REVIEW: Wizard Rage

Way back when I started this thing, back when XBLIG was still drawing some interest from Xbox 360 owners, I used to lament the lack of multiplayer support in some games. I was convinced1 that if developers chose to implement online features in games where it made sense, that it might turn around the service and give fence-sitters a reason to take a second look at XBLIG. Now skip ahead four-plus years, and here I am playing Wizard Rage ($1.00), wishing the game had an offline option. How’s that for irony?

Wizard Rage is an FPS that drops bullets from the killing menu and adds spells (because you’re a wizard, Harry!), where Xbox avatars comprise the combatants, using three different character classes to wage war against up to eight others online. And only online. That part’s important. Minus the ability to move around the gorgeous map and test out your wizarding skills— ahem, on walls and floors and such— there is no option to skirmish against any A.I.

The trio of classes to choose from offers you a decent amount of variety; the Warlock’s fireball-based spells pack a punch (at the expense of slower reloads), a Sorcerer can teleport and find targets through walls, while the Necromancer summons copies of itself to act as decoys and launches lighting bolts. No one class has a clear advantage over another2, enabling you to swap between play styles and spell types as you wish.

Wizard Rage - Screen

The map itself amplifies that approach to spontaneity, with claustrophobic stairways opening up into wider foyers and rooms. You can set traps or wall off certain areas to play defense, or rush in for the kill and then quickly teleport out of trouble. Performance-wise, the game did stutter a little when too much action was taking place on-screen, but that’s minor compared to the difficulty of finding others online to play with.

Much like other multiplayer-only games before it, your mileage with Wizard Rage will vary. The game is fun when you manage to rope a friend or two into the mix, but without that (and XBLIG’s non-existent community), you’ll never be able to even play the game in a social setting, let alone appreciate it. Four years ago, things might have been very different for Wizard Rage. Now, you might have to skip it based solely on reality. And that is a shame.

  1. Then again, I was convinced of a lot of things four years ago. And I had higher hopes for XBLIG. I think a lot of people did. Sadly, we all know how that one turned out. 
  2. Although admittedly, the bit about shooting enemy-seeking skulls as the Necromancer is a pretty good win in my book. 

9 thoughts on “REVIEW: Wizard Rage”

  1. Thanks for the review!
    This was an ambitious title for me, and I’m glad you liked it. Perhaps I can take it to the Xbox One or Steam in the future – with local multiplayer and bots.

    1. No problem! Yeah, I hate to play the pessimist here, but you’d likely find better success elsewhere at this point. That, or having the Bots for test dummies. Even then, the FPS part would have to be pretty compelling to keep people interested longer term, or have unlockables / leveling up. Wizard Rage doesn’t go with the standard ‘gun’ setup, though, so that’s a plus. Best of luck!

  2. Huh, is a code fest its seems, just like… mmm… I cant come up with anything stripper related, Im losing my power, lack of practice πŸ™‚
    I will like a code if you got any left, thx in advance. Btw I admire your dedication to the site and the dying XBLIG, its seems you will fight the 12 rounds until the journey is officially over. Thx for all the reviws in that past Tim, was fun, reading your review, reading comment etc…
    Godspeed πŸ™‚

    1. I’ll let the lack of a stripper reference slide this time. Thank you for sticking around to read this stuff and keep XBLIG on life support. I’ll be here to the end, so it’s nice to know I’ll have some company. πŸ™‚

  3. Screen shots make it look amazing. Funny how quickly that life cycle was/is on XBLIG multiplayer. Some how I missed it’s heyday.

    Seems like spell casting is the next big wave of games. Seems to be a few of them showing up on the One as well.

    Don’t waste a code on me since I’m without a 360 atm however I’m still hearing rumors that the entire Indie games library may go BC one day. That would be so fucking awesome really.

    1. I mean, it looks pretty good in action too. Not a bad-looking or bad-playing game at all, and it’s rather shitty that multiplayer-only games like this don’t have much of a shot on XBLIG. Particularly in this ‘Wait, you mean XBLIG is still a thing?!? I thought they pulled the plug on that shit a loooong time ago.’ environment.

      I’m getting that Wizard-y vibe as well, but that’s how games are; everything goes in cycles. Movies are the same way.

      And stop with these rumors! I need concrete evidence, dammit! πŸ˜€ Would be nice, that’s for sure.

  4. Fancy yourself a Wizard? Sure you do, and you should probably seek help for that at some point. But thanks to developer K-Dog Games, I’ve got three copies of Wizard Rage to give away. If you’re interested, simply reply to this comment and the game is yours!

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