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[Review] Lichdom: Battlemage: Great Ideas, Mediocre Execution

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Lichdom: Battlemage is one hell of a cool idea from Xaviant. Remember Hexen, the first-person shooter where you played a mage instead of some gun-toting action hero? That’s the idea behind Lichdom, and for the most part Xaviant takes the idea in the right direction delivering a competent, if not fully-realized Action RPG. Read on for our full review.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Lichdom: Battlemage - Great Ideas, Mediocre Execution.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Disappointing to see some of the downsides. Hopefully they will make a fuller and more serious RPG after this. Can you imagine an Elder Scrolls style game with this combat system? Brilliant!

    I imagine just being an indie game they had to kind of pick their battles and choose their features conservatively in order to actually
    Make a polished game that looks like a AAA title. I would have to think offering a bigger more open Would have just been too much for them to handle on a reasonable schedule.

    Really would be nice to see this in a larger sequel for sure.

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  • MitaraMitara NAPosts: 525Member Uncommon
    There should be a punishment for making boring monotone games like this...
  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,506Member Uncommon

    Awesome combat alone - is not enough to make a good *game*

    An awesome game however can exist with *ok* combat, it doesn't have to be great.

    Game design 101

     

    I think this raises one potential issue with *indie games* - they usually nail ONE aspect really well - but fail to deliver on other parts due to small team, lack of funds etc...

  • RhazmuzRhazmuz Posts: 208Member Common
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    What you should get off is the game train, cause action  combat is here to stay! And for the better if you ask me. There is room for both types of gameplay, action combat or slower "old school" combat. Id you want the latter, there is divinity and the coming pillars of eternity. Dont try and force you own mindset on the entire genre, allow variation and diversity.

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILPosts: 1,702Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano

    Awesome combat alone - is not enough to make a good *game*

    An awesome game however can exist with *ok* combat, it doesn't have to be great.

    Game design 101

     

    I think this raises one potential issue with *indie games* - they usually nail ONE aspect really well - but fail to deliver on other parts due to small team, lack of funds etc...

    I view Secret World in this category.  The combat is ok, but the rest of the game is great IMO.

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter.

     

    Ehh... no.

    I don't see why you think you can't roleplay action style.

  • ThumbtackJThumbtackJ columbus, OHPosts: 539Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. 

    Nonsense. Plenty of wonderful RPGs have action-oriented combat. Gothic 2, Risen, The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout New Vegas, The Witcher 1/2, and several aRPGs (PoE for example). 

     

    And action combat in RPGs is nothing new. Hell, TES Chapter 1 Arena came out in 1994.

  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLPosts: 993Member Uncommon
    Glad I bought it for $19.99 at early release.  
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    There's absolutely no proof of that at all.

    catering to solo players was full maximized in WoW so many years ago. A non action game.

    Giving players specific reasons to group and interact is what is needed.

    Some of the best grouping experiences I've ever had was in Tera. Also the best tanking experience I've ever had. In a group!

    So yeah, give me more action combat.

     

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    I agree with some of the later posters.

    Action combat certainly has it's place in RPGs. But other styles do as well. Most people on this site seem to want the entire genre to focus strictly on the type that they like and insist all the others are bad. To me that is such a marrow minded and silly thing to suggest. There's millions of fans out there, why should some be locked out from being able to enjoy style that they like?

    I know it stings when a game really looks cool and you like many aspects about it but then the combat or some other major feature is just something you can't deal with. It bites, hard. TSW was a big one for me in that regard. I love the setting the lore the quests. Just can't get into the combat really. It's a bummer but I try to just accept it and move on. I know there's plenty of people who do like it just the way it is.

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  • NetspookNetspook OsloPosts: 1,503Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Viper482
    Glad I bought it for $19.99 at early release.  

     

    Imo, what you paid doesn't mean much, at least when said without nothing else.

    The real question is:

    Do you feel it was worth the money?

  • sakersaker harrisburg, PAPosts: 993Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    I have pretty much zero stomach for the new fad, "action combat", and agree it has no place in MMO's for at least the reason you mention plus more.

  • jesteralwaysjesteralways ChittagongPosts: 1,007Member Uncommon
    repetitive, you mean like Diablo or similar games? where every map is either a upside down or rotated or rearranged version of  2 or 3 core maps?   

    i want an open world, no phasing, no instancing.i want meaningful owpvp.i want player driven economy.i want meaningful crafting.i want awesome exploration, a sense of thrill.i want ow housing with a meaningful effect on my entire gameplay experience, not just some instanced crap.i want all of these free of cost, i don't wanna pay you a cent, game devs can eat grass and continue developing game for me.
    Seems like that is the current consensus of western mmo players.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by saker
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    I have pretty much zero stomach for the new fad, "action combat", and agree it has no place in MMO's for at least the reason you mention plus more.

    Action combat isn't new. It has been popular since the early 90s with Heretic and Hexen. This game is in the same genre and style as those games.

    Action combat in MMOs has been around since at least 1998 with Lineage which is an isometric sprite based game that encouraged grouping and strongly supported solo play. It is an incredibly social game and about as hardcore as an mmo gets without permadeath. It is also the second most popular subscription game in the world after WoW (this is based on NCSoft revenue reports and game play reports from China and Korea).

