Hack 'N Slash
Warlocks is one of an increasing number of franchises to begin life as a Kickstarter project. Seeking funding back in 2014, developers Frozen District pitched Warlocks Vs Shadows as a 2D Action RPG/Hack ‘N Slash, seeing you fend off an army of shadows monsters invading the world. Featuring a heavy emphasis on the co-operative elements of gameplay, it was successfully funded, seeing release on Steam in 2015 and selling enough copies to convince Frozen District to develop a sequel. Four years later, we now arrive at the release of Warlocks 2: God Slayers, bringing a brand new campaign in which you face the wrath of the gods. It still proves to be a lot of fun with friends but it’s not one without issues.
The Crazy World of Svalbard
The story takes place after the events of the first game on the world of Svalbard, with the Order of the Warlocks having incited the vengeance of the gods after stopping an army of shadow monsters. Your hub world is within a bar called Strong Angel, complete with a trader for item purchases or selling obtained wares, a shaman, and a live music group that looks suspiciously similar to the Cantina band. But almost immediately after reaching Strong Angel, you’ll find yourself traversing the globe across multiple regions.
The game provides a large number of both main and side quests to keep you busy, with a large variety of enemies determined to stop the Warlocks from fulfilling their missions. It’s up to your chosen Warlock to bring down these threats, combining different styles of Hack N’ Slash gameplay depending on your chosen character, with 2D platforming as you explore the new regions boasting some nice, if not entirely polished, pixel art graphics.
A Colourful Crew
God Slayers provides the option to play as one of 5 different Warlocks, each with different abilities that will come in handy as you fight your way through each region. You can choose from Shax the Spirit Lord, who fights using a combination of spirit summoning, purple fireballs and the Ethereal Bow. Then there’s Willow, who shoots roses and can stun her enemies. Thirdly, we have Jake, a Phoenix wielder who uses his bird both as an attack and a means to dodge enemies. The fourth option is Kormag, a dwarven goat and finally we have Kherra, a dagger wielding Shaman. As the game progresses, you unlock the ability to give the Warlocks pets, which primarily serve to grant additional spell power and you can evolve them too. One thing the game manages to pull off well is character variety, with none of them feeling like direct copies of each other.
As you continue through the game, you’ll begin to earn experience from completing quests and defeating enemies. Using skill points gained from leveling, you can either choose to upgrade your existing abilities, which can be done up to five times, or choose yourself new ones. Just be aware that you can’t have more than four equipped at once and some abilities have a cooling off period, which means you can’t just spam your way through a level.
Back for More
It’s clear that Warlocks 2: God Slayers was designed for multiple playthroughs, with the standard game lasting from 8-10 hours and utilizing a procedurally generated loot system to keep reward drops interesting. Whilst the game doesn’t include traditional difficulty settings, it does provide options to bring more of a challenge. This includes “Glass Cannon”, which means you deal 50% more damage but take 100% extra per hit, “Bullet Hell” for more frequent enemy attack, “For the Horde” to increase the number of enemies and more.
If you’re playing solo you may struggle to find the motivation to continue however, as the enemies starts to feel repetitive outside of the bosses and there’s little visual distinction between some regions. This isn’t helped by the lack of development in terms of the NPCs, as you’ll often find different characters from completely separate regions repeating the exact same dialogue, which can break immersion.
The game can also feel unbalanced when it comes to enemy aggression, as you can suddenly become overwhelmed by the quick-fire succession of attacks from a group of enemies if you’re not careful. That being said, it’s only when you start playing with friends that the game comes alive, with the PC version of the game providing local and online co-op for up to 4 players, and it’s clear that this is the experience Frozen District have tried to prioritize in Warlocks 2.
The Order of the Warlocks
Warlocks 2 is a fun but flawed game, one that comes with a good amount of charm and the dialogue will certainly make you laugh. It proves to be a lot more of an enjoyable experience with others, with action elements feeling more balanced across a party of players. Overall it’s not an experience which ever truly pulls you in, and ends up leaving you wanting more. If you’re playing as a group, you could do a lot worse than Warlocks 2 but for anyone playing alone, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Fun Co-Op experience with friends. Good sense of humour in the dialogue. A nice level variety of gameplay. options to keep things interesting.
Solo play is dull and repetitive. Presentation comes across as unpolished. Difficulty can feel unbalanced.