Magicka 2 Review

I’ll openly confess, I’m a Magicka virgin. Having not played the first game I was blind to what the second game would hold for me. As I loaded up the game for the first time I was curious to how this would play out. Clearly it’s a game about magic, but so many other games have covered this subject. How will this one be any different.

Oh it is different. Brilliantly different!

You step into the shoes of a wizard who has turned up after years of a civil war between all wizards (did you sleep through it all?!). A charming fellow by the name Vlad (He’s not a vampire, promise) informs you that you must save the prophecy child from a horde of evil orcs and goblins! Simple story, simple goal, but not a simple game.

Where Magicka stands out from any other game I’ve played is the way you use magic. You have eight base spells each of which have their counterpart. Life, death, fire, water, etc. You have your different types of casting; on yourself, on your sword, directional, and local area. All pretty simple so far. What you do then is select which spells you want to cast using five custom slots. You can place any spell in any order. Some cancel each other out (earth and lightning), other combine (fire+water=steam). These custom slots plus the way you cast gives you an insane amount of combinations to use and experiment with. I spent a good portion of time in the same spot just trying things out to see what would happen. Healing bolder to the head was a favorite.

The style is very typical, top down side scroller game which isn’t afraid to throw a shit load of enemies at you. Some instances had me struggling to battle them off but after time you realize how to put the spells to best use. Learning to cast a charge on your sword, then a shield on yourself and then a spell primed is my personal favorite way to charge into battle. Little details bring character and life to the game. Kill a crab with steam and you cook it! Turning it from a mild orange to a vibrant, well done red.

But there is another option to battle the masses of orcs and goblins. Reinforcements.

Magicka 2 is a 4 player co-op which ensures some hilarious and manic fun. Trying to cast your spells without incinerating your friends (yep, friendly fire is on), then rushing to revive them whilst apologizing for the miss aim. Sometimes the limited screen space does mean that you disappear off the edge and die, without really knowing what happened. With the huge volume of enemies that can appear at once, this can be a regular occurrence.

Although it is a great solo game to play through, Magicka 2 really comes alive with four of you sitting together embracing the carnage that unfolds in front of you and with fewer local co-op games around, this will be one to keep coming back to.

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