Sorcery Review
Sorcery Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: The Workshop
Pub: Sony
Release: May 22, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes
Magic In Your Hands
by Matt Walker

Two years ago, we were shown a demo of a game that held all the promise of what the Move could do. It made a lot of people excited, just for the potential to finally get their hands on a motion control game that made you feel like you were actually in charge of the action on the screen. We've since had several titles show off loads of possibility for the Move, Kinect, and the Wii. Even last year's Skyward Sword showed impressively responsive motion controls, something the Wii had been promising since the beginning of the motion control life cycle. Can Sorcery, seemingly late to the party, deliver the magical world of enjoyment it initially promised? You bet your Potter it can.

You play as Finn, an impatient sorcerer's apprentice that probably should have watched a few more Disney cartoons. Finn's mentor, Dash, takes the slower road towards teaching his young apprentice magic, and just like most stories about impatient adolescence, it's not fast enough. While Dash is away, Finn decides to take one of his mentor's magic wands in order to get some illegal practice.

Sorcery Screenshot

At this point, I'm sure many of you are saying you've seen this movie before. Well, you're right. In fact, Sorcery even includes a talking animal that likes to goad the protagonist into doing things that undoubtedly will not end well.

In this case, the goading animal is a feline named Erline. Erline's desire to scare Finn and Finn's desire for adventure and danger combine in a recipe for total disaster. Players quickly discover this as Erline pushes Finn to travel to a place wandered by the restless dead. The dead is one thing, but the restless dead seem somehow much worse.

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Upon making several discoveries about Finn, the game brings the rest of the story into sharp focus. The Nightmare Queen has broken an ancient pact with mankind and threatens eternal darkness, all because she's looking for her daughter. The evil Nightmare Queen decimates Finn's home and leaves him with a quest befitting even the most heroic adventurers. With your guidance, Finn takes shape as an apprentice with more than just a smart mouth.

Sorcery Screenshot

This is one of the really cool things about Sorcery: You'll develop Finn through finding ingredients to make potions. These potions can make Finn more accurate, increase his health, and even increase his own strength. While I wouldn't call it an RPG or even RPG-lite, it definitely borrows from other action titles that allow you to level your character up as you progress. You will also slowly unlock new spells to use. Of course, these new spells seem to arrive right when the enemy is changing tactics. Again, we've seen this pattern before, but who's going to complain about using a formula as tried and true as this one?

The gameplay is one of Sorcery's strong suits. However, it is not its strongest. While the motion controls help spring the character to life, there are a few problems with them. Being told that there's one-to-one movement in this game is not entirely the truth. Too often the "aiming and utilizing magic" motions don't seem to match one hundred percent. This is not to say it reminds me of the overly simple waggling that Wii games seem to have championed for years, nor does it quite capture the harmonious swordplay I enjoyed with Skyward Sword.

Sorcery Screenshot

However, even with that, there's no other way I'd rather enjoy this game. The Move working as the wand adds a layer to the game that all previous magic-based wand games have failed to capture. This isn't to say you have the ability to just come into this game and shake the crap out of the Move controller to ultimately achieve your intended goal. With finesse and precision, though, you can truly embrace the wand magic of Sorcery and feel more and more like Finn, from the safety of your own home.

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