Review | Magicka 2
Magicka had a fun premise when it released: mix elements together to create various and powerful spells to use against enemies.
However, what really made the game worthwhile to keep playing was the co-op. Making giant spells with friends were great, as was accidently killing them with lasers or electrocution. Hey, at least there was a revive spell, right?
Now, after plenty of updates and DLC, we have Magicka 2 which realized what fans loved in the surprise hit and keeps everything almost identical to the original game. Like in the original, you can team up with up to three other mages to adventure and kill wave after wave of enemies.
Unlike the first game, though, the new one is also on the PS4, not just PC. Personally, I found the PS4 controls more enjoyable to use. Four of the eight elements are on the face buttons, and holding L1 will pull the other four to the face buttons. The exact opposite magic is located on the same face button (i.e. fire and ice) so that you remember what magics will cancel each other out.
Once you queue up some magics, you can then choose to cast the spell offensively, imbue your weapon with the magic or cast it on yourself, such as casting fire on yourself to dry off. This means it’s worthwhile early on to figure out what spells do what, and what to cast on yourself and what to avoid. After all, one wrong spell can be the difference between healing yourself and dropping a rock on your head.
While there is a single player mode for the campaign, co-op, either online or local, is definitely where it’s at with this game. No matter if you’re with one or four players, the amount of enemies don’t change. So, what can be slightly tough with three to four players is a swarm by yourself.
Starting and stopping co-op is an easy experience that’s better than the last game. You can drop in and out in the middle of the level, which is great, although if you try to wander away from the group you can sometimes get stuck up on the level if the screen starts moving.
The game features about 10 chapters, with replays having you try new instances or turning different modifiers on to make levels easier, harder or just more fun. There’s also some physics elements that come into play with some fights, especially the final battle. However, that element can sometimes be annoying when trying to coordinate with other players.
If you got your fill of Magicka with the last game, the sequel probably won’t entice you to come back. It’s more of the same for the series, with core elements identical to the last game. That may not be bad to some people, but others will get tired of the repetitive nature of mowing down hordes of enemies, finding a new combination to mow down more enemies, take some mini-bosses on and move forward to do it all again.
The humor in the title may also be hit and miss with players. Vlad (not a vampire) is back as the narrator, and that joke is ran into the ground throughout the game, even going as far as taking a tip screen to read “Vlad is not a vampire.” Other jokes told in the game may elicit a slight laugh or even a groan.
What will get you laughing is the randomness that can come from four people mixing spells to use as weapons. It’s a foregone conclusion that a mage will kill another mage, players will yell at each other and will be laughing as they start chasing each other with spells of revenge.
Overall, if you’re a console owner, it’s worth checking this out just to see what all the chaotic fun in Magicka 2 is about. You’ll find a great time here, as long as you have some friends willing to come along for the ride. For PC gamers, the sequel is worth checking out if you have the urge to check out more Magicka. If you’ve burned yourself out though, don’t expect the sequel to reenergize your interest in the series.