Xaviant’s Lichdom Battlemage was released on August 26th on Steam, and their booth at PAX Prime was always packed. At first glance, Lichdom looks very similar to playing a mage in The Elder Scrolls, but that is where the similarities end. Unlike most games where a mage would need to dual class in order to have survivability, Xaviant made theirs entirely self-sufficient. They wanted you to feel like a badass mage taking on the world, and they certainly succeeded.
From throwing lightning to summoning undead to do your bidding, Lichdom offers a wide variety of play styles depending on what you like best. Fire spells are all about damage, while Ice spells focus more on crowd control. As you play you learn which tactics work best in which areas and how best to approach various monsters. It seemed possible to find dozens of different ways to approach a difficult battle, and Xaviant encourages sharing what tactics work for you. As you reach end game you may find that during combat you hit some monsters for way more damage than they have health, resulting in overkill. Instead of wasting all that extra damage, Lichdom puts it into a pool, and when you have enough you’ll be able to trigger what’s known as a synergy spell. Synergy spells do massive amounts of damage in an area and have unique and awesome visuals, like the spell “frostburn”. When frostburn is cast it forms a giant tornado of fire and ice that quickly grabs any nearby enemies and pulls them into the vortex. It’s visually stunning and extremely deadly.
Amazing badass combat isn’t all that Lichdom has to offer us. As you play you find various ingredients you can use to craft bigger and better spells and even change the way a spell functions. Let’s say you have a small fire spell that forms a cone, but maybe you’re not a fan of cone damage. Perhaps you’d like something a little more single target and high damage. Well instead of finding a whole new spell you may not like as much, you can simply change it! Use older spells to rank up your big ones and you can change the shape of the spell at the same time. You can also boost your mage’s shield to protect him from more damage if you like! With the crafting system it really seems like the only limits are your imagination. Progressing through the storyline mode gets you plenty of loot to craft with, and if you explore a bit you may find what’s referred to as a ‘loot room’. A loot room is a special area with harder than normal monsters that may pose a significantly larger challenge than what you’ve already faced in the story mode. The bonus to this is that loot rooms offer a chance at greater treasure than you would find out in the world. If you die in a loot room you won’t get any loot – instead you’ll be sent outside to the save point where you’ll have a chance to swap up your spells and try it again. There’s no punishment for trying over and over, and it’s a great way to test out new ideas or tactics.
The graphics for Lichdom are just stunning. High resolution textures and realistic environments lend well to an immersive gameplay and are entrancing in their own right. At times I found myself staring as much at the moving water or the detail in the pillars as I was the combat going on right in front of me. It isn’t just the textures that are breathtaking but the lighting and atmospherics as well. The art team obviously spent a lot of time and took a lot of care to make the game look not only badass and amazing in its own right but gorgeous and humbling as well. It is as fun to watch someone play as it is to play it yourself. I would certainly recommend checking it out if you love a first person combat game or just want to be an amazing badass mage. You can find it on Steam for $39.99, and we’ll let you know more of our thoughts on it as soon as we pick up a copy ourselves!