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Sorcery Conjures Up a Winner
PlayStation Move title Sorcery puts you in the boots of a young wizard tasked with defeating the evil creatures of the Nightmare Queen which have been released on the Faerie Kingdom. The Move controller, which acts as a wand, is essentially a gun and you will spend a considerable amount of your time in Sorcery strafing.
You may recall the rather lackluster Deadmund’s Quest or the latest Harry Potter title but don’t let allow them to put off if you’re at all interested in Sorcery. You play as Finn, a sorcerer’s apprentice, whose master Dash is killed by the Queen’s forces leaving it is up to you and Erline, your magical talking cat, to fight back and save the kingdom.
Sorcery is an attractive game if you have kids to play with, it may even be enchanting (sorry), and while initially the game may seem to be caught up in genre cliches – particularly at the beginning – and a little too simplistic it does take some rather dark turns as the narrative develops. Ultimately the story of Sorcery is a simple one, with Finn messing about with things he really wasn’t supposed to, which really, is a requirement of the genre but it is also an enjoyable one which will should keep you entertained until the end.
For a motion control game Sorcery plays very well indeed and while you can use either a DualShock or a Navigation Controller as the secondary controller it is much more profitable to use the latter. Movement is directed by the thumbstick on the secondary controller while a trigger snaps the camera back into position – on some rare occasions the camera can be a little out of sync – apart from this you have no control over the camera’s position but the game compensates admirably for this lack of control.
And when you’re not in combat it thankfully doesn’t need to be in view of the PlayStation Eye either.
Casting spells meanwhile is done using the Move Controller. Initially Finn is limited to a basic bolt spell but over the course of the five hours or so that the game lasts he ‘ll develop his powers, discovering new abilities as well as ingredients and potions to supplement secondary spells.
Many attacks spells also come with area effect as well as direct hit variations which is a relief given the difficulty with precise targeting – which more of a problem with the people playing Sorcery than the mechanics of the game itself. Though one of the technical issues players will find is the inconsistency of spells that say, are meant to curve to hit a target, make them less useful than might be though overall that isn’t a significant problem.
Principally you will find yourself using the four elemental spells – fire, wind, lightning and ice. Each of these attacks comes with their own advantages and disadvantages which will effect how you approach each situation. Hitting enemies from various heights and angles is possible based on the angle you choose to hold the Move while the vast majority of spells can cover a significant distance.
It is also possible to unleash an incredibly effective alternative fire version of each spell by swiping the controller from side-to-side. If you want to change the spell Finn is currently using simply hold down the Move button while performing a brief gesture such as a swipe downwards or a quarter tilt to one side.
While it can be difficult to select individual targets – the basic flick being somewhat harder than the average set up of a point-and-shoot experience. Regardless you are presented with some basic puzzles in the game and collecting the various tonic ingredients and mixing their effects can be an unexpectedly entertaining activity.
Visually the game runs on Unreal Engine 3 and seems to run natively at 720p even if there occasional issues with the frame rate dipping. In essence the games look like a cross between Folklore and Fable.
The voice acting is also surprisingly good and the game is complimented by a lofty fantasy soundtrack that evokes The Lord of the Rings.
Sorcery’s biggest downfall is it’s shortness. There was a great deal of potential for a much grander affair but it is enjoyable while it lasts. It is a quality Move title that The Workshop should be proud of, one of the best (even if there haven’t been many) and, dare I say it, is just a little magical.