Lichdom E3 2014 Preview
Another game we took a look at during E3 was Xaviant's Lichdom, a FPS/RPG hybrid, that immediately struck us as a spiritual successor to the old-school games Heretic and Hexen. Having grown tired of all the trade-offs that magic-wielders generally have to make in the majority of games in the name of “balance”, the devs here have thrown balance to the wind. They have really created, what they refer to as a “titanium cannon” as opposed to the glass-cannon role that most games pigeon-hole mages into. The result is a character that feels extremely potent, wielding both offensive and defensive magics as he wades into the fray.
Of course, to challenge such a powerful hero, the game has been filled with many varied types of enemy, from hordes of cannon-fodder that attempt to overwhelm you with numbers, to vastly powerful single opponents and every combination in-between. Also, your goals as the player changes from encounter to encounter: some are timed challenges, some are gear check style encounters, and all sorts of other variants. The goal here is to keep the player actively engaged in tailoring his spells and skills to the mission at hand, and not searching for some magical (no pun intended) be-all, end-all set of powers.
Speaking of managing skills and spells, the spell-crafting system in Lichdom is DEEP. Like way deeper than I could grasp in one thirty minute display, but I will do the best I can to recall it. The player chooses his base spell types, like cold, or fire, or electrical, etc. and then he modifies the spell with various sigils that add different properties to the spell. These sigils can be further modified to really allow the player to create spells that suit his play-style and skill.
The game looks beautiful as Xaviant is using the Cryengine, one of the most robust engines available, and they've polished it to a high-gloss, with amazing and colorful spells effects that really communicate the scope and power of the spells.
I am looking forward to checking out the Alpha version that is available on Steam right now, with the Beta scheduled for July of this year, and full release on August 26th. The devs are really looking closely at a lot of player feedback during these test phases, and are modifying the game based on this feedback, and making lots of improvements, so if you'd like to help shape the final version of this game, I would get over to Steam now and join up.