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Magicka: Wizard Wars conjures 4-on-4 mage duels

In the grim darkness of Midgard's future, there is only Magicka: Wizard Wars. The quirky adventure game gets a competitive makeover in this new online title from Paradox North.

Two teams of four wizards face off with Magicka's trademark elemental cocktails as the many-robed mages balance maximum destruction with minimum teammate insta-gibbing. Each brief, deadly match contributes to the game's persistent character progression.

Stockholm-based newcomer Paradox North will take over development duties from Magicka creator Arrowhead Game Studios, which launched The Showdown Effect earlier this month. Paradox North executive VP John Hargelid said the series' frantic, slapstick combat puts an interesting spin on competitive play.

"Magicka has always allowed for some unique gameplay and, with Wizard Wars, we've really captured the true experience of PvP wizardry," Hargelid said. "When you put the team-focused, hardcore competition of online games together with characters whose attacks are fluid and dynamic--and then give teammates the ability to implode, freeze, and fling each other by accident--it's really something special to watch, and to play, and to yell at your friends about afterwards."

Publisher Paradox Interactive said the game "may or may not arrive in winter" but we're pretty sure they were joking about this Game-of-Thrones-inspired live-action trailer.

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