that Paradox has published:
o Magicka
o Teleglitch: Die More Edition
o Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition
o Dungeonland
o The Showdown Effect

Paradox Platinum Pack, a collection for the player who wants the quintessential Paradox experience – from the unparalleled depth ruling a nation to the chaotic life of a friendly-fire spell-slinger, and everything in between. The set contains:
o Crusader Kings II
o Cities in Motion 2
o Europa Universalis IV
o Warlock II: The Exiled
o Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition
o Magicka

The Crusader Kings II Collection, the definitive catalog of medieval strategy and intrigue, including every piece of downloadable content released until May 2014.

The Europa Universalis IV Collection, providing more options than ever to build and maintain a thriving empire, including every piece of downloadable content released until July 2014.

Eager strategists can pick up Crusader Kings II, the first daily deal of the weekend, on Steam here:

A different game from the Paradox catalog will be on sale each day this weekend. To see the new sales, check the Steam storefront every day:
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Graham Smith)

I appreciate anything that carves out a space for itself to be daft, and Magicka has long been entertaining with its silly wizards, clumsy co-op violence and self-deprecating trailers. This latest video for Magicka 2 is by far the oddest yet. Come for the new footage of wizards slaying magical beasts with beam-weapons, stay> for the retro karaoke-video-style.

… [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - [Pdx] Escher
For those of you feeling musical you can sing along to our new trailer!

For those that are both musical AND competitive then you should enter our competition! There WILL be Magicka 2 related goodies to win!

You can also see our new website at, for details on the competition see here: (yes the website is supposed to look like that!)
Community Announcements - [Pdx] Escher
We'll kick off our stream in just over 1 hours time (15:15CEST). Come and join us and get one of the first looks at live Magicka 2 gameplay!
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

Wizard Wars has been scratching my mischief and magic itch for the past few months, but that doesn’t diminish my delight at the prospect of a full-blown Magicka sequel. Coming to PS4 as well as PC, the game will contain four player co-op, a story-based campaign and ‘relationship-testing friendly fire’. Paradox apparently have each of their studios working on a PS4 game (presumably for PC as well), which might well mean the debut of one of their grand strategy titles on a console. Stranger things have happened. Like that time a wizard accidentally exploded your cat.

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Magicka!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - [Pdx] Escher
Magicka: Wizard Wars to Begin Open Beta on May 27

STOCKHOLM — May 9, 2014 — Paradox Interactive and Paradox North today announced that Magicka: Wizard Wars, the online competitive multiplayer game of misdirected magic, is going to begin an Open Beta phase on May 27. Currently available via Steam Early Access, Magicka: Wizard Wars will be playable for free by those who demonstrate a lack of self-preservation instinct when the title enters its Open Beta phase. Robe enthusiasts everywhere still have the chance to experience the friendly-firing frenzy of Magicka: Wizard Wars as it draws nearer to launch and test whether their friendships can withstand repeated spellcasting “incidents” by purchasing the title on Early Access and, in the process, nabbing exclusive goodies.

Eager spellcasters can get into Magicka: Wizard Wars straightaway here:

In Magicka: Wizard Wars, two teams of four wizards each can go head-to-head in intense player-versus-player (PvP) action, utilizing the celebrated spellcasting system of Magicka, combining elements to generate spellbinding results. Players can also hone their skills against one another in the one-on-one duel mode, utilizing all of their tricks in order to be the last robe standing. With short battles, skill-based spellcasting, and plenty of humor, Magicka: Wizard Wars presents a new way to experience the chaos of Magicka with friends and foes alike.

For more information, visit
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Adam Smith)

Pride comes before a fall. Worse, actually. In this game, pride comes before a meteor shower to the face, an icy blast to the particulars and a death ray to the heart. Magicka: Wizard Wars continues to entertain me on a daily basis but it has been cruel to me these past weeks and I can’t help but feel that I brought some of the suffering on myself. The tale I have to tell is one of ice and fire, and of cruelty and claws. It is a tale of cat and mouse.>

… [visit site to read more]


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