How was the game received?: Purchased by the Over30Clan for purpose of Review
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Release Date: February 13th 2020
Cost: 45.49 CDN
Where to buy it: Get it Here!
Reviewers PC Specs
Processor: Intel i5 7500
RAM: 16 GB Corsair DDR4 @ 3200mhz
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2070
Monitor: 1440p 27in 144hz 5ms response
“Is that some Warhammer 40k I see there”ashman487
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, henceforth just called “Wolcen” is a new ARPG launching on Feb 13 2020 by Wolcen Studios. As far as games in the genre are concerned, Wolcen is the only one to run on a new engine leveraging CryEngine. This appears to be their first game to market from this new developer, an ambitious project with fantastic execution.
Since i reviewed Wolcen during the beta, I only had access to the first chapter of the story, a fully voice acted story I might add. The story managed to grab hold of me after the first cut scene. You are not going to find any pre-rendered CGI scenes here, but, they are more than serviceable.
It was during this first cut scene I noticed the armor the main cast were wearing. It had a very distinct Warhammer 40k vibe. I think that is awesome since Warhammer 40k has some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever seen. Without going into spoilers, the “toon” you control gets separated from his pals and embarks on a quest to figure out just what happened to him. That is a very basic explanation but hey, were talking an ARPG here. I have played many an ARPG that the story is not even there. Which leads me to…..
If you played an APRG on the PC before you already know what to do. Right click you move/attack whatever you clicked on. Left click you use a spell/skill attached to that mouse button. Number of skills you can hotkey to whatever you want them to be. Here is the kicker….by default space bar is a DODGE BUTTON! This is not some dorky little dodge. This is dark soul’s lvl stuff. You get I frames. There was a spot in act 1 where I thanked my star symbol that I was able to dodge 5 times in a row. This adds a wrinkle to combat that is not only refreshing, but changes the way combat flows. Got a bunch of charging dudes with swords that look like they can cleave through a building. Dodge behind them. Got a nasty spell about to go off underneath your feat? Dodge roll to safety. Game controls beautifully.
Now I bet a lot of you are reading this and telling yourselves…but Ashman…its an ARPG, you’re not talking about the best part. Well, continue to read my friend.
This is where Wolcen shines! Thanks to the Crytek engine loot not only can change your build completely but is also shiny, detailed, an awesome looking. You got your classes of loot “of course” normal “trash”, “magic”, “might look at rare”, “I will pick it up Legendary”, “always pick up” and “Unique of course going to pick it up”. It is the unique loot where things get interesting. The few unique items I found did not do as much damage as some of the rare items or legendary items, though they modified a skill.
Say for example, shooting twice instead of once, or more critical hit chance at a cost of attack speed. This is amazing. I can only imagine since the full release the lvl cap will be 90, some of these can/will be complete build changers. It adds a layer of depth that I honestly have not seen since Diablo 2 “one of my favorite games of all times”. I’m excited to see if say “that shoot twice instead of once bow has a high lvl companion”. Imagine the possibilities. Props to the Wolcen dev team for taking the time to utilize this.
Kind of basic here; Agility, more attack speed/casting speed. Ferocity; critical hit chance health regen. Wisdom; add chance for ailments and res to ailments. Toughness; more hp yadda yadda. If you’re an ARPG vet should have no problem here.
You can level up your skills, yes you heard me. When you get a skill, said skill starts to gain exp along side of you. Once you skill levels up you can add a mod, say instead of projectile just going straight, it will circle around you. The more you level, the more mods you can equip. Of course your capped at how many mods you can have equipped. Would break the game if you could have all equipped at once.
Now things get really interesting. The skill tree is set on rings. You start on the middle, can branch to second ring, and which is locked in the beta the 3rd ring.
You can spin this wheel to put points into nodes as you see fit. It’s a very interesting system. The third ring is where the most powerful skills/build defining nodes are located. It’s a bit like Path of Exiles skill tree, just not as gargantuan, and the ability to spin the wheel gives you more flexibility. You get your increased attack speed nodes, life steal nodes, etc etc. Helps you define your build.
Besides from a few bugs, and one crash it was reviewed during the late stages of the “beta”. Wolcen looks to be shaping up to be a sleeper hit of 2020. I would like to thank the dev team for the delays and to not rush out some game like we see oh so many times nowadays. This looks like a game I will spend hundreds, If not thousands of hours on.