If the demo in single player mode of the new survival-sandbox di Devolver Digital e Galvanic Games was presented in a gameplay video on the occasion of the Devolver Digital Showcase 2023, this was not enough for us. We really wanted to get our hands on this one first demo version on Steam Of Wizard with a Gun, story of wizards and guns within a new title that comes as a mix between action and role-playing game with a fantasy setting. The team of Galvanic Games has set itself the goal of projecting us into a dark dimension with medieval traits, will it have succeeded? Let’s find out together in this first test!
Wizard with a Gun: The Return of the Black Magicians
In this first demo version available for free on Steam, we were able to test a short gameplay session, of which everything is clearly still being defined and improved, as well as most likely not adhering to the final content. In these first handful of hours, we have come across the knowledge of this black magicianprotagonist of the game and very similar to others seen in the fantasy world (starting from Vivi of Final Fantasy IX, a game that is experiencing its Memoria Project) and committed to immediately face obstacles on its way to be shot down and monsters to defeat. There won’t even be many secrets to discovercon challenges of survival to complete through map exploration and building encampments, but let’s go in order. In Wizard with a Gun the Galvanic team shows us right away how they are here the rogue-like dynamics are fundamental around which the title in question is based, where therefore we have in front of us a playful system focused on upgrading the equipment, on the fights and on the construction of the base structures. Although it is an online cooperative sandbox, for now we have only tested the single player version, the only one available, where we have begun to scour this arcane world and observe what it has offered us, between interesting customization options and as many flaws, daughters of a game in full development.
Between Necromancer and wayfarers, a sandbox to improve
Let’s start right from the initial menu, where the options of game settings were really poor. But they are all customizable, from screen resolution to commands, several and changeable on the keyboard. At the moment there is no controller input also for the PC version, a detail that we hope will be added later. Also we have at least eight save slots, but we won’t be able to save our progress at any point in the game. A mechanic that could put us in difficulty, especially in the face of a gameplay that has several enemies in waves and few resources to heal our vital points, right from the onset of the gameplay. Before finally setting off on our adventure, we may as well dress our wizard as you please, choosing its aesthetic among several available options. Are they expandable during the game and the progress we’ll make? We don’t know yet, but it could be an interesting starting point. That said, we begin to enter a one-way path, with no doubts about where we need to go and with different Necromancer to talk to. These creatures, which will appear on the screen as blue holograms, will give us indications on how to continue, as well as meeting a few other characters, such as the elderly wanderer with his guitar and others. One of the main actions required during the journey will be to destroy almost every resource we find, from trees and wooden crates to collect the remaining timber, to bushes for healing leaves and so on, in ascending order as we increase the difficulty level of the resources that we can destroy and make our own. We are also introduced immediately at crafting activitieswith objects to be made based on the resources that we collect gradually and that help us continue in the game, not very easy to solve and recover the necessary resources.
A gameplay to be reviewed, the artistic sector is good
Not everything went very well, in this first test of the demo; some sin it was noticed during gameplay, both technical and conceptual: first of all, our magician still doesn’t move correctly. When we would like to send him to the right, he actually starts running backwards and to hit the resources and enemies with our fists we must also make use of the directional arrows, as well as the first weapon, a sort of pistol, which is entrusted to us is from one side effective in aiming, thanks to the dashed line of the aim and trajectory to shoot, but on the other it has quite risky ammunition for the amount of enemies that are about to attack us. On the other hand, the artistic sector is goodboth in the graphics, really well defined on the screen of our PC and bright colors, both in terms of soundtrack, not unforgettable, but it can be worked on. Especially if all (or almost) the tracks will be made as Breath and Bone, the official song of the game which is already present in a separate and specially made video (available here). Plus the game it has not been dubbed and localized in Italian, hoping that its final version will have these characteristics. In the end the working of the software was really good and smooth, no loading problems on our machine and the gameplay also did not present lags in response, bugs or screen glitches or other difficulties that could have detracted from our gaming experience. However, we do not know how it can perform on next-gen consoles, where it is expected, after having apparently abandoned the portable console version, Nintendo Switch.
Piattaforme: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Sviluppatore: Galvanic Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release date: 2023
As far as we know, Wizard with a Gun still doesn’t have much time between the development phase and the official launch, expected towards the end of this year. However, what we have seen intrigues us on the one hand, and leaves us with a bitter taste on the other. There are several interesting contents that can be explored even more and in depth, but the technical deficiencies in some basic behaviors of the game are not insignificant. Furthermore, even the path present so far on the map and practicable during the game is not very exciting, being reduced and giving very little space for exploration. Sure, we don’t expect a huge open world, but being almost relegated to some sort of corridor isn’t tantalizing. Finally, there is still no possibility of testing what should be the game mode on which we focus a lot here, namely multiplayer, for which judgment consequently remains suspended. In our opinion, Wizard with a Gun is an interesting project, but it still requires a lot of work to make it live up to the good results it can bring home.