A few years ago, most gamers scoffed at the emergence of VR peripherals across almost every device, writing the whole thing off as a fad. The stigma stuck, at least for a little while, and considering affordable VR as anything more than a novelty took some time. Fortunately, thanks to some determined studios VR survived, and for the most part the naysayers moved on. Even though we’re still to get a full length, solid adventure, we’ve had some fantastic games that have proven incredible fun, despite ending too soon. The Wizards is more of the latter; over too quickly, but fantastic while it’s around.
The Wizards campaign is your usual run of the mill monsters VS magic malarkey; various villages throughout time are under siege from armies of orcs and trolls and you’re the only one able to stop the chaos. Despite its generic premise, the game remains light-hearted and doesn’t take itself too seriously; something which absolutely works in its favour. The lighter tone allows the games narrator to keep the game fun and humorous, and the writing is all-round solid.
Enemies are dispatched using various Spells that you unlock and upgrade as you go. Basic spells are easy to cast, initiated with a simple twist of the wrist and a flick of the motion controls to send fireballs towards your targets. More elaborate spells like the ice bow take more skill and practice to successfully pull off. Eventually you get the hang of it, although it takes a steady hand, but once you do, activating spells is a fluid experience, and its great fun to mow down hordes of goblins.
But while casting makes you feel powerful, this is only true when you can land your hits. The PSVR isn’t without its issues, and tracking is hit and miss. Fortunately, it works for the most part, but it’s very frustrating to lose when the game starts struggling to pick you up. It’s an issue you experience more with the bow and arrow, which get very glitchy when under too much strain. There is however a great option to improve aiming, and while it doesn’t turn the game into an auto-aimer, it’s fantastic help if you’re struggling to hit your targets. It isn’t all fighting enemies, there’s a few small puzzles to complete and plenty of exploring. Many of the environments are destructible too, so once you’ve taken out a bunch of evil trolls you can feel free to practice your spell casting on the castle grounds and villages you find yourself exploring.
As someone who doesn’t cope well in fast-moving VR games, The Wizards successfully caters to all crowds, packing plenty of options to keep even the most motion sick players happy. The teleport function is great, and unlike many other games that incorporate this method, it doesn’t feel unnatural or distract from the rest of the game. If however you don’t have any issues, the games 360 settings handle wonderfully, making this the preferrable method for those that don’t want to barf when they don their VR headset.
Surprisingly, the game isn’t too shabby to look at. It still looks about ten years old, which is a problem most VR games have, but environments are quite pretty for a VR title, especially the icy mountain backdrops and the castle grounds you explore. The variation between locations is great too, so whether you’re in dark dungeons or abandoned villages it always feels fresh. Bad guys however are a little blocky, but it’s not something that distracts too much when the game remains such a fast-paced experience. Even if they aren’t the prettiest, the creature design is well established, with plenty of variation between the monsters.
Despite being a relatively short campaign (you can see it through within two hours) it’s rounded out with an arena mode. It’s a basic game of defence as you hold back the hordes, but it’s fun if you want a quick dive into the game’s immersive universe. Finding tarot cards let you alter the game too, like making enemies stronger to up the challenge. There’s also plenty of collectables to search for, so there’s plenty of reason to go through the campaign again.
Sharp writing, fun gameplay and solid controls make The Wizards a great VR title. It might not be long enough to make it a must buy, but if you’re in the market for some spell casting fun, then it’s up there with the best on the VR market.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wizards – Enhanced Edition Review
User Review( votes)
The Wizards continues the PSVR’s tradition of playing host to fun, immersive experiences in short, compact packages.