Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Genre: Action RPG
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Online Play: 4 Versus
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Also on: X360
T for Teen: Blood and Gore, Language, Violence
Magicka is an action-adventure video game based on Norse mythology and developed by independent developer Arrowhead Game Studios. It was released via Steam for Microsoft Windows on January 25, 2011. A free demo was also made available for download. The game was developed by eight students at LuleƄ University of Technology in SkellefteƄ, Sweden and sold over 200,000 copies in its first 17 days on sale.
In Magicka, (up to) four mages of a sacred order travel to fight against an evil sorcerer and his creations. The game world is based loosely on Norse mythology, drawing inspiration from other fantasy games like Warhammer and Diablo, but also makes use of comedy, references and often breaks the fourth wall - overall the setting is not especially serious and the plot not an integral part of the game. The game also takes liberties when it comes to the classic fantasy setting, at one point supplying the players with an M60 machine gun (in the original campaign not Magicka: Vietnam), which the game itself notes to be "far too advanced to be part of a fantasy game". Many game trailers began with "in a stereotypical fantasy world" as a self referencing joke. In expansions the game also explores a Vietnam War setting as well as the lovecraftian Cthulu universe.

Magicka is an action-adventure game played in a 3D environment from an isometric viewpoint. A single player or up to four simultaneous cooperative players take on the roles of wizards tasked with stopping an evil sorcerer that has thrown the world into a state of turmoil. The main adventure campaign consists of 13 levels.In contrast to role-playing game mechanics that traditionally dominate among magic and wizardry-based video games, Magicka has no character class structure. Similarly there is no "mana bar," or energy meter that limits the use of special abilities, as magic spells can be cast without limit and do not require the consumption of any finite resource. The game is also exceptionally scant in its utilization of powerup items, as one of the developers' goals was to shift focus away from the acquisition of material goods, or "loot," as player motivation.

Spells and Elements-
The game contains ten different elements (eight base elements and two that result from element combinations), up to five of which can be used simultaneously, in nearly endless combinations, to cast a spell. Each element comes with specific effects. Additionally, certain pairs of elements automatically combine into a single new element, occupying one slot, when both are chosen for a spell.

When casting a spell composed of multiple elements, there is a set hierarchy which determines the type of the spell cast. Shields take precedence over projectiles, which take precedence over beams, which take precedence over sprays/arcs. For example a spell consisting of fire would be a spray of flame. A spell of fire and earth would be a fireball projectile. A spell of fire and arcane would create a flaming beam. A spell of fire, arcane and earth would create a flaming, arcane rock projectile. A spell of fire, arcane, earth, and shield would result in a flaming arcane rock barrier. The order in which the component elements of a spell are summoned has no effect on the type or power of the spell, and does not matter, except when attempting to cast a "Magick" as opposed to a regular spell.
Each spell can be cast in four different ways: as a ranged projectile or beam, as an area effect weapon, as an enhancement in wielding the player's secondary weapon (ie. sword), or on the players' own bodies. All elements tend to cause damage, except Life, which heals (this is reversed for Undead enemies where Arcane heals them and Life damages them), and Shield, which creates barriers. This can also effect what spell is cast, for instance casting Shield + Arcane as an area of effect will create a circle of arcane mines around you, however; casting it on yourself will instead cause you to have an Arcane immunity aura making you invulnerable to spells with an Arcane element.
To cast a spell, the player first sequentially presses the associated buttons for the desired elements (for example: q, w, e, r, a, s, d, and f, respectively, when playing using a qwerty PC keyboard) in order to "gather" them, which show up as icons on the screen as they are pressed. The player then casts the spell with Right Click (cast forwards), Shift+Left Click (imbue weapon), Shift+Right Click (area of effect) or Middle Mouse Button (cast on self).
Certain combinations, particularly those including earth or ice, require a charge-up period. Certain combinations also result in no spell at all, as one can be said to cancel the other out: for example, Lightning and Earth cast together don't produce any effect, since Earth grounds Lightning. A physics system is included in the game, and certain spells and explosions will send enemies and wizards flying across the screen.
Elements also interact with each other: If the player is wet, trying to use Lightning magic will hurt the player and abort the spell, while using lightning based spells on wet enemies causes extra damage. Using Fire on oneself when wet makes you dry, but using fire on oneself while dry sets your robes ablaze. Using Cold on a character while wet freezes them in an ice block, while using Cold on a dry character chills them and slows them down and using Cold on water or lava in the environment will freeze it and Fire will do the opposite.

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