Thank you Gamers Gate for giving us this game to review!
While Magicka took place in the world of Havindir, the Vietnam DLC takes you back in time and into the jungles of Vietnam. Not only does it offer a twisted sense of humor, it also supplies a more challenging survival mode and a new multiplayer rescue mission where you have to rescue prisoners, destroy radio towers and weapon caches while trying to make it to the rendezvous alive. One great feature is that you don’t have to own the DLC to join a game, only the host needs it. If you want to buy it, the DLC sells for $4.99 which is half the price of Magicka.
Nothing has changed when it comes to the spells and basic gameplay. There are eight elements and you can combine up to five items at a time. The elements at your disposal are fire, water, ice, earth, arcane, life, lightning, and shield. You can target spells on yourself, ahead of you, or the area of effect around you. Some of the elements cancel each other out while others are hazardous to your health if used at the wrong time. For example, don’t use a lightning spell if you’re dripping wet; dry yourself off with a fire spell first.
Spells can be learned by finding and reading spell books scattered throughout the level. Most of the spells are learned by trial and error and when you add arcane to the mix it makes a very powerful beam of water, fire, or electricity. Unlike Ghostbusters, crossing beams in this game can be a good thing! When you add earth to lightning or ice you can make some powerful projectiles. Earth can also make land mines that can heal or hurt depending on the elements you use.
Besides spells, you now have access to guns, rocket launchers and grenades. This is a jungle war after all, and blowing stuff up is mandatory! A new flag staff and camouflage outfit has also been added to give your mage a true soldier look.
The survival mode is quite challenging and the rescue mission shouldn’t be taken lightly either. To successfully complete it I needed two other players with me. If everyone dies you have to start over from the beginning and completion often takes around twenty minutes.
Unsurprisingly, this game is still riddled with bugs and glitches. At one point my spell legend was completely gone and I was casting spells by guessing and memorization. Joining games may also take a few tries or different filtering techniques, though joining through Steam works most of the time.
The graphics are colorful and the jungle and rice field backdrops are very fitting. The enemies are all sporting the Asian straw hats now. You’ll even find surfboards scattered around to compliment the Beach Boys/60’s rock 'n' roll style music. The voice acting for Vlad is the same and I didn’t pick up any new funny comments from the enemies this time around.
For $4.99, Magicka Vietnam is a bit pricey since it adds only 30 minutes of game play for half the price of the game. If you see a sale bundle I would recommend picking it up, but if you have any doubts, try playing a hosted game first to see if you like it.