Until now, the developers of the upcoming Magicka: Wizard Wars have only showed the team-based capture-point match type, which gave players enough wide-open space to toss around fireballs and ice-charged lightning bolts willy nilly. But now, Paradox’s upcoming multiplayer battle arena title, featuring the wacky robed mages, just got a lot more personal with the introduction of Wizard Wars’ new Duel mode. The one-on-one battles match up four players in a king of the hill-style tournament in a confined arena. Careless spell-slinging won't fly in Duel mode. These competitive matches require the precision of a fighting game matchup.
All four players start on the “shelf”--a raised stage overlooking the arena. Then the game drops two of the players into the confined fighting ring to duke it out to the death. The winner stays in to battle the next challengers, and the loser is transported to the shelf to wait for another chance at payback. When in the battle, Magicka’s intricate spell system really shows its complexity. In order to win, you’ll have to mix and match the eight elemental spells to launch powerful attacks, build resistances, and block incoming enemy projectiles.
Setting up spells feels similar to inputting a special move, button combo in a fighting game. Each spell uses three different elements which create various magical properties. Combine fire and rock, and you get an exploding fireball. Mix lightning, ice, and shield and you get a resistance to those elements. Or, you could triple charge a beam attack to make your energy blast stronger. But with every attack you create there is a way to counter it with a similarly crafted defensive spell. You’ll soon find your fingers desperately trying to craft a counterspell, or create an effective attack to get around your opponent’s defenses. What’s most impressive about the duels is that the more truly skilled player seems to always comes out on top. Which means I’m definitely going to need more practice.
Check out the following slides for more information and images