In 2010, Sorcery was revealed to be a game that will exclusively utilize the PlayStation Move controller to its fullest extent, and is widely considered by many to be the Move’s “killer app” for 2012. Last we saw of Sorcery, the game’s protagonist was placed in an underground tunnel filled with many little creatures and foes as he fought his way through them by using his wizarding magic à la Harry Potter’s can-of-whoop-ass. Leaving the audience intrigued, we waited patiently for further details about the game’s arrival and when we’ll have a chance to see more of Sorcery. Unfortunately, that was the last we’ve heard of the game, and somewhere in my mind, I had a disappointing feeling that it may have been cancelled.
Good news! The game is still a project in the making and has made drastic changes to what we last saw of it on stage during Sony’s E3 press conference. Sorcery currently uses a heavily modified version of the Unreal Engine; substantially changing the game’s art style.
“Coming out of E3, we knew there were some things we weren’t happy with. We really wanted to re-tool the game’s look, its world,” said Brian Upton, design director for Sorcery. “We had the gameplay we wanted, but it just wasn’t ready for public consumption.”
According to Brain Upton, the player will take control of Finn, a sorcerer’s apprentice and a real headstrong kind of guy who’s always itchin’ for adventures and kicking ass with his magical powers. Finn, being the impulsive guy that he is, winds up accidentally stirring trouble in the Realm of the Dead by unleashing a cataclysmic force that will wreak havoc on Finn and the world. As expected, Finn must gear up his wand to undo the mistakes he’s done to save the world.
As a PlayStation Move title, Sorcery looks to change the “Simon Says” styled gameplay that’s common in most motion controlled games by giving players a little more freedom to do what they wish by utilizing simple spells and abilities of their choosing in any combination. Brain says that spells can be used in any combination; however, they can also be layered on top of each other to make devastating blows to your enemies.
Sorcery’s ultimate goal, as a PlayStation Move title, is to make the game easy to pick up and play, and to be very accessible for incoming players.The game will begin with spells that will only require a mere flick of the wrist. As the player progresses through the story and earns more spells, the moves will then become more complex that will require the bending and twirling of the Move controller to send curved bolts and spells into foes. There is an array of ways to incinerate your enemies. The trick is to find which combination best suits you.
“There’s an alchemy system. As you travel through the world, you’ll discover magical ingredients and you can use them to research new magical potions. There are roughly 56 magical potions in all, and every time you drink one, it gives you a permanent upgrade.”
Puzzle sequences will play a big role in Sorcery, as they will change the pace of the game to keep the player from tiring themselves from all the fighting and combat sections it has to offer. Although many of the puzzles aren’t brainteasers, the game will give players a variety of playstyles and a well needed change of pace.
“What we showed at E3 was largely organized around a dungeon crawl, and we realized we didn’t want that. We wanted a full-blown fantasy world, not a series of tunnels. A lot of our re-tooling involved moving the action gameplay into a more free-flowing space. The E3 version also had a much younger hero, and the enemies were a lot more cartoonish. We thought, “you know, we have a game here that would appeal to a hardcore PlayStation gamer…and it looks a little bit like Spyro!” Brain laughs. “We didn’t want people to get the wrong impression, so we wanted to bring the visuals in-line with the gameplay.”
Sorcery is currently being developed by The Workshop and will release exclusively for the PlayStation 3 sometime in Spring 2012.