Never before has a game made the mage feel so powerful when compared to Lichdom: Battlemage. There are other good games out there like Magicka, but this experience feels different and better. Maybe it’s something about the first person perspective, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve gone back and forth on this game as to why it’s so good and where the difficulty actually lies in it. I’ll try to elaborate for you guys.
The difficulty is hard to pin down. It’s not that it’s terribly difficult, but it can be if you end up making the game harder on yourself. This all revolves around your spells of choice. You’ll have more choices then you’ll need when it comes to classes of magic here. By all means, pick anything you’d like. The early game is easy and lets you get a feel for how it all handles. Then, sometime later in the game there is a bit of a difficulty barrier.
That point is when you will you’ll need stronger or more well crafted spells. There’s a basic crafting tutorial in-game, but most information can be found outside of the game proper. While this works with most games, this time it doesn’t jive well with me. There are some really cool combinations you can create when crafting and there are some really crappy ones. You can be busy exploring your options and end up screwing yourself over by having spells that will only add up and/or store damage and not have one that deals the direct damage to unleash all that you’ve setup. (I know it takes a special kind of someone, but I am speaking from experience here.) There is a lot of combinations to work with. You seriously need to pay attention when the in-game tutorials pop-up or do some extracurricular reading to get those awesome spells to work out for you. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a guide on making specific spell combinations to be really freaking awesome… I’d like one… a lot. I’m not 100% on how it would work, but something like: find these components and put them together like thus to make X spell. That or a guide on how to get my freaking Undead Hulk from Necromancy and Delirium.
On the other hand, you could pick up Necromancy and call it good. It’s definitely not as shiny as well… any other spell class, but it does make things worlds easier. When you kill something with a Necromancy mark on it, that will summon an undead minion to your side and it will fight for you. This is too freaking useful to pass up for first-timers who may like a challenge, but don’t want to get too frustrated. It’s not a cake-walk, but it’s a lot nicer if you’ve got the patience to back it up. I’ve beaten a few of the challenge levels/instances (marked by these artifacts that look like ancient green laser pointers) on my first try with Necromancy where it would have taken me maybe four to five tries with other spell combinations up to not being able to finish them at all.
Since I’ve found my groove with Necromancy, the difficulty isn’t much of a gripe. My main gripe with Lichdom is in how the game “feels”. I really enjoy it in a general sense: the spells, the power and the story that makes you want to punch that weasel of a villain in his mustache. Also, I like the first person perspective too! It’s just that the game is so linear. I’m usually the guy that loves a good ‘ol linear game too. The story drives the game well and there’s enough to explore and find on your way so that’s not really the issue. I think it’s the fact that you’re playing a mage… and that’s usually in RPGs… and lately those have been more open. This doesn’t reduce the fun had at all, but there is a tiny lingering thought in the back of my head most of the time wanting to not be constrained to a path that only really arches if there is a side-challenge to be had. The guys at Xaviant are trying to establish an I.P. so they are just laying the groundwork here.
I really hope Lichdom has done well because I cannot wait to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves the next time they put out a game. This was a great concept for a game and with this much work done already on the systems and lore, can you imagine what the next game would be like? I hope they don’t make the main focus as a versus multiplayer experience, but I would love a two player (at least) coop experience. It’d be sweet to be setting up and making things explode with a friend! I’m reaching out to see if they have any plans for a sequel.
EDIT: Xaviant got back to me and Lichdom did well enough to warrant a sequel! There is no comment on how soon we’ll see it, but the fact that it is in the works is awesome. Great job guys!