Sorcery Review (PlayStation Move)
I really wasn’t super excited to play Sorcery on the PlayStation Move. I guess the trailers and the demo on PSN didn’t really sell me on the game’s premise and potential compared to other PS Move games. Color me surprised then when I actually sank my teeth into the full game. What I found was a typical, standard action game with a fairly interesting story that was greatly enhanced by its responsive motion controls. What would’ve been just another action game turned into an immersive (yet physically tiring) experience that’s unique to the PlayStation Move.
Read our full Sorcery PS Move review after the break.
Sorcery casts players as Finn, a young magician’s apprentice that gets embroiled in a one-man fight to protect not only his world, but the world of his friend Erline as well. The Nightmare Queen has sent her massive armies to take over the land, destroying everyingthing and everyone in their path. Finn and his feline companion Erline must travel through the different locations to discover new and more powerful magics to defeat the Nightmare Queen in one final battle.
The story isn’t really groundbreaking, but Finn and Erline’s back & forth and constant bickering is really quite endearing. Both characters have their own secrets and issues that they face throughout the game, fleshing out each character by the end of the story. It also helps that the game often features a lot of God of War-inspired epic moments.
Given its story-driven campaign, Sorcery is a linear game that most players can finish in about 8-10 hours. However, completionists will be happy to know that each level houses multiple hidden nooks and crannies where player will find treasures, hidden alchemy ingredients, and potions that will help Finn on his journey. Many of the game’s main plot points are told through graphic novel panels like the ones found in Kung Fu Live. Though I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of these storytelling segments; I would’ve preferred FMV cutscenes as those would’ve increased the emotional impact on some of the key moments in the game.
Sorcery’s motion controls greatly enhances the game’s immersion factor. The game does a good job of making players feel like they’re Finn and the one actually casting spells and mixing potions in the game world. Players have to perform certain movements with the Move controller to activate magic attacks, for example, flicking forward fires arcane bolts, curving flicks fire arcane bolts in a curving arc. Players can also mix the different magical elements (Fire, Ice, Wind, and more) to create more powerful attacks. For example, firing magic bolts over fire transforms them into firebolts. Or casting the firewall then following it up with a tornado unleashes a fire tornado that burns everything caught in its path. Players can upgrade their skills by collecting ingredients and mixing certain combinations to discover new potions that enhance Finn’s abilities or grants him new magic attacks.
Speaking of mixing, the move controller light/color corresponds to the spells or actions in-game. For example, the arcane bolt turns the Move controller purple. Holding empty potions turns the controller clear, while a full health potion turns it red. Again Sorcery features a great attention to detail that immerses the player into the game world.
While the game has a serviceable auto-lock function, I did have trouble when facing multiple opponents; I found myself missing shots and kept wishing for a lock-on button. Even a soft-lock button (like the one found in Max Payne 3) would have been greatly appreciated. As well, the game had the occasional hiccup when I tried to flick/activate magic attacks rapidly (especially against groups of opponents). And damn, is the game tiring to play! I don’t think Sorcery is designed for long play sessions. Basically, I got tired (literally) from performing all the motions to cast the spells in the game after 30 minutes of play.
GRAPHICS – I wasn’t really that impressed with Sorcery’s overall look. The game’s environments and characters don’t really stand out and I couldn’t shake the feeling of having “been there, seen that” with other games. There were a few standout vistas though including the mountains and the frozen tundras, but other than those, environments felt samey. Thankfully though, the magic effects (especially the fire magic) looked pretty good and managed to sell me on the power of each elemental attack.
AUDIO – Highlighted with well-acted voice overs and traditional Celtic music, Sorcery excells in it’s audio presentaiton. Finn and Erline’s back & forth and constant bickering is really quite endearing. The music works well especially during the dramatic set pieces.
+ Great attention to detail regarding the Move controller and on-screen situations.
+ Finn and Erline are likable characters, their back and forth is really endearing.
+ Fairly responsive controls that immerse players in the game world.
+ Magic and elemental attack found later in the game are fun to combine and use.
+ Discovering new potions when mixing ingredients in the alchemy mini-game is definitely addictive.
– Very linear game, almost no replayability.
– Gameplay not designed for long play sessions. Shoulders got tired after 30 mins.
– Some control hiccups and no lock-on button.
– Graphic novel story segments.
In the end, Sorcery is a unique and entertaining game for those looking for a fun game for their PlayStation Move. The story isn’t as exciting as others like it, and the graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but the two main characters are so endearing that players can’t help but love them. The overall experience is also greatly enhanced by its immersive/responsive motion controls. Try it.
(I originally wrote this review for SonyRumors.Net)