One of the first large games we’ve gotten to take a look at was Xaviant’s new “first person caster” Lichdom: Battlemage. We had the opportunity to speak with Tim Lindsey, the Design Director of the title, who prefaced our demo with the statement that it’s important to note that Lichdom is not a shooter. “I am not a gun” was the motto he recited. The game isn’t about twitch shooter mechanics. It’s not about quick reaction times and pixel perfect aiming. What it is about is combining a crazy number of spells, effects, and augmentations. There was quite a few, from Sigils to Glyphs to an overwhelming amount of different spells and styles. The name of the game appears to be synergy between spells allowing players to customize their gameplay experience and permit them to approach and overcome challenges in the ways that feel best to them.
All that crafting of spells aside, there are some individually interesting mechanics that Tim showed us. Chief among them was, and I’ll try to forgo the terminology at the moment as this game has a lot of it, a system where “overkill” damage from critical hits was used to power up tremendously potent synergistic spells. These spells are geared towards clearing whole rooms of enemies or quickly bringing down bosses.
The most interesting aspect of this spell-slinging title is the ability to customize so many aspects of your magical arsenal. From what the spell does, to how hard it hits, to what effects it carries with it. Tim emphasized to us that this was a system that was conducive to emergent gameplay. To give an example of what I mean, Necromancy allows the player to resurrect enemies to fight for the player. However, these minions will poses magic, and that magic will be in line with whatever effects the player used to kill the original enemy. In this way, you can have minions that utilize the same sort of magic that you use, and if this happens to be crowd control or inhibitory magic… well things can get pretty out of control, pretty quickly. Which is awesome.
I mean that’s the whole point of “unmitigated badass mage combat” right? Everyone knows what happens when a sword goes through someone’s chest. Magic, though, can do anything. That’s the appeal, and I think aiming for a system that permits that sort of emergent gameplay was really their only option for distilling the desire to be a mage. It’s really cool to see them doing everything right.
Lichdom: Battlemage released last tuesday on PC, so if you’re the type of person that looks for challenging first person combat, strategic battle prep, and love the idea of slinging spells, you might want to give this one a look right now.