Warlocks 2: God Slayers is a retro-themed Platformer RPG set in a gorgeous pixel art world of magic and villains abound. I immediately was brought back to my childhood, as the game reminded me eerily of the 1994 release of The Lion King on the Sega Genesis, except it’s all about Warlocks instead.
Gameplay mechanics in Warlocks 2 are very simple. Being an RPG Platformer, mechanics aren’t the best in the world, but could seriously borrow from games like Hollow Knight. Simplistic as they are, they’re still fun, to an extent. It’s very evident the game was created with a controller in mind, the game even goes so far to point out that you’d auto-lock onto enemies if you used one.
Immediately you’ll find that the Spacebar doesn’t jump. Instead, you use WSAD to move, with W being your jump key, and S being the key you use to move down on say a bridge, or other blocks that allow you to navigate downwards. It took me some time to get used to this, I found myself constantly hitting Spacebar in an effort to jump, only to find it using one of my abilities. The worst part about this is the fact that you cannot rebind keys, so you’re stuck with what they have it set to.
Keys are bound to Right Mouse, Left Mouse, Left Control, which you bind abilities to. Thankfully you can choose what you’d like to go where, even with the lack of key rebinding, it just takes a bit to get used to the system of keybinds. Outside of attacks, you’ve got hotkeys 1, 2, 3, and 4, which are used for healing items.
Unfortunately, when you compare this game to other platformers such as Hollow Knight, for example, you’re left wanting. Warlocks 2 is rather lackluster and shallow in comparison.
The gameplay is fun, albeit limiting. When you’re dealing with a platformer RPG, you’re rather limited in what you can achieve in terms of pure gameplay. It’s a rather narrow niche genre, and the maps really limit you to what you can do. Yet even with these limitations, it’s still fun to play. I think cooldowns could be changed somewhat, as I felt like my attacks were really slow in comparison to the enemies, which resulted in my death when I was surrounded by dozens of them at once.
I was at odds on the platforming mechanics at first. Wondering how I could get to the ledges holding treasure chests with the lack of a double jump. Then I unlocked an ability that allowed me to teleport slightly, giving me the distance I needed to jump just high enough to reach them. Only to be disappointed that the treasure chests largely only had coins. That’s not to say none had items, I just expected more from a hard to reach chest.
If you’ve ever played a simple platformer hack n’ slash title, you know what to expect. Combat is straight forward, there are no real surprises here. Which also means it’s basically the limiting factor of the game. Sure, you’ve got a skill tree and you can customize which abilities you have equipped, it just doesn’t bring the game to the next level at all in my opinion. I feel as if the choices are a moot point, I don’t feel the urgency of taking one over the other.
If the combat and simple mechanics are so limiting, surely the story has to be good right? Unfortunately, Warlocks 2 lacks a meaty story. With a game that has such a great atmosphere with the pixel art, the writing simply detracts from the overall experience. So much to the point where you spam past the corny one-liners simply to get to the next quest.
You can tell the designers have a keen love for Star Wars. The first place you travel to is a Canteen, and what’s that sitting right next to the bar? A band that looks oddly familiar. While not direct copies, you can tell they came directly from a Star Wars Cantina, at least that’s my impression.
Maybe it’s just me, but the shallow puns from saying someone has Herpes, to NPC’s called Pothead just don’t appeal to me. Maybe I’m being nitpicky here, but I just don’t think the writing was good enough to include shallow puns.
The graphical design of the game is rather pleasing. Beautiful hand-drawn pixel artwork from the character design all the way down to each level design. I have a soft place for beautiful pixel art, even more so for a beautifully designed game that utilizes pixel art. It’s not an easy thing to do, and Frozen District nailed it!
For the most part, the audio aspect is decent. Some of the mobs have rather weird noises they make, and some abilities just sound wonky and not fitting at all. I really expected better sound effects to go with the beautiful design of the game world. Overall, they’re not bad, and I can’t really complain about them, I just expected more.
Thankfully the soundtrack is pleasing, and it’s a feature I think many will enjoy.
Unfortunately, I did run into a progress blocking bug, with the only way to bypass it is to start over from scratch. Without having any save feature, and relying on the game’s autosave only, issues like this are bound to happen. It’s a very bad thing to have a bug block complete progression with the only recourse is starting over from square one. While I’m sure they can fix this, for the time being, I am absolutely stuck unless I decide to start the game over again and let me say I don’t look forward to that at all.
I can say, however, that this bug is the only one I’ve come across so far. Whether that’s a good thing or not is debatable. It’s just hard to justify this as a buy in the current state. Without the bug, I’d say it’s a solid buy if you’re into this type of game. Otherwise, wait for a deep sell!