Lichdom Battlemage Game Review – The subterranean streets and ice canyons from earlier levels are gone, along with their looming, claustrophobic atmosphere. My magic finally seems strong enough to match the hatred and fear that fills the world. I’m not bullied anymore, just determined. Lichdom: Battlemage lets me be exactly the kind of lightning wizard I’ve always imagined cruel, merciless, and power-hungry. The power in my hands has brought me step by step, mile by mile, to this field of dust and dark ruins.
Release date: Out now
A sandstorm blows in and I get just what I want when a group of enemies spawns in front of me. After cursing a beast with necromancy, I trap it with a kinesis spell before charging a critical lightning strike. A few seconds later the monster is suitably crispy from all the electrostatic violence and in its place I now have a creeping minion to fight for me. They were tough mini-bosses earlier in the game, but now they give me a chance to show what I can do. Lichdom’s first-person camera makes every encounter feel urgent and dangerous, though, and even with a few new tricks to show these winged demons, I have to stay agile. Did I mention I love storm magic?
Xaviant’s action RPG likes to give players several dimensions of danger to consider at the same time. Have I crafted and synthesized enough of the right spell materials to match these opponents? Is this challenge really more about defense than offense? Yes, it’s about being a powerful magic user a battlemage but it’s also about being able to use your mind to solve problems that aren’t immediately obvious. How I was able to answer these questions became my personal test.
Grinding the arcane mill
The inventory system where I organize, craft, and manipulate spell components in Lichdom is both immediately familiar for its color-coded loot system as well as frustratingly cumbersome. There are a lot of stats to work through, and due to the checkpoint save system which forces a loot grind even when it isn’t beneficial my inventory fills quickly with a mashup of different items that then demand management. White is the most common, with greens, blues, purples, and rare orange.
By altering my approach through necromancy or the mind-control spell type called delirium, new and satisfying strategies became possible. Inventory management became a chore during the late-game period, but I appreciated being nudged toward experimentation. It often feels more like housekeeping than an expression of ingenuity or power on my part, but the forced accounting did push me into the crafting system to experiment and take some chances with spell types and combinations I normally avoid out of habit.
While I stopped to collect journals and referred to them occasionally, the best parts of the story are built into the world itself: a shattered moon in the sky, a derelict underground city, the empty hulks of a long-lost fleet frozen in a glacier. I pushed through, though, and it was worth it. Lichdom’s story of revenge as the hand-picked, resurrected avatar of a mysterious sorcerer named Roth is a familiar one, but Xaviant’s take on evil cultists and undead monsters is told well, especially in the setting.
Beyond the excellent environmental storytelling, the voice acting by Jennifer Hale and Troy Baker as the female and male protagonists make them convincing inhabitants of the world. The story is tense the pressure building in concert with my quest for more powerful magic and its take on death and resurrection manages a very strange turn or two, but in a way that made me laugh and pushed me forward. With every new game, players choose whether to play as a male or female mage, and each has seen first-hand the consequences of resisting the death-worshipping Cult of Malthus.