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Sorcery
Sorcery Preview - Could It Be Magic?
Written Monday, April 30, 2012 By Lee Bradley
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Sorcery’s most impressive trick was to disappear. First announced back at E3 2010, the Move-enabled adventure was once an important part of the waggly wand’s upcoming catalogue, a title to convince both the core and the masses that there’s more to motion controls than mini-game collections. But then it vanished.

Two years down the line and that spell of silence is telling. The game is out towards the end of the month, yet there’s a definite lack of buzz. Sparse few assets have been released and preview code has been thin on the ground. It’s clear that Sorcery doesn’t carry the significance that it once did.

All of which is a shame, because it has the makings of a decent little game. It’s not perfect, by any means, and there’s evidence of penny-pinching in the presentation, but there’s a certain charm to it. Despite its flaws Sorcery cast a bit of a spell on me. I’ll stop with the magic puns now.

You are Finn, a cocky sorcerer’s apprentice who gets himself into a spot of bother when his master leaves for town. The old wizard’s horse and carriage is barely over the horizon when Finn steals a powerful wand and starts wreaking havoc, accidentally spilling a potion and making a bit of a mess. 

But that’s only half of Finn’s problems. The spilled potion contained a rare magical ingredient found only in the ominous-sounding Land of the Restless Dead. Goaded by his masters’ extravagantly tailed cat, Finn sets off intending to make things right, but instead makes them a whole lot worse.

Once in the Land of the Restless Dead, Finn inadvertently unleashes the dastardly Nightmare Queen. With a name like that we don’t have to tell you she’s not the nicest of characters, promptly cloaking the Faerie Kingdoms in eternal darkness and unleashing her minions to terrorise its inhabitants.

It’s a kids story, then, a fairy tale of nasty villains, overconfident heroes and a world in peril. It’s also rather charming in its own way, with a narrative delivered through the use of storybook motion comic panels. In-engine dramatic scenes would have been preferable, but they do their job well enough.

It’s the controls that are of central importance, however. Unlike many Move adventures, Sorcery is not on-rails. You have complete control over Finn’s movement with the Navigation Controller (or DualShock 3) guiding the apprentice around the environment while the Move acts as his wand.

The result is a mixed bag. Harnessing the accuracy of the Move controller you can fling spells this way and that. Cast in a short, sharp, downwards motions and you fire straight, but swish the Move to the side and you can curve spells around corners to seek out enemies hiding behind cover. It’s ultra-satisfying.

The camera, however, is not. Completely out of your control, you are at the mercy of its shortcomings. So it’s fine when things are calm, but when the action hots up it struggles to cope, focusing on the wrong enemies and generally being a bit of a pain. You can center the camera with the click of a button, but it’s still clunky.

All of which detracts, but doesn’t completely spoil what looks set to be an entertaining adventure. And it is an adventure. In a loosely Zelda-style you explore, collect, battle, fight bosses and solve light environmental puzzles, all while interacting with the world around you using various gestures with the Move controller.

These gestures are particularly well thought-out. Whether they be used for repairing objects, drinking potions, opening chests or manipulating the environment, the movements feel relatively intuitive. What’s more, to the younger gamer, the broad swooshes many require are fun in their own right.

Sorcery shouldn’t necessarily be mistaken just for a kids game, however. With its characters and storyline and default setting (casual), it certainly leans that way, but it does have something to offer more experienced players. Step the difficulty up to “Gamer” and suddenly Sorcery becomes a little tougher.

This is no more apparent than in the boss battles. The design of the fights I’ve seen aren’t going to win any awards - they’re fairly standard attack pattern affairs - but on Gamer difficulty they are a fight, necessitating quick reflexes and tight execution. Chuck in those camera issues and you’ve a challenge on your hands.

Ultimately, Sorcery promises to be a decent fantasy romp, with enough charm and novelty to set it apart. It may not come to fulfill Sony’s initial vision of a spearhead for their motion-controlled revolution, it’s too late for that, but it is enough reason to consider blowing the dust off your Move. And that's magic.

