Sorcery! Part 4 (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 22.09.2016

Review for Sorcery! Part 4 on PC

It is often quite difficult to review something that is not only a sequel but is a sequel to a sequel. After all, watching Return of the Jedi becomes a lot more confusing if one hasn't seen A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back. This is compounded when the sequels are required, more or less, and are released with a number of years separating them. Yet people are also more than willing to get irate at titles like Madden for releasing what they see as the same title each year. So what is the point?

Sorcery! Part 4 is, in every word, what its title says it is, which is to say that it is the faithful fourth game in a series that could easily be grouped under one title with a single, flowing narrative. In fact, it would not be shocking to see, at some point in the future, all four games released as a singular unit with the seams between them erased. This isn't to knock the game as being "unoriginal" as much as it is an acknowledgement that the series seems to have been planned to unfold uninterrupted. With each instalment some new gameplay elements is introduced, but the effective tale remains the same.

The story is obvious for those continuing from Sorcery! Part 3. After surviving the harrowing journey through hills, city, and wasteland, the end-goal is in sight: the Arch-wizard who holds the crown of kings that the hero has set out to find. There is but one small problem, which obviously means "one big problem." The city is heavily guarded, with the soldiers looking out for a certain adventurer and, scariest of all, the option to rewind decisions has been… removed, at least to a point.

That's right—one of the series mainstays, something that has undoubtedly comforted many players through the previous games, helping to ensure a positive outcome, is gone! All decisions are lasting! Sort of. Rather, in place of the rewind ability, when failure occurs, the player will be returned to a specific point to engage in all the activities again. Obviously things like gold, items, and clues will remain, as the game is meant to be explored in order to figure out how to reclaim the crown, but the message is clear. The choices cannot be undone.

Screenshot for Sorcery! Part 4 on PC

This is a mixed blessing. While on the one hand, it sounds like an interesting way to alter the game and increase the weight of the player's choices, on the other it comes with one frustrating penalty. Namely, that death is nearly guaranteed and, without the ability to do even the most minor of rewinds, having to retrace steps can swiftly deteriorate from "interesting gameplay change" to "gosh-darn it! That was a cheap blow and now I have to start all over again."

However, with that point of contention addressed, the game is still wonderful! The good writing, the distinct and engaging visuals, the gauge-based combat, and liar's dice all return. Everything is as one would expect, and the arch-mage himself can be actually a bit devious, capable of both playing the character and potentially even fooling the player, though not as much as some other antagonists. So much is good, yet much is also simply what is expected, such as the game's length and the various mechanics being obvious. With the multitude of paths, especially compounding over all four instalments, there is little doubt that the game holds a large amount of replay value as well, if one is willing to sit down and replay the three prior entries (technically two, if 1 and 2 are counted as a single game).

To get to the crux of the matter, though, this is effectively the final part of a lengthy, enjoyable book. As such, it remains part of a singular flowing narrative, as opposed to a stand-alone title, which is both among its greatest strengths and weaknesses.

Screenshot for Sorcery! Part 4 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

There is no doubt to its quality, yet it falls to the hurdle of its own title: Part 4. When taken altogether, the game comes off as drastically different; on its own it is simply a well-written and engaging title, if also sadly short and a bit annoying at times. For those interested in the series, it is best to start with Part 1 & 2 for the same reason it's not a great idea to start reading a book from chapter 20.

Developer

inkle

Publisher

inkle

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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