A downloadable and retail title for the PlayStation 3 that’s currently only available in North America, Magus is a premium priced role-playing game that sees you step into the shoes of the aforementioned titular hero in his quest to become an all-powerful God. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
The release adopts a rather familiar control scheme, which sees the left analogue stick used to move around and the right analogue stick to aim and look. Spells are mapped to the L1 and R1 bumpers, while you can use the triggers to scroll between different types of magic. Much like an inFAMOUS game, the X button allows you to drain magic from rocks, while the remaining face buttons act as shortcut keys to various skills of your choice.
Magus comes equipped with three different types of magic power for you to use at will. The first of these is green; this is the weakest of the lot, but includes handy spells such as health regeneration. The other is blue, which is stronger than the previous hue, and also improves your movement. Lastly, the red magic is the most powerful, augmenting you with the ability to raise the dead. These resurrected souls will then fight your adversaries.
The main thrust of the adventure revolves around its levelling system, which operates much like any other classic RPG title. Once you’ve earned enough XP, your character’s level will advance, and you’ll be awarded with a skill point, which you can spend one of the following attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, or any open Skill from one of the title’s three magic tiers.
Sadly, the combat system is very repetitive, and working through the campaign can feel like a bit of a chore. Enemies come in huge groups, and there’s very little variety between character models. The artificial intelligence is also dreadfully bad, with their attack speeds so slow that you could complete a game of Monopoly before they actually make contact with you.
We often found ourselves spamming the shoulder buttons to fire spells at our opponents while running rings around them – an effective tactic that left us relatively unscathed. Even standing in the centre of a group of enemies failed to provide any real challenge, and we’re confident that a toddler could get through it while reciting the entirety of the Jungle Book in a blindfold.
The visuals are extremely outdated, too, and don’t come anywhere close to the standard of other PS3 titles released over the past few years. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that there are better looking PlayStation 2 titles. The textures are extremely pixelated for starters, but it’s the repetition of these already awful assets that really begins to grate.
It’s buggy to boot. We encountered multiple occasions where the protagonist would come into contact with various objects in a room, only to get stuck inside them. The frame rate’s also all over the place, which is surprising considering the poor visuals. The experience isn’t especially enjoyable to begin with, but it’s worsened when you’re forced to contend with a slideshow view of the action.
Magus is not an entertaining game. It suffers from repetitive gameplay, bugs, glitches, and abhorrent visuals. Worse still, it’s expensive, with the release currently commanding a laughable $24.99 price point on the PlayStation Store. Put your time and money towards something better than this.