The one thing I love about Virtual Reality is how it can allow you to become anyone you want to be, go anywhere you want to go, and visit any time you want to visit. If you could somehow become a wizard at a time that was full of magic and spells, would you enter the doorway? Something I have always wondered is if I could enter that world, how would I embrace the world around me or how would the world I stepped into, embrace me? Does Developer Carbon Studio open the door to the spells of this fantasy world and let you embrace your inner wizard? Let’s find out with The Wizards Enhanced Edition for the PlayStation VR.
In The Wizards Enhanced Edtion, you are playing as a wizard in order to save the Realm of Meliora. But before you are too quick to judge, this isn’t your normal quest that you may be used embarking on. In fact, The Wizards Enhanced Edition has you part casting spells, part time travel, and yes, there are dragons.
So of course before you begin on your quest, you will need to make sure both Move controllers are fully charged because you will be using them, a lot. With the left Move controller is how you will control moving freely by using the Move button. I will say at first, some may need to get used to using your left hand to help go left and right, but once you adjust to it, it works very well. The right Move controller will be used to teleport and rotate and the trigger buttons on both Move controllers will be used to pick up objects. Now normally that would be all you would need, but not here. No, in fact, you will be using hand gestures in order to cast spells.
And since your primary defense is the spells, let’s look more into them. Depending on the spell, your hand movements will, of course, be different. For example, pulling up the shield is used with the left and just as you would bring a shield in front of you for protection. Fireballs are used from the right hand by almost rotating your wrist. The ice bow is having your hands go across from each other. Lightning has you moving both hands in a forward motion. Ice crystals are used by having both hands move in almost opposite half circles and the bigger fireball by moving your hands down and you can adjust the size based on your hands being apart. During battle you will want to keep a look out for your health which is displayed on your left hand.
Some of the spells you will find work better for you than others. For me, I was using the fireball as my primary spell. The shield does come in handy in those close dangerous situations, but if you get hit after a certain amount of time, your shield will break and you will just have to bring up the shield again. Lightning is powerful, but you have to be careful as you cannot really move when you are using it. But what I really like is how at any time you can go back to the sanctum and practice the spells in case you forgot what the hand gesture is needed to bring up the spell. Another thing that is pretty cool, is the ability to upgrade the spells. So with my trusty fireball that I would have to throw did a little damage, but once I upgraded to have the enemy catch on fire as the fireball hit them, the only thing I was missing was the ingredients to make s’mores.
Also, in the sanctum, you will be able to use Fate Cards that will help affect the gameplay from the hp points of the enemy to the difficulty. Just keep in mind that all Fate Cards cannot always be used with the others, so chose wisely. The sanctum is where you will also find the campaign mode as well as the Arena mode. One of the things that I love is the online scoreboards that are present for each level as well as the Arena mode as it really gets you to try and do your best and be the best wizard you can be.
But as you learn your spells and select your Fate Cards, it’s time to get into the journey of the campaign. From the very beginning, you are given this feeling like you are on the mission to help your narrator who almost is trying to help you correct and protect what he set fourth, but throughout your journey, realize something has happened that you must make sure does not come true or is what you are being told only a cover up for something deeper? This I will not spoil as you will need to find out. But with an quest, you will have enemies to battle from goblins to orcs to phantoms which you will find that some are easier to take down than others and some will require multiple hits in order to end their destruction.
Each region will have different stages that seem to have a puzzle element along with a few battles in each. One of the puzzles was a floor puzzle, that at first was frustrating. But this was probably me trying to rush it. But once I got it, I couldn’t believe I got frustrated over this puzzle. So take your time and it will come to you. But I did like the fact that when you place the realm glyph, the level will show you the estimated time it should take to complete.
After the level is complete you have the option to go back to the sanctum, restart the level to try and improve your score or go back to the main menu. I would recommend going back to the sanctum after each level to see if you are able to upgrade your spells to more powerful ones and change up the Fate Cards to the new ones that you may discover along the way.
I am going to say this about some of the levels. Be careful of the ones that contain statues because when there is a battle going on and you may not see any enemy directly in front of you or to the sides, you may still get hit. So you might be puzzled as to why, well the statues seemed to sometimes fire at me. So feel free to destroy them at will.
I also mentioned the Arena mode earlier. Based on the realm you select, this single-player experience will have you protecting Pinewood, defending crystals or destroying the evil sources. Just as your skill with your spells is part of the challenge here, selecting the right Fate Card can help with the challenge.
Looking at the graphics, it is beautiful. Seeing objects from the distance is really beautiful. At the beginning before entering the sanctum, I stared at the icy landscape for a bit and really enjoyed the peacefulness that it presents. From lights that glisten off objects at times to having battles on the land that really compliment the background to give you this sense of how big the world is, makes The Wizards Enhanced Edition really shine here.
I want to talk about the sound for a moment. When it comes to Virtual Reality it is important to use the 3D audio sound and for an adventure, having a strong presence from a character can add to it. Thankfully, Carbon Studios did not hold back on the sound or graphics. From the narration of your mentor Aurelius who is voiced by Jason Marnocha to the separate sounds of your spells sound powerful as well as the narration sounding very compelling.
There are a few things that I came across that was a little strange. For some reason, it seemed on the later levels that if anything hit me, it would be game over no matter if I restarted or not. But I didn’t quit, in fact, I kept on as it probably challenged me in a good way to be a little more aggressive and smarter about moving away from the attacks. Another thing was at the very beginning, there was a telescope before entering the sanctum that I picked up and dropped. I would, later on, go to fire my Ice Bow and magically the telescope appeared as I was pulling back to fire the bow. I don’t’ know if this will happen to anyone else, but it’s these tiny things that kinda made my experience a little more special.
If anything I would like to see added is more realms to explore and even more spells to learn or at least a combination of the spells. Yes, I want an ice/fire bow. Probably not the most logical wish, but this is a fantasy world and I am a wizard. But I really did enjoy the leaderboard aspect of each level as well as the Arena mode that was included because it gave you an added bonus to try and aim for.
The Wizards Enhanced Edition does open the door to allow us to be the wizard we have always wanted to be without having to go to a school to really master our craft. When we are able to step through a door and enter another world to become someone else, like in life, we have to be careful of our surroundings and the evil that we may encounter them or we could be the ones that the evil overcomes.
The Wizards Enhanced Edition is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Jason Marnocha, please visit his site and make sure you like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. To learn more about Carbon Studios, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Also, don’t forget to check out The Wizards interview.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have a leaderboard to climb.