Without Move the combat would be fine, but nothing more. The AI is predictable, and the most exciting thing about the magic is the way that spells can be combined for added destructive potential. You kick off with a basic energy bolt, but as you move on you’ll earn earthquake, ice, wind, lightning and fire spells. Enemies frozen with ice can be smashed with a burst of energy or blast of wind, while the wind’s secondary attack – a cool mini-tornado – can be energised with fire or lightning.
With Move the combat is exhausting, but much more immersive and entertaining. The game auto-aims to an extent, but there’s still scope for some finesse and accuracy, and Sorcery succeeds at making you feel like a badass wizard, blasting every last ghoul and bogie with your ever-growing powers. It’s also great to see Move deployed so well throughout, whether you’re opening chests or mending bridges with a nice swirly motion, swiping rocks and fallen columns from your path, or mixing ingredients for magic potions in what turns out to be a quite sophisticated upgrade system. Even drinking a polymorph potion, transforming you into a rat or a bird to traverse specific sections, involves shaking the controller then tipping it upside down to drink.
Lack of Ambition
But this is where we come to the game’s limitations. Sorcery delivers a great world and a fantastic set of tools with which to explore and battle your way through it, but it doesn’t give you any latitude with which to make the most of either. Bar the odd half-hidden chest or secret location, Sorcery simply funnels you from one scrap to the next, with exceedingly simple magic-based puzzles and heavily signposted situations where you can use a certain spell. It’s a game that’s crying out for a more freeform, exploratory approach – the kind of thing we associate with a Metroid or a Zelda – but that’s gone down a much more simple, straightjacketed path.
Now, it’s not really fair to criticise Sorcery for being something that it wasn’t designed to be, but what we have is merely a good Move game where it could have been a blinder. There are some other niggles – poorly designed boss battles being the most obvious one – but otherwise it’s a perfectly decent effort, and one that will probably go down a storm with Harry Potter-loving youngsters. All the same, while it’s a game you should think about buying if you already have Move, it’s not good enough to make it worth buying a Move to play.
A fine action-adventure with strong fantasy visuals, spectacular spells and well-executed motion controls. If you already have PlayStation Move, then it’s one of the strongest Move titles out there. All the same, it’s a game that’s limited by its own lack of ambition, too focused on repetitive combat and with not enough creativity or exploration. That’s the difference between a good game and a truly great one.