Sorcery is out on May 23rd in Europe, May 22nd in North America and June 13th in Japan.




 
 

User Comments
 
Forum Posts: 137
Comment #1 by gaviota1195
Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 09:30:02 PM
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Is this game worth it?

 
Forum Posts: 291
Comment #2 by brandaman69
Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 10:43:01 PM
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well since they used the word novelty I guess not

 
Forum Posts: 146
Comment #3 by truehorizon
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 12:20:06 AM
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I really think this game should have came out with the ps move. The move could have been epic, but they barely had any real support on it. Shame. I feel like this game not gonna sell well at all. Even thou It looks cool.

 
Forum Posts: 16
Comment #4 by THE_BIG_DAVE
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 12:46:05 AM
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I think I'm gonna take a chance on it. Its worth the money just to see the look on my nephew's face when he's casting spells in the living room.

 
Forum Posts: 24859
Comment #5 by mjc0961
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 02:55:28 AM
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"It’s the controls that are of central importance, however. Unlike many Move adventures, Sorcery is not on-rails. You have complete control over Finn’s movement with the Navigation Controller (or DualShock 3) guiding the apprentice around the environment while the Move acts as his wand."

Hmm, urge to pre-order rising. I'm so sick of Move games that are on rails. Fuck off Ape Escape, fuck off Medieval Moves. If I wanted on rails in every action game, I would have gotten Kinect. PS Move has an analog stick and it's about time some games started using it.

There is no dust on my Move controller though, No More Heroes FTW!

 
Forum Posts: 24859
Comment #6 by mjc0961
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 02:56:52 AM
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Okay, Sorcery is only $40 instead of the usual $60. That seals the deal: pre-order confirmed.

 
Forum Posts: 1596
Comment #7 by SoPoF
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 03:44:51 AM
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"Chuck in those camera issues and you’ve a challenge on your hands."

That sounds wrong.

However, in the end, it will depend on length whether I'll give it a try or not. If this is like a two hours trip, no thanks. Not on rails sounds great, though, but it seems to be the fate of motion controls to have to pick between camera or character control.

 
Forum Posts: 38
Comment #8 by Aori29b
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 11:24:22 AM
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it´s worthy ... $15.

 
Forum Posts: 2
Comment #9 by LeeBradley [STAFF]
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 11:53:32 AM
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@7

I wouldn't let it put you off buying the game, but it's a definite issue.

 
Forum Posts: 1596
Comment #10 by SoPoF
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 03:01:02 PM
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I know, I was exaggerating.^^

However, the only reason I'm even interested in this is because, let's face it, most Move games suck and/or lean towards casual gaming. I bought the Move on an impulse and ... well, I don't really regret it, but I wish there was an enticement to plug it in more than once a year. So any "deeper" game is worth a look, but if the controls are bad, it's completely against what Move should be about.

Slight camera issues, however, are okay - it's not like non-Move games don't have these.

 
Forum Posts: 20
Comment #11 by Grockumus
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 03:04:58 PM
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@5 - I couldn't agree with you more on pretty much everything you said. It's pretty much how I feel. Also, No More Heroes does rule! I hope they make Desperate Struggle for the Move soon!

 
Forum Posts: 24859
Comment #12 by mjc0961
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 @ 03:54:42 PM
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@11: I have a Wii as well, so I ended up grabbing Desperate Struggle on that. I didn't like it as much as the first (you get knocked down all the time and have to mash buttons to get up, and then some asshole immediately knocks you down again. this happens a lot), but it was still pretty good. Also, Travis has a great line in the game.

"Everyone deals with grief differently. Some people fuck at funerals. I chop off heads."

Cracked me up big time. =D

 
Forum Posts: 22
Comment #13 by TNYSLMN
Thursday, May 10, 2012 @ 11:03:18 PM
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TRIED THE PLANTS VS ZOMBIES DEMO..I GIVE IT 3*S..


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Game Info
Developer:
The Workshop
Genre:

Release:

US May 22, 2012
Europe May 23, 2012
Japan June 14, 2012

Resolution: 480p, 720p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Collection:158
Wishlist:56
 
 
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