Fictorum
Gameplay 6
Graphics 6
Sound 6

While there are plenty of games that allow you to play as a magic user, Fictorum is one of the few that makes you feel truly powerful right from the start. With an impressive arsenal of spells at your disposal and the ability to shatter buildings, it is definitely not lacking in excitement initially. Unfortunately, once the novelty wears off the game can become quite repetitive and doesn’t offer you much to do beyond blowing up the same enemies and buildings. The game also lacks some polish in terms of visuals and audio, but as long as you don’t expect too much there is still fun to be had.

Gameplay: Fictorum is quite exciting initially, but once the novelty of blowing up buildings wears off it can become a little repetitive.

Graphics: The destruction is impressive, but the overall visual style a little bland.

Sound: Decent enough sound effects, but repetitive music and no voice acting

Summary 6.0 Above Average
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Fictorum

Developer: Scraping Bottom Games  | Publisher: Scraping Bottom Games  | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / RPG / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Killing millions of people and enveloping the entire world in a crippling Miasma that corrupts everything it comes into contact with is bound to cause some bad feelings. Seeing as it was a member of the Fictorum, the same faction to which your character belongs, that caused this great cataclysm, it is no surprise that you are not very popular. In fact, a group of magical users calling themselves the Inquisition has made it their purpose to hunt down and kill down any members of the Fictorum. They were pretty efficient at their jobs too and the game opens with