Wizordum – Preview
Follow Genre: Boomer-shooter, FPS
Developer: Emberheart Games
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Wizordum – Preview

Good: Already a great retro shooter
Bad: You will get stuck at times
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Wizordum¬†has been in Early Access since the end of November 2023, and the game is currently on route to release in the last few months of 2024. We decided to check what this retro shooter is all about, as it looks original but with a giant nod to many titles from the early ’90s. So far, we were definitely not disappointed. Dive in with us into what makes Wizordum great to play.

In Wizordum¬†the player gets a short introductory text before they dive deep into a land corrupted by darkness after an Ancient Seal got shattered. You play as one of the few with the power to confront the evil unleashed, as you are a spellcaster of Wizordum, an arcane knowledge sanctuary. After the introductory text, there’s no in-game story progress for now, at least not until you finish the entire first episode (which is how much there is available at the time of writing). The only things that sometimes have something to “say” are the corpses of other fallen wizards on the map. Yes, you are the sole survivor it seems, and probably the best there is.

Purely looking at the visuals, the crispy outlined sprites were one of the first things we noticed. These allow the player to properly differentiate what’s going on in the game, even during the busier parts. The colors and shading used for everything have simple but effective palettes. Combined with the clear outlines, this creates a cartoony, sometimes almost childish feeling for the game. We also felt that this visual style made the game more applicable for all ages compared to more seriously stylized games, especially when you compare it to the dark corners of DOOM or the brown-gray aesthetics of Quake. What we also really appreciated is the variety of environments and enemies that are reminiscent of games such as Catacombs and other old titles. It’s clear to us that the creators of Wizordum must be passionate lovers of retro FPS games themselves.

The strong visuals definitely get enhanced by great quality music. In fact, it’s been a while since we enjoyed almost every track in a game like this. Often a boomer shooter or modern FPS gets paired with some unknown metal guitarist and that’s that. In Wizordum, the background is a cinematic mix of orchestral, bombastic, and mysterious elements that depend on the map you are playing. It works very well for this game and it makes it feel less colorfully stylized somehow, so props for that to whoever decided that these would be a good match. The sound effects sound like they were made to give an old-school FPS feel to breaking barrels and shooting enemies, and while we were a bit hesitant about some of them at first, they also match the game well.

Gameplay-wise we thought the game was a bit easy for an FPS, especially at earlier levels. Luckily the game gradually increased its difficulty, and before we knew it we were actually having a lot of fun taking out enemies in different ways with different weaponry. While the game could still use some smarter A.I. here and there, we were also really amazed at the map size of each level. Sometimes it easily took us half an hour to get to the end, finding the right keys, backtracking to the right places, but also finding all the hidden treasures and secrets. There’s so much to see and to find that we found ourselves looking at our detailed map a lot while traveling, and mistrusting every wall to possibly be fake, which is also a classic element of the good old retro FPS games. That being said, we did get stuck on a big map sometimes when we couldn’t find the right key, and then the game can take very long if you don’t know where to go. Now, the big question for most people: Is it worth your money already? Playing through the entirety of Episode 1 took us a bit of time, and just buying this game for that first part alone to later continue with Episode 2 when it gets released, might easily be worth the money in terms of gameplay time and enjoyment.

Conclusion

As of the moment of writing, Wizordum is still an Early Access game but the game already plays like a fully-fledged boomer shooter, with a whole bunch of large levels to play through. Like the games of old, there are many enemies, secrets to be found, levels, colored keys that allow you to progress, and treasure. It’s a game that you can’t go wrong with buying early, and maybe you will simply play it again a year later as more content has been added. It’s a clear labor of love which always deserves support.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Wizordum - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Icecreamvamp


I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for 3rd-strike.com since 2017.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.