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The Wizards - Dark Times

The Wizards - Dark Times Review

Improved in almost every way except the combat

Reviewed by Griffin on 10th October 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

Review

The Wizards - Dark Times is the sequel to The Wizards (2018) from the same studio. The stories in these games however are not really connected and the game be played standalone.

In The Wizards - Dark Times you still play as a Silent protagonist with a narrator guiding you through Meliora once more. However, Carbon Studios have taken basically everything from their first game and improved upon it: new spells, improved controls, better visuals, and a more cohesive story. The game is ultimately still a fight arena game but they have added enough variance to the levels and connected each levels to improve the experience immensely. Dark Times still suffers from the repetitive combat spam of the first game but is still a much more enjoyable romp this time around.

A second narrator option was added to the game, however she did not really add much to the experience.

The campaign this time around took me 3.5 hours to complete, still a little on the short side of things.

I also ran into a lot of frame drops seemingly regardless of the setting I set the game to. I was playing the game on a:

I7 7700k

GTX 1080ti

16gb ram

HP Reverb

Graphics & Presentation

The graphics in the original game were certainly fine, but in the sequel they have kicked it up a notch to a rather impressive degree. The textures lighting and model quality have all been improved. The enemy variety is still a little on the lower side but the new variety of level designs and increase in puzzles have mitigated this problem, making it much less of a concern.

Sound FX & Music

The Music and Sound remain the same quality from the first game, there is more voice acting this time around and it is all very good, still one of the highlights of the game.

Gameplay & Immersion

Spells have been increased and improved. Spells can now be cast from either hand and all have two forms. For instance, fireballs can be combined to a big ground fire explosion, Ice Bow can be separated into Ice Axs.

The level design has also been improved as all the levels have been strung together and the score ending return to base has been removed for portals to return at any checkpoint, however I do not really get the point of the hub this time around. I spent a few minutes looking around and could not find anything of note to do in it. A very odd choice, but perhaps I missed something and the game could have communicated it more clearly.

But the biggest problem I found was still the repetitive combat. It seems either Carbon Studios did not see the issue or its a much tougher problem to resolve. I still found myself running in circles throwing fireballs to then shield as fast as I can to disperse the enemies.

Controls

As I mentioned earlier the spells can now be cast from either hand and the similar spells are now proper combos that feel much nicer to cast.

The Teleportation points have been removed and the elevated teleportation spots have been swapped out for a much more intuitive climbing system which feels quite nice to use but is fully skippable for anyone who suffers motion sickness.

Often I still had trouble getting my spells to go in the direction I intended, however the game now offers an Auto-Aim slider to help mitigate this problem.

Value & Replayability

The level scores and horde have been removed making the game less replayable, however improving the flow of levels and story telling personally its a trade off I prefer, but many may not. This game, same as the last, is also priced at $28 but I think this is a better value than last time.

Final Thoughts

Overall the game is a big improvement over its predecessor, and a fairly decent VR game. However, a few major problems such as the combat spam, campaign length, and price of the game make me hesitant to give this any higher of a score.

  • The graphics and visuals are very good
  • The spell casting is very fun
  • The narrator is fun and charming
  • Unique levels and puzzles break up the action
  • The combat can still feel very spammy
  • The campaign is on the short side
  • Performance was not great and changing settings did nothing
  • The villain was not very compelling

Reviewed by Griffin on 10th October 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

6 out of 10

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The Wizards - Dark Times
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