Name: Grimoire: Manastorm
Release date: 26th of October, 2017
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: The developers provided us access to all classes for free.
I knew very little when it came to Grimoire: Manastorm other than it being a free-to-play FPS. When I heard there was magic involved, my interest definitely grew – so how did the game cope with my interest?
I did not see any story in-game whatsoever, but according to the game’s website this is the situation;
“The northern land of Futhark is home to two great houses locked in a bitter struggle. As ruin rises from the south, each vies for the Grimoire, a powerful artifact of a lost age. It was the Grimoire that ushered in the Dawn of Magic, called forth the destruction of an empire, and which now heralds civil war. Honorable House Magnus clings to their charge of sealing the book’s secrets, willing to sacrifice Futhark if only to save the world from the horrors held in the Grimoire’s binding. Ambitious House Validus has little time for craven hearts and strives to brave the tome’s power to save the republic and lead it into a golden age whose like has never been before seen. Yet the Grimoire is no idle prize to be fought for. That dusty tome has begun to glow, welcoming their dissent even as it spreads its pages, unleashing the Mana Storm in the battle to come.
I’m not entirely sure the game need’s a story, but I guess it’s nice to have if you want some backstory before you start the game. Reading the story-summary however, this feels like a very standard story. Sort of a mix between Romeo and Juliet, with its two houses, and the standard “there’s evil in the world, and everything will go to hell unless you, the hero, stop it”.
The graphics in Grimoire: Manastorm are okay-ish. It’s not that the textures are bad or anything like that. It’s just that everything seems very bland, and the environments are rather empty, even though they are technically filled with objects.
Coming to the wizards, which there are six of, the drawn sprites on the select-screen are rather cool! However, in-game they feel like empty shells, without any real connection to their own classes.
As with the enemies (skeletons and monsters) their movement is really weird, like, I know motion is really difficult, but for a game that has been in development for more than three years, I really feel it should be more polished.
When you’re starting a game you get to choose between six different wizards – Lightning, Nether, Fire, Life, Ice and Earth. Although with the free version only two classes will be unlocked at any given time, with the classes changing every week. Each one has their own pros and cons, however I found the lightning-wizard to be my favorite – mainly because it was way too overpowered. You can mix up the classes a little bit though, by unlocking more spells, and put together your own combination.
There are three game modes in Grimoire: Manastorm – Conquest, Free-for-all, and Survival. The Conquest mode is by far the best one, where some tactical aspect comes into play. This mode also includes a very cool feature – the maps has destructible objects, kind of like the Battlefield-series, which can reveal new territory or bring destruction to the enemy!
When it comes to AI-enemies I have one major issue, apart from the stuff I mentioned under Graphics – if they get too close to you, you are unable to kill them because they are standing between the camera and the point where your spell starts to get cast. Hopefully this will be fixed for the launch.
One problem with the game though is the problem that during my time, it was incredibly few others than played it. By all means, it was before launch, but it has been in early access for two years, so I really hoped it would be someone else than other reviewers to play against.
Another major issue is the fact that the game crashed every single time I played it – I’ve yet to click the “exit game” button, because the game has consistently crashed during a game.
The controllers are a very safe bet by the developers. The usual WASD + Space for movement. LMB and RMB for standard spells, with Q and E for special spells. As well as F for a “movement spell” and with Z for a leap-function. Unfortunately I found the controllers way too floaty. They were way too sensitive, but at the same time not responsive enough. I never got the hang of the air movement that is possible, but I assume with more practice that could be a cool aspect of the fighting.
The main issue I have with Grimoire: Manastorm, is the feeling I get that it’s far from finished. It’s unpolished, it lacks the fun you expect from a multiplayer FPS. And it’s just an empty shell of a game. Misunderstand me correctly, the design document must have been amazing, the idea is really good, but the execution is nowhere close to what it needs to be for the game to be a fun experience.
Another massive problem is the fact the game crashed every single time I played it. By all means, I understand that such a small team that Omniconnection is can’t be expected to release a bug-free game, but when it has been nearly unplayable for my entire time with it, it just hasn’t got a good reason for the full release.
+ Interesting idea
– Not much to do or to look at
– Consistent crashing