Author Topic: Lichdom Battlemage – August 2014 [Score: 6.8]  (Read 44 times)

Offline bobdog

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Lichdom Battlemage – August 2014 [Score: 6.8]
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:48:17 AM »
Built in CryEngine3, Lichdom Battlemage is definitely a gorgeous first-person game. But all the eye-candy in the world cannot cover up extremely shallow gameplay.

Here’s how the game plays: enter a long winding culvert, with canyons on both sides, and an occasional slight turn-off spur to which you’ll have to return. Cross an unseen line and face groups of foes peppering you up close and from afar. Kill them, gather power-ups that they were hiding, and move further down the canyon.

Even though that “canyon” is extremely detailed, you’d get the same experience from just going down an actual in-game canyon. Yes, there may be tables with books over on one wall, but you can’t interact with them – they’re essentially props inside the canyon.

The story starts strong but ultimately fizzles out. The whole reason for your journey is to try and find your sister, who was taken by an evil mage. An opposing party has gifted you with magic gauntlets and asked you to do their bidding to take out the evil mage and find your sister again. This all seems great, but then you get stuck in exposition hell for the rest of the game. If you’re not unlocking previous memories from your benefactor and his former employees, then you’re getting an info dump every few minutes from a pretty worthless spy who can magically turn into a crow. You never directly see anything happening that affects your goal.

The best part of the game luckily is the magic that you wield in battles, starting with flame magic and then moving on to ice magic. Eventually, you get to slowly add additional magic types such as necromancy, lightning, decay, and others. The more you use a specific magic type, the stronger you get in it. Along the way, from destroying magical artifacts to collecting orbs, you’ll get additional “slots” that you can use to upgrade your existing spell. It was overly complex, but after you collect so many lower-tier upgrades, you can combine them to form more powerful rare and legendary upgrades.

Attacks include lobs/missiles/rays aimed at individuals, area attacks hitting multiple foes, and a shield/bracer that if timed correctly when a foe is hitting you, you can cause a supernova in return. If you hold your attack for a couple of seconds longer, it manifests at a higher damage value.

You really do need to concentrate on 3 main magic types and then upgrade those throughout the game. I mainly stuck with Fire, Ice and Necromancy. I would hit foes with Necromancy at the start; if I had already “retained” up to three dead allies (consisting of warrior, crossbowman or mage), those would show up and start helping me out – if not, whomever I killed might then arise as my next ally. After that, I would pump some Ice area attacks on far-off foes, and then if they got close, I’d freeze them with a direct missile or ray. Once frozen, I’d hit them with Necromancy to bring them back on my side, re-freeze them, and then hit with a Flame super-missile for maximum damage. If they’re still alive, refreeze and reburn – ad infinitum.

I admit that I was on the verge of quitting multiple times due to the game’s monotonous gameplay, but I did stick it out and finish. It was pretty awesome to freeze foes and watch them shatter to bits upon being hit. But the whole affair was really challenging to motivate myself to continue. Pretty but boring, in other words. 6.8 out of 10