Carbon Studio, the Poland-based workforce behind The Wizards (2018), is bringing a standalone enlargement to the sequence to PC VR headsets early subsequent yr known as The Wizards – Darkish Occasions. We bought an opportunity to go hands-on with a 10-minute slice of Darkish Occasions right here at Gamescom 2019.
I had a possibility to pop into the unique Wizards again when it arrived on Early Entry in 2017, and though the workforce has since launched the complete model into the wild, now dubbed The Wizards – Enhanced Version (2018), I haven’t actually had the possibility to leap again into the magical realm of Maloira to expertise for myself simply how enhanced it has change into throughout its yr in Early Entry. So whereas I’m not a professed disciple of the sequence, I can say that by itself benefit that the Darkish Occasions demo I performed checks some vital containers in a number of departments, essentially the most noticeable of which is its extra intuitive spellcasting system and its cohesive and placing visuals.
Furthermore, the sport is claimed to be extra of a linear journey and fewer arena-based, providing what Carbon calls a “quick however lore-rich story from Meliora’s chronicles,” making it much less of a points-driven wave shooter and extra of a correct dungeoning expertise, replete with its personal story line.
The demo (performed on Rift S) plopped me right into a post-tutorial stage, giving me a number of spells at my disposal, together with gesture-based spells similar to fireballs, frostbow, throwable ethereal shields, and a power push that may knock down enemies.
Though this sounds fairly just like the outdated system, Darkish Occasions can be bringing secondary capabilities to a lot of its spells. For instance, the frostbow will be remodeled into two highly effective frost-spears by merely bringing your arms aside.
What’s radically completely different about Darkish Occasions although is these spells do elemental harm extra in keeping with customary RPGs, i.e. an ice assault can freeze an enemy in its path so you may transition to a extra highly effective spell to deal extra harm. Mixing the fundamental spells can be extra intuitive too: freezing an enemy with a number of frost-arrows or properly positioned frost-spear will freeze them, and a fireplace spell will once more launch them.
It will get just a little extra difficult than that although, because it additionally is dependent upon which surroundings you’re in at any given time. Should you’re sloshing round in a moist spot alongside the trail, enemies standing in water will mechanically change into resistant to fireside magic, but in addition be extra susceptible to lightning spells too. You’ll be able to replicate this vulnerability at any time by freezing an enemy, lighting them on fireplace (which makes them moist) after which surprising them with a lightning spell—one thing that gives just a little extra realism and solidity to the world.
The studio maintains that all the recreation’s spells have been reworked to play completely different roles in typical fight conditions, which in finish impact goals to get gamers to assume extra tactically in regards to the spells they need to use, and never repeatedly mashing the identical ones again and again.
Moreover the spells themselves, which did really feel easy and dependable to make use of, I used to be additionally fairly impressed by the visible facet of issues too. Compared to the studio’s earlier titles Alice VR (2016) and the Early Entry model of The Wizards, Carbon appears to actually be hitting their stride with Darkish Occasions, as lighting, textures, artwork route, voice actors, and total efficiency are all just about on level. In fact, a 10-minute demo can solely reveal a lot, though it appears to be like just like the standalone continuation of the sequence has actually places its greatest foot ahead right here.
The Wizards – Darkish Occasions is slated to launch in Q1 2020 on the usual slew of recent SteamVR-compatible VR headsets. Carbon Studio can be planning an Oculus Quest model, and says that a PSVR model can be a future chance.