Paradox Interactive recently made available it's in-development and free-to-play Magicka: Wizard Wars to Steam's line-up of Early Access titles. While the game isn't at the free-to-play stage yet, eager players can select from three different packages with the cheapest entry point at $12.99. As with all Steam Early Access titles, players that purchase the game during its development stage will automatically gain access to the full game upon release.
Fans of the Magicka game series will instantly recognize the gameplay in Wizard Wars as it follows the same formula, yet transformed into what the developers refer to as an online, spellcasting action player versus player game. The current game mode currently available in alpha has two competing teams of four wizards each battling for control of spawn points. Victory conditions include either gaining the desired match score or controlling all of the spawn points at once. As one might guess, teamwork plays an important role as not coordinating attacks or defending spawn points can lead to a quick and punishing defeat.
Combat is handled through a dynamic spellcasting system that allows for players to utilize the various elements ranging from lightning and fire to water and rock. Elements can either be cast individually or combined for producing unique results. In addition, players gradually generate a power meter that at different stages can unleash devastating special powers such as a dragon's fire bombing or enclosing a player in a wall of rocks. With hundreds of spell combinations possible and friendly fire always enabled, battles are often hectic encounters as the screen is filled with a variety of magical explosions and spellcasts.
While the current alpha doesn't contain a large amount of features, it does contain plenty of entertaining and addictive spellcasting combat. Magicka: Wizard Wars is a nice change of pace from other competitive online games as elements such as constant friendly fire and the dynamic spell system result in a unique online experience. It's also refreshing to see the developers are actively seeking feedback from current players regarding the game's development. Wizard Wars is recommended to both fans of the Magicka series and MOBA veterans searching for the next game to master.
With the game only in its alpha stage, it will be exciting to see what the developers are planning for the game's future development stages. Magicka: Wizard Wars is available now on Steam Early Access for Windows PC.