If you find the idea of a first-person spell-caster appealing then The Wizards: Enhanced Edition is a VR game that you should check out.
When I first started playing The Wizards: Enhanced Edition, I was very impressed with its beautifully detailed environments and original gameplay premise. You basically walk around large medieval settings while occasionally battling hordes of monsters, solving puzzles, and trying to figure out where to go next. In order to fight the monsters, you can perform various hand gestures with 2 PlayStation Move controllers which are required to play the game. Doing so allows you to summon fireballs that you can then throw, use a shield to reflect projectiles back at enemies, unleash a stream of lightning, shoot magic missiles, materialize a bow and arrow that you can then use, and propel fiery explosions towards your foes. As you can tell, the variety of spells is impressive but does it all come together well?
Simply put, playing The Wizards: Enhanced Edition will frequently have you switching between 2 mindsets: "That was awesome!" and "Can I turn this crap off now?" Generally speaking, when things work and you can effectively take out enemies and solve puzzles then it can be a rather exciting and rewarding game. However, its limitations will inevitably make you frustrated as you play. Firstly, being able to perform the required gestures is an irritating practice. I especially found trying to throw and aim the fireballs to be downright futile. Next, knowing where the enemies are is impossible without constantly looking around. Whenever you're facing a few orcs and are trying to deal with them, there may be an enemy directly behind you who quickly drains your health without you realising that he's there.
Being able to play The Wizards: Enhanced Edition effectively requires a great deal of concentration. For example, you'll often find yourself on top of terrain that catches fire periodically so not only do you have to deal with tons of enemies rushing towards you; you also have to watch your feet and run or warp away whenever things start to literally heat up. One of the most frustrating occurrences is when you perish then have to replay a long stretch all over again. One particularly lengthy battle ended up taking my life then when I respawned; I had to solve a long and confusing puzzle all over again. Why couldn't there be a checkpoint after that?
I don't want to complain about The Wizards: Enhanced Edition too much. Even though it can be brutally annoying, it's still a very unique and certainly playable game. I enjoyed listening to the sharp-witted narrator as I explored the gorgeous environments and found the replay value of its stages to be quite rewarding. Basically, you can aim for high scores and discover collectibles to level up your spells which makes them far more powerful. The scoring system itself is exceptionally satisfying as you can change the difficulty with modifier cards in order to earn more or less points and you're also judged by how much remaining health you have. Needless to say, mastering all of the stages will require a great deal of time and effort and it can be rather rewarding stuff, especially if you're a perfectionist.
Casting gesture-based spells is a great concept for a VR game but ensuring that the gestures register properly can make The Wizards: Enhanced Edition an irritating experience. That being said, it can be quite fun if you're willing to adapt to its frustrating aspects.
- + Unique gesture-based gameplay
- + Beautiful environments and fun narration
- + Stages feature solid replay value, especially if you want to max out all the spells
- - Gestures frequently don't work
- - Checkpoints can be super-annoying
- - It's difficult to gauge where all the enemies are which causes needless frustration