When the Nintendo Wii launched, there was much laughter heard in the halls of the gaming elite at the concept. “A motion sensing controller that looks like a TV remote? Preposterous!” they guffawed. But soon afterwards, the Nintendo Wii began to make frankly embarrassing amounts of money; and Sony for one, saw that the market might be more open to such an intriguing way of playing games, and a few years later released their PS3 peripheral, the PlayStation Move. There were some who said that the technology behind the Move might be superior to that of the Wii controller, especially before the Wii Motion Plus was released. But hardware is only as good as the games it runs, and up until now, the Move has faltered in that area. But with the release of Sorcery, a game claiming to be the vanguard of the second generation Move titles, has the pall of mediocrity been lifted from the Move forever?
Story and Setting
Sorcery takes place in a fairly generic fantasy world, where the most powerful spell casters are known as Sorcerers. You play as Finn, an apprentice to one of the most powerful of these Sorcerers, named Dash. Accompanying you is a talking cat named Erline who seems to be more than she first appears. Finn soon finds himself possessing new-found powers that he must use to defeat an evil army of Faeries.
So far, so normal. The story of Sorcery may be normal enough, but the way it is presented is incredibly charming, with Finn playing the clueless hero, and Erline playing the sarcastic straight man to great effect. She rarely grates on the nerves the way Navi or Daxter might, and many of the lines in the game are genuinely funny. Sorcery is far closer to Fable than Lord of the Rings in tone.
Throughout your journey you will find yourself travelling through many lush environments, which seem to have taken cues from the late nineties school of videogames, where there must always be an ice level, a lava level, a cave level and so on. Nevertheless, these levels are all delightfully animated, with the full HD capacity for cartoon animation available to us today. Rarely will you find yourself bored because an area seems to repeat itself.
Gameplay is where the Move functions are designed to shine. Spells are cast in various ways using flicks and twirls of the Move remote. The spells you unlock are varied in many different ways, most of them being multifunctional, and with most also acting in two ways depending on motion. Movement of the player is controlled with the movement remote in the other hand.
The Move controller is also used for various other functions, such as inserting keys in locks and pouring potions together to create a new concoction. Potion creating is fun, but it suffers from being the only other distraction in the game, which means the remainder of the game is rather linear, making the whole experience perhaps rather short as a game.
Sorcery shows us that game relying entirely on the Move controller is possible. The spellcasting is very pleasurable to pull off; and were it not for the motion sensing feature, the game would be very mediocre indeed. As it is, it is a “good but not especially great” game. There were several times when I thought to myself “Oh please, why can’t I just control a normal remote for this part?” However, those moments were few and far between, and aside from being a relatively short experience, Sorcery will captivate you for long enough to make it more than worth the minor flaws.