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War(Un)Locked: Magicka Wizard Wars Open Beta

New content arrives as beta opens to all

I'm wary of posting Magicka Wizard Wars news, particularly when new content is involved, because the temptation to dip in for a couple of games is strong. Experience tells me that 'a couple of games' last around three hours, despite each round of the magical multiplayer murderthon taking less than ten minutes. Here's the thing - there was a time when I was among the premier pyromancers in the land, leading teams of robed strangers to great victories. All of that has changed and with the beta now open to the world, I'm tempted to jump back in so that I can rebuild my confidence by setting fire to hapless newcomers. Inevitably, they'll all overtake me soon. New trailer and details on additional content below.

Competitive multiplayer games don't often slide their hooks into me anymore but Wizard Wars is skill-based and comedic in almost equal measure. Occasionally a loss is cause for despair but death transforms wizards into merrily bouncing giblets, and it's hard to be upset for long when the screen is decorated with the cartoonish aftermath of a meat pinata party.

The most powerful magicks in the game are often key to success. They rely on accumulated power rather than speedy elemental combos and teams that use them well are likely to succeed. Oddly, communication isn't necessary. The maps are few, small and easy to learn, and after a couple of games basic tactics become second nature. It's an intricate game despite its apparent simplicity and did I mention it's entirely free? There are stat-boosting items available, which can be earned through experience, as well as cosmetic equipment. I'd like to blame a pay-to-win formula on my plummet down the ranks but I actually have a bunch of early backer items that should tip the balance in my favour.

I'll rise again. One day. For now, here's what's new:

The advance to Beta introduces a cauldron’s worth of new content to Magicka: Wizard Wars, including a new Wizard Warfare map set in the dark caves of Galdrhöll Halls – where the spectacular effects of players’ spells can really shine, along with the slick red bits of Wizards who probably should have practiced a bit more. A new ‘Raise Dead’ Magick has also been added, which conjures forth undead zombie imps who hunger for enemy brains. New robes, staffs, and unique skins also appear in this version, making it the most robust depiction of frantic spellcasting in gaming today.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.