We're very excited about Magicka at RPS, and I'm currently trying to begin an adventure for part of our coverage. But the keyword at this point is "trying". The game has just gone live on GamersGate and Steam, but rather a lot of people are having trouble. Of the bugs reported, two have rather got in my way in the first two minutes, and an attempt to play a co-op game has already collapsed into an exchange of, "Can you connect now?" instant messages.
However, pleasingly, Paradox tells us that a patch is already in the works. And even better, new patches will be appearing every 24 hours to address any other issues that may arise.
The first big issue people seem to be facing is the tutorial, in which the second instruction given is to cast a healing spell on yourself with the middle mouse button. Do that and the tutorial doesn't update, leaving you stood in a one-room basement without anything to do. It seems the solution is to cut the rope, but this is made further obscure by the game not having a guessable keyboard instruction to achieve this. It turns out it's Shift+click, so that'll get you through that one at least. And from there on I seem to be okay to continue soloing.
The font chosen for on-screen instructions is a peculiar one, the letters so close together it's difficult to read. This is made worse by another bug causing what looks like an ® to appear throughout text, making a lot of it more difficult to decipher.
The Steam forums are getting pretty busy with other issues that are appearing, along with others who aren't able to establish online games. My attempt this afternoon began with the other player stuck in the cutscene that I'd skipped, and then unable to move. My attempt to restart the level crashed the game, and then we weren't able to connect to each other at all. There's also no option to create a private online game, and no option to boot strangers you don't want wandering in.
So clearly there are some issues to be ironed out here, things that are unfortunately rarely revealed until the game's handed over the the smelly masses. We've contacted Paradox to find out what's happening with a patch, and they've told us one is already on the way. And indeed there will be new patches every 24 hours as issues arise.
We'll let you know our thoughts on the full game later this week. Right now, bugs aside, my impression is of something that looks pretty special.