Review – Sorcery

The much anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive Sorcery releases tomorrow, but we have spent the last week casting spells and taking down bad guys using the PlayStation Move controller. Was the game worth its weight in faerie dust, or should you leave this one in the cauldron?

Read our review to find out.


It’s not everyday that a game is released that forces you to use a peripheral that not everyone has adopted. The PlayStation Move has been around for a while and hasn’t really had that ‘killer game’ yet that would make gamers go out and grab one. Sorcery just might be the game that does that.

In Sorcery, you play as Finn, the teenage apprentice of an older wizard named Dash.  Finn has a great deal of promise as a sorcerer, but he’s impatient and undisciplined.  Dash’s careful and studious approach to magic has left Finn bored and impatient. When Dash has to travel away, Finn decides to look for a wand to practice with. While practicing, his recklessness destroys one of Dash’s potions he was working on and some of the ingredients are hard to come by. Dash’s talking cat Erline, in an effort to scare Finn into a more obedient state, tells him he must travel to the land of the dead to retrieve more of these rare ingredients. While there, instead of being scared straight by the undead, he learns that he’s just as strong of a sorcerer as he thought he was.

While in the land of the dead you learn how to cast spells using your motion controller. A flick of your wrist sends an impulse in the direction your Move is pointed, and this impulse can destroy objects lying around, as well as enemies. Destroying objects like vases nets you gold coins, which will be used to purchase items (more on this later). Be sure to destroy as much as possible because gold is always valuable. The feel for the controller might take a little to get used to, but once you get past the short learning curve, you’ll be blasting things with precision in no time. Learning how to curve your shots takes a little more practice than a dead on shot, but is well worth learning.

The storyline follows you and Erline as you try to stop The Nightmare Queen from casting eternal night upon the Faerie Kingdom. Your sorcerer leaves the picture for some time, and you’ll have to learn new spells on your own. You’ll eventually learn spells that allow you to master the earth, wind, fire, ice and electricity. By mastering the quick change system of spell casting, you can learn combos that can turn a wall of fire into a fire storm with a flick of your wrist. Blast your pulses into this fire storm, and fire balls will shoot out to take out massive numbers of enemies in seconds. The key to being a powerful sorcerer lies within those combos. Learn them well and no number of ice trolls will stand in your way.

Along your journey there will be chests holding treasures and/or items that you will use with the in-game alchemy system. Potions can be brewed that will upgrade your spell abilities, make you stronger, or turn out to be useless. The 56 combinations are varied and the only way you’ll learn all of the potions is by combining the many different ingredients. It takes 3 separate ingredients for each potion. The actual mixing of ingredients also uses the Move controller, and adds to the great overall feel of the game.

Ingredients are obtained from the aforementioned chests or by purchasing them from the Alchemist that shows up from time to time along your journey. He will give you gold for any treasures you may have found along the way, and will sell you items you’ll need for your potions. The potion bottle is by far the most expensive item he sells, and you can’t make a useful potion without one. Careful thought should be made before hastily purchasing things from him. Looking through your inventory, and knowing what you need for a certain potion, should allow you to make wise purchases. The alchemy system is well thought out, and how you develop your sorcerer is strictly up to you. You can upgrade a few spells heavily, or you can evenly distribute the upgrades across the board. The choice is yours.

The enemies in the game vary from undead ghosts, to overgrown trolls that are generally a pain in the butt. Each enemy has its own spell weakness, and knowing which spell that is is the key to success. There are five unique worlds and each has its own set of unique enemies. The enemies are detailed nicely. Ice trolls are a mean looking sort, as most trolls should be. The many different types of enemies gives the game a varied feel.

The worlds are almost all linear, with a few side tracks that can lead you to hidden chests. Leaving the beaten path at times is a plus, and finding all of the chests is no easy task. For you completionists out there, there is no level select and no back tracking, so finding everything on one run through will be a challenge.

The graphics are top notch and the level of detail within each world is nicely done. This is a very good looking game, with no pixelations even on a big screen TV. While it does only play at 720p, the graphics are still great and easy on the eyes. Gameplay also includes some puzzle solving, and the level of detail on some of these might test your brain power.

The sound track for the game was composed by the award winning composer Mark Mancina. The music ranges from light and fun, all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum with some of the boss battles. The tempo rises and falls depending on your situation, and sets the tone for the overall feel of the game nicely. The sound track is already available on the PlayStation store, and its 28 tracks are worth a listen to.

The PlayStation Move controller hasn’t always been treated with the respect that it deserves from developers. It’s understandable that there are gamers out there that think it’s nothing more than a gimmick brought out by the PlayStation brand to just make a buck. The problem hasn’t been the Move itself, but the lack of a great game utilizing it.

Sorcery is that great game.