Published on March 9th, 2018 | by Chris O'Connor
The Wizards PC Game Review HTC Vive
Summary: Making the most of the controllers and putting magic in your hands, it's hard not to feel very mystical with The Wizards.
When thinking about VR it’s very easy to get caught up in the visual side of things. Obviously the whole 3D nature of it and the ability to look around your environment freely is an amazing thing, but what sometimes gets forgotten is the new control technique. Though keyboards or joysticks/gamepads can be used… the preference is typically going to be the hand held VR controllers and using those in a way that helps immerse the player even more into the virtual world can be a challenge. The Wizards grabs those controllers whole heartedly and doesn’t just embrace them as a new way to navigate the world but make them an essential part of the playing style.
Gesture control is not a new thing… it’s been done in games before and even magic games have worked around the notion of hand gestures for casting (Arx Fatalis comes to mind). But while previous gesture control games were generally trying to make the mouse work as an extension of the hand… The Wizards is able to take it to the next level thanks to VR. The game eases you into this new experience and gently teaches you a few of the basics… one of those basics is creating a fireball with a flick of your wrist and it instantly makes you feel powerful. Who hasn’t wanted to do a quick flick of their wrist and summon a fireball that they can then lob at a target before them? You are given a few easy opponents (almost like the magical equivalent of the holodeck for training). Then you have a few other options for practicing your craft before you set out into the big world.
Your staging ground or head quarters is basically a wizards workshop (your mentor’s). You can look around, upgrade your abilities, select what area of the world you want to fight off the hordes from and generally catch your breath between battles. Once you feel ready you look to the world map and place your level’s piece in it’s slot and you are transported to the battlefield. You get to gather your bearings before heading further into the landscape. It won’t be too long before you learn just how handy it was to learn a defensive spell to block enemy attacks as hordes of goblins or trolls or other beasts lunge towards you.
On top of all that there are also fate cards that enable you to adjust the challenge of the worlds making it harder or easier as per your choice. There are online scoreboards as well so you can see how you are faring against your fellow spell casters. Each level has it’s own challenges and you can revisit them from your staging ground… simply look at the map and select the level you want and place it’s piece in the slot and off you go. It’s very handy to be able to just jump to your favourite level or try and beat that young upstart who just beat your top score.
For making excellent use of the VR controllers The Wizards is fantastic for any magic fan, adding free movement also puts it in the esteemed group of games giving gamers the choice (if free movement isn’t for you, you can still use teleport and in some cases a mix of both will likely work best). There’s a lot of fun to be had here and it’s very satisfying to fling a fireball from your hands at a statue standing tall and watch it tumble forward and crash on the ground.