Waggle your wand at the TV and watch the magic happen.
When the Wii launched, it revolutionised gaming with its motion controller. Suddenly, casual gamers the world over were able to pick up the WiiMote and shake it at the screen in all manner of different games, competing on an almost equal par with gamers that had been bought up with a controller in their hands. Desperate for a piece of this lucrative pie, both Microsoft and Sony eventually released their own motion gaming solutions to cater to the casual market. Microsoft’s offering was the mighty Kinect unit, offering full body motion control, whereas Sony announced the Move controller, a controller combo which worked on the same idea as the WiiMote.
When the Move controller was first announced, avid gamers got a glimpse of a game that seemed to offer something for both the casual gamer and the core gamer, an adventure in which the player used the motion controller to fight monsters by casting spells. Since then, however, the games that support the Move controller have not only been thin on the ground, but also been much more aimed at the casual, party-game playing, exercising crowd. It has been a long time coming, but Sorcery is finally here – does it tick the boxes for the core gamer? or is it too little, too late?
In a tale as old as time, the player takes on the role of a young apprentice who, through doing what he was not supposed to, creates a mess which he then has to clear up. The sorcerer’s apprentice is called Finn and, thanks in part to some teasing and goading from the talking cat companion Erline, he soon finds himself having to deal with the Restless Dead and the Nightmare Queen herself.
The story may seem familiar, and that is because it is. But the important thing is how the story is put together and presented. The game may have a high level of threat, but it is all approached in a “Disney” manner which makes the game suitable for all ages. The main characters are likable, there is an engaging too and fro between Finn and Erline, and there is a whimsy that runs through the entire game that is quite pleasant.
The same can be said for the visuals. The environments are varied and enjoyable, the characters are well animated and the enemies look dangerous enough to pose a threat, whilst are not scary enough to send a child to bed with nightmares. The entire game is colourful, bright and oozes fun.
However, despite how all of this may sound to the core gamers who are likely already cringing, the game is essentially a third-person shooter with the player flinging spells all over the place rather than bullets. The player can use the Navigation controller, or a PS3 controller, in one hand for movement, whilst flicking the Move controller itself to cast the various different spells at the screen. There is an auto-aim mechanism which does a good job of targeting enemies, meaning that very quickly players will find themselves flinging bolts of energy at their adversaries with a satisfying feeling.
As the player progresses through the game, more spells are unlocked for the player to learn, which can be combined to create even more impressive feats of spell-casting. Different enemies react differently to certain spells, so there is a level of strategy to be considered.
Whilst there is a large emphasis on magical combat in the game, something which is compounded by the sheer number of enemies that the game throws at you, Sorcery is not completely limited to vanquishing foes. There are some relatively simple puzzles to overcome, and the game even throws in a potion-mixing element. These potions improve Finn’s abilities for the most part, and allow players to feel that their character is growing.
Sorcery is not entirely without problems though. The motion control works really well, but still lacks a certain precision, and the movements required to select spells are a little annoying. It also lacks a certain immersion which multi-format gamers may well have come to expect since the launch of Skyward Sword, a comparison which could have been avoided had Sorcery been released a little sooner.
There is no denying that Sorcery is one of the best games available for the Move controller, but it just feels as though we have been made to wait too long for a game of this type, and the relative lack of interest in the Move controller peripheral will prevent this game from achieving the sales that it perhaps deserves. If you own a Move controller and are interested in more than just party games, then Sorcery should be picked up without hesitation.