    Show some correlation and support if you're going to make such outlandish claims.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,197Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SBFord

    Lichdom: Battlemage is one hell of a cool idea from Xaviant. Remember Hexen, the first-person shooter where you played a mage instead of some gun-toting action hero? That’s the idea behind Lichdom, and for the most part Xaviant takes the idea in the right direction delivering a competent, if not fully-realized Action RPG. Read on for our full review.

    Read more of Bill Murphy's Lichdom: Battlemage - Great Ideas, Mediocre Execution.

     

    Bill, Hexen and Heretic didn't really have much exploration either. You could explore maps for hidden passages and small troves, but there wasn't a living interactive world there. I can see how a modern version should be more engaging though and $40 is a lot to ask in my opinion. For an action fix I think the VanHelsing games offer more, even though they're not FPS. I'll definitely wait for a Steam sale though. You can get the entire Heretic/Hexen collection on Steam for $10.

  • silvermembersilvermember saint paul, MNPosts: 531Member

    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    Your comment is amusing in a very sad and pathetic way. Action combat in an RPG is nothing new except to you apparently the sooner you realize that the genre is moving towards action the better your life would be.

  • Solar_ProphetSolar_Prophet Columbus, OHPosts: 875Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by ThumbtackJ

    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. 

    Nonsense. Plenty of wonderful RPGs have action-oriented combat. Gothic 2, Risen, The Elder Scrolls series, Fallout New Vegas, The Witcher 1/2, and several aRPGs (PoE for example). 

     

    And action combat in RPGs is nothing new. Hell, TES Chapter 1 Arena came out in 1994.

    I'll do you one better. Ultima Underworld, one of the games often cited as being one of the main inspirations of the Elder Scrolls games (esp. Arena), came out in 1992. Also, Ultima 7, released in late 1991, arguably had action combat as well... on top of doing things such as a living world with NPCs who followed schedules and carried out their jobs during the day (something not duplicated until Oblivion in 2006, IIRC).

    God damn I miss old-school Origin.

    AN' DERE AIN'T NO SUCH FING AS ENUFF DAKKA, YA GROT! Enuff'z more than ya got an' less than too much an' there ain't no such fing as too much dakka. Say dere is, and me Squiggoff'z eatin' tonight!

  • NiburuNiburu BerlinPosts: 378Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by tordurbar

    "Takes the idea in the right direction...action RPG". No. It is not the right direction. Action combat does not belong in an RPG it belongs in a shooter. Posters on this site often decry that the newer mmo cater to solo players. I submit that action combat encourages this. When the primary emphasis of the game is the combat itself there is little time for interacting with other players or for true role playing.

    Getting off my soapbox now. Thank you.

    So, Morrowind for example wasnt an RPG for you ? Action, First Person Combat truly belongs into RPG as it makes the whole  expierince much more immersive.

     

    Now the Dev's have to create such a game

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Torvaldr

    Bill, Hexen and Heretic didn't really have much exploration either.

    This was my first thought too. (and as always, good article, and a cool HL video :) )

    Both Heretic and Hexen were only re-skinned first-person-shooters. Which is not a bad thing, on the contrary, can't tell how many times we've played through the two Dooms, even in co-op mode. But that's a different genre, where map design and AI are crucial. In Lichdom, the focus is not there. It's just a one-way street with occasional fight scenes.

    With fiddling the different spells, exploring spell combinations, etc. this game is closer to Arx Fatalis perhaps - only it's much "thinner", since it doesn't have anything else beyond combat.

     

    So I believe the title's "Mediocre Execution" is a fitting one, the game is lacking from both sides, too simple for a FPS fan, and also too simple as an RPG. True, it's not a massive AAA title, and also it doesn't mean the game is not fun, for a short few hours of play.

    I think I'll join the camp of "Waiting for a sale"...

  • Four0SixFour0Six Missoula, MTPosts: 1,181Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Mitara

    There should be a punishment for making boring monotone games like this...

     

    There is.

    It wont sell they wont get rich.

     

    LOVE me some market economics. :)

     

  • CristianoDiazCristianoDiaz Miami, FLPosts: 4Member
    I think the criticisms of the game are valid. I've enjoyed playing it immensely so far, but it has gotten a bit repetitive. That said, the quality of the game itself - the visuals, the combat, the voice acting and animations is quite impressive. I don't regret buying it. Based upon what I saw during early access, the developer is incredibly responsive to feedback, so I imagine there will be improvements to the game in the future. It definitely is a great first effort - not perfect certainly, but the potential is there for a great series.
  • JDis25JDis25 Posts: 706Member Uncommon
    Combat can't make the game for me, it needs to have more. That being said, combat does have to be somewhat fun. I really love Secret World, but I have a hard time logging in these days just because the combat is so boring.
  • NinjaGazNinjaGaz MacclesfieldPosts: 53Member Common

    Just came back to MMORPG.Com and I must say that I do like TheHiveLeaders videos.

    Nice graphics on this one, but clearly needs something to keep the interest (Like most games these days). Everyone has been there, done that. Hard to make something new.

  • gsgalaxygsgalaxy HütschenhausenPosts: 5Member
    To me it feels more like they were trying to make a 'kind of' Diablo game style into first person. Here in Lichdom the gameplay  feels repetitive - the same gamplay (repetitive hack'n slay) in Diablo is described as great and gets high praise... 
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