Sony

Lichdom: Battlemage (PS4)

lichdom1

Were Skyrim paced sensibly, Bethesda may have created Lichdom. But as an inane, B-level first-person fantasy, Lichdom carries a snarky streak into a near parody of the genre. Undead skeletons and other denizens of generic fantasy realms rise up only to be shot down with a litany of color coded magic orbs, shot off from the hands of a hero/heroine. Absurd, certainly, and aimlessly fun.

Lichdom turns the drawn out, wandering realms of open world RPGs into linear battle zones where combat remains a constant – the contemporary shooter in a knock-off fantasy realm. An oddity, Lichdom feels near the low grade PlayStation 3 exclusive Magus. Both feature agitated protagonists shooting magic spells from their hands. Only the perspective changes.

Note Magus, for its obvious budgetary restrictions, was stable. This new release carries a frame rate similar to one-grid-at-a-time RPGs of old. No exaggeration – what comes on the disc can be unplayable.

The story remains senseless (the chosen lead, male or female, willingly accepts their death in a single line of dialog), action meanders through too many waves, and various leveling systems lack explanation. Things don’t look good for Lichdom. At its heart though is a sharp mix-and-match magic system which creates comical results in an otherwise lackadaisical power fantasy. Freeze ’em, flame ’em, move on. Maybe stun ’em, then burn ’em. Burn, then stun so dying skeletons must sit in their agony. Finding those combos creates a touch of maniacal joy.

2/5

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