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Platform PC
Coop Players 4
Developer Arrowhead Game Studios
Publisher Paradox Interactive
Engine Microsoft XNA
Release Jan 25, 2011
Genres Action, Shoot 'em Up, Adventure


Grit 3.0
Synergy 0.5
Implementation 7.0
Longevity 5.0
Depth 8.5
Fun 8.0
Overall 5.89


campaignCooperative Campaign
onlineOnline Multiplayer

On Steam

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Launch Steam


Never has accidentally team killing been such an imperative part of gameplay as it is when playing Magicka. It's inevitable. Often will you fire a lightning strike that manages to miss every enemy only to fry your ally, or be caught in the path of a boulder launched by a friend. But none of this detracts from the experience Magicka has to bring. If anything, it seems to add to the charm of the title.

Magicka is in no way an RPG, in fact, it tends to poke fun at the common tropes of quest givers and loot. Nor is it a hack-n-slash, in the vein of Diablo. Rather, it fills its own little action adventure niche. Gameplay is based around combining elements to create spells, such as combining fire and water to create a blast of steam, or arcane and shield to create a minefield. Using these spells, you fight your way through linear pathways infested with typical fantasy-esque creatures such as goblins, dwarves, and golems. The ability to combine five of the nine elements at a time, in addition to the unique spells found in books scattered throughout the game, give you flexibility and keep the gameplay from becoming stale and repetitive. Through our playthrough, we each relied on a few favorite spells, and agreed that none of these could be a dominant strategy. The enemies are varied and interesting, though none are as lethal as the people you will be playing with, and often require a good degree of strategy to overcome. Environments, on the other hand, tend to be bland and predictable, save for a select few locations.

On the cooperative side, Magicka is a low stress affair. Even as you are massacring your teammates for the umpteenth time, resurrection is an easy matter, and there is no penalty for one player falling. Save for one challenge, few of the enemies came close to presenting any threat of defeat, and many of the bosses (including the final one) where brought down before they even began to attack. The sheer amount of effects filling the screen as you and your teammates bombard the field with the variety of spells will keep you from getting bored, and the games quirky sense of humor keeps you invested in its progression. Though the level design at times leaves something to be desired, in particular a certain segment with floating platforms. The top down view did not lend itself well to the platforming, and discerning which platform you where standing on was often difficult. The myriad of DLC's and modes to play through will give you plenty to come back for, and the campaign itself was lengthy enough to feel satisfying without becoming repetitive. If you're looking for a serious affair, or a game that requires you to coordinate well as a team, look somewhere else. However, Magicka is a quirky, fun game that will last you as long as you need it to.

Posted by Tyger on Jun 18, 2013.