Over 100 unique and devastating elemental spells are at your disposal, as you journey deeper and deeper into the procedurally generated dungeons in Wizard of Legend. It is your destiny to complete the Chaos Trails, achieving legendary status in the wizard community. This proved to be quite the task, as battling through the multiple floors in each dungeon became a formidable experience. While this is the first project from the two-man indie developer studio Contingent99, Wizard of Legend features tight, responsive controls, fast-paced combat, and plenty of unlockable spells.
Wizard of Legend is a roguelike action game, which means once you die, you’ll be back at the start of the dungeon. You can tailor your spell loadout depending on your playstyle, and these spells are permanent unlocks, so you don’t have to worry about losing any if you have an unfortunate accident. Every time you die, the structure of the dungeons changes procedurally; meaning it alters the dungeon layout, enemy placements, and shops. Sometimes this works in your favor, and other times it feels like the game is working against you, but that is the nature of having the designs implemented procedurally.
All of the spells are separated into elemental categories, such as fire, water/ice, wind, electricity, etc. Their effectiveness against your foes depends upon the nature of the element, compared to the elemental nature of the enemy. This means that fire is weak to water, but this can also be turned against you. During my first few attempts, I opted for a single type, all ice spells, and was on the receiving end of chance, getting slaughtered almost instantly, as my spells efficiency was diminished based on the enemies and dungeon that I spawned into. This can also be a blessing, as you may spawn into a stage, right next to the mini-boss area, however, you’ll want to explore to gain currency, both types, and to decrease the enemy strength. During the encounters, weaker mobs will spawn; however, you can reduce their effectiveness and quantity, by hunting all of the enemies in the stage first. Any shop/merchant that you found will also gain a direct portal, so you can warp there before facing off against the elite version of an enemy. Gold earned by defeating enemies or found in pots/barrels can be spent to purchase healing items, enhanced spells, temporary relics, and more. You lose the gold if you die, and you can only buy things to help with that specific run.
The second currency is the less common crystals, generally gained by defeating a stage boss and individual encounters. These allow you to purchase new stock of spells from the town vendors, new relics, and new outfits. With every stage featuring numerous spiked pits, you may want to ensure you have at least one spell that can knock enemies back or one to focus on crowd control. With my water/ice build, I have a wide angle blast to freeze enemies, so that I can concentrate attack one at a time. Not only that, but my rebounding icicle attack can pull enemies towards me, perfect when attacking foes on the other side of a pit. Once you complete two stages, you must face off against one of the three elemental masters. Their attacks are relentless and unwieldy when combined with the fact they can deal out damage constantly, not giving you a single moment to breathe. There isn’t any invulnerability after getting hit, so they are free to drain your health with combo attacks, and they will. It may take quite a few attempts to learn their movesets, and pray you don’t have inefficient spell loadout against them. As the dungeons are elemental themed, you’ll have to prepare for the next set upon defeating a master; however, enemies will be more robust than they were before, with some boasting additional attacks.
Thankfully, the combat mechanics are well thought out and fast-paced. You can dash around the levels to avoid taking damage and use distance to your advantage. However, ranged enemies are still my weakness, as they can instantly target you, even after dashing to a new location. When facing multiple ranged enemies, you need to be light on your feet and try to use any pits in your favor. If you can keep your combo high enough, your signature spell can trigger a much more devastating and powerful version of itself. This has been a blessing against mini-bosses and clearing waves of foes in one fell swoop. There are mainly four abilities available to you at once; basic spell, a dodge spell, your signature spell, and a special spell. All of these can be customized and swapped in and out before each run. The merchants may offer additional support by adding spells that can be mapped to the shoulder buttons, but they are only usable during that attempt and you won’t have them if you succumb to your wounds.
Wizard of Legend does feature a two-player local cooperative option, giving a friend the chance to assist with their own set of spells. There is also a competitive mode, pitting two wizards against each other. You start with your initial loadout, and during the matches, you can gain new spells to swap into your moveset.
As a roguelike title, Wizard of Legend provides a challenging experience, but that is why I enjoy playing it. You aren’t meant to immediately be able to blast your way through the entirety of the game right away. Progression is the key to varying the experience, as well as not only making it slightly easier for consequent attempts. Experimenting with the different spells provides you better insight into what type of play style works best for you. The inclusion of a co-op, even if it's only local is a nice touch.Note: Wizard of Legend was reviewed on Xbox One. A digital copy of the game provided by the publisher.