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cover-Wizard With a Gun

Thursday, October 19, 2023 4:52:03 PM

Wizard With a Gun Review (ergo)

TL;DR Tedious, repetitive, clunky and WAY too easy, but oozes with style and offers tons of shootin' and lootin' fun.
After farming way too much and obtaining 100% of achievements, I can say the following. The game is undercooked. There are no two ways about it. Odd and downright bad design decisions aplenty.
1. Slow movement speed everywhere, even at home base — even with the lategame 45% buff.
2. Clunky mobility: you absolutely have to be able to squeeze between diagonal gaps and slide towards edges of obstacles when running directly into them. I died only once over the course of 32 hours, and it was because of the noise on the screen coupled with the game's god awful movement.
3. Bad stash system: why would you have three tiers of chests, lol?
4. Guns don't matter. I played with four SMGs loaded with eight different bullet types from second region onward, and never felt like a blunderbuss or a carbine would've suited a bullet type better.
5. Bullet types don't matter (for the most part). The bullet system is both overcooked and undercooked. The only reason to have multiple bullet setups is that utility bullets (the OP stuff) have cooldowns and enemies get a brief period of immunity to some of the utility effects (for example, you can't chain-freeze an enemy, but you can freeze, then stun, then stasis them). Fire is just worse poison. Anti-chaos bullets are barely better against chaos than other bullet types. Lightning is OP for resource farming. Charming bullets are too situational.
6. Bloated but kinda superficial system of outfit buffs. Your mask has a slot for an enchantment, but there are no mask enchantments in the game. Wat. Also, different gear enchantments only offer an illusion of choice, as there's always the clear best option.
7. Bloated loot system: each type of resource has four equivalents in different tiers, but you never know how much of each resource you'll need so you end up farming everything and inevitably end up collecting way too much of several things. Which is sort of accounted for, because you can turn anything into universally useful "arcana," but then it turns out that you need some of those lower-tier resources down the line. It's hell.
8. Bad lore. This one I can forgive. Torchlight 2 had an absolutely laughable "story," and it's still one of the best games I've ever played. Seems like the same thing happened here.
9. Odd choice to put the gunsmith in the overworld. You can't craft the higher-tier guns yourself. So it goes like this: you farm higher-tier resources, return to base, empty your inventory, reroll the overworld, go into the overworld to check with the gunsmith how much of each resource is needed per new gun, return to base, pick up the necessary resources, reroll the overworld, go into the overworld to craft your new guns, return to base, craft the bullets and powders for your new guns.
10. The base area is way too big, and decorating isn't fun or appealing.
11. Music is forgettable. None of the tracks stand out, and you won't be humming anything off the soundtrack while making morning coffee.
There are other issues like typos and minor complaints, but those are probably my biggest ones. So why am I recommending this game? Well, the simple reason is that it's still really fun. Other reviews say that the gun play is boring, but I found it quite the opposite. Gun play was by far the game's biggest strength. It's still a little clunky with k+m, but the sheer variety of effects on the screen is a delight to play around with and experience. Also, unlike most games, here you can apply all special effects (well, save for charming, duh) to bosses! You can freeze a lowly level 1 automaton AND you can freeze the final boss. I love it. More games should do it. The looting feels nice too.
I'd say, give it a go. Freeze and lightning were super fun to play with. In the end credits, they promise more content in future updates. There will most likely be adjustments to gameplay, and I expect that most of my gameplay-related complaints will get solved. I'm glad I bought the game. Now I'm looking forward to version 1.1 and will do another run when it's out.