If you’ve been wanting to feel like a wizard in Virtual Reality then 2019 has gotten off to a pretty great start. Last month I got the opportunity to review The Mage’s Tale on PlayStation VR which turned out really well. Now this month we have yet another great spell-casting adventure in The Wizards: Enhanced Edition from the folks over at Carbon Studios.
The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is an action-adventure game split into two different modes both of which offer plenty of content. One key thing to mention right away is that the game does require two PlayStation Move controllers to play so make sure you have a pair handy. You can start with either the single-player campaign or the alternate Arena mode. I started with the campaign naturally and I recommend you do the same so that you get comfortable with the gameplay and mechanics before jumping into the Arena. The campaign had me playing through mostly linear levels while killing enemies with my magical abilities and boy does it feel good to do just that. Movement in the game feels fine with both full locomotion and teleportation options. If you’ve played similar games on PlayStation VR in the past you’ll know what to expect. I still wish that Sony would come out with a new controller though with an analog stick on it though as you can’t help but feel like the game could be so much better with one.
Casting your spells in this game is so much fun as you make certain gestures to create them. Conjuring fireballs was super easy as all you have to do is make some simple gestures and then point and throw it. Conjuring up a shield to block enemy attacks made me feel like Doctor Strange from Marvel. Then there are other abilities like lightning that you can blast from both hands, crystal shards, and a fire bomb like move. I do wish there was more spells in the game but the few they give you did stay fun throughout my playthrough. I also had a few issues with the game failing to register I was making a certain motion with the controller. It was nothing that another repeat of the same motion couldn’t fix but it was still a bit annoying that the tracking seems off a little bit. That is probably more down to the Move controllers themselves than the game but it is what it is.
It’s worth looking around in the levels as there are power-ups you can find during the game that make your spells more powerful as well as health upgrades.Then there are these cards you can find that basically act as modifiers to change things up on repeated playthroughs. They can make the difficulty harder which in turn lets you score higher amounts of points. They do a good job of encouraging you to replay. There are also online leaderboards for every level in the game letting you see how your magical skills stack up to the rest of the wizards out there.
Enemy variety is good with you doing battles against orcs, ghosts, goblins and the like. Then there are boss battles as well that were quite thrilling. All that said I do wish the campaign was a bit more varied. It really feels like just go from point to point while killing all that stand in your way. Maybe give me more uses for my powers and let me solve some creative puzzles which there are a few of but not enough in my opinion.
When you get done with the campaign you can jump into the Arena. Here you pick from 1 of 3 different locations each of which has their own objective. One is more of a pure horde mode where you just fight wave after wave of enemies as long as you can while another has you trying to prevent enemies from making it to a town. Sure it doesn’t add a lot but it’s great for just jumping in and getting to use your magical powers without being interrupted by any of the navigation in the single-player.
Now this is the Enhanced edition so improvements have been made to the game that originally launched on other VR devices last year. For instance, there is an entirely new level in the campaign that adds another hour or two to your run, new story cutscenes, and level checkpoints to prevent you from starting the whole thing over when you die. All of these are welcome additions even if PlayStation VR owners won’t know how the game was without them.
Graphically The Wizards looks great which I played on a PS4 Pro. Enemies could use a bit more detail but they look fine and the environments themselves looked very good. All of the color of casting your various spells was pleasing as well. The audio work in the game is well done too as I enjoyed the voice acting from the wizard who tells the story as you play. The sounds of casting my spells was satisfying and the music was solid throughout. If you’re wondering about the trophy set there are only 13 here with no Platinum in sight. The whole list is pretty easy with some coming from just beating the levels and others requiring you to use the card system and beat a level with them activated.
While The Wizards: Enhanced Edition isn’t a super long game coming in around 6 hours for me it does offer reasons to replay it. The spell casting feels great and always made me feel powerful. I do wish the game varied it up a bit more in the campaign instead of mainly just focusing on combat over and over. That said, it’s fun to play regardless and I highly recommend it to any VR owner looking for a way to feel like an all powerful wizard.
*The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is out now on PlayStation VR. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review. See this review and all of our VR reviews on vrgamecritic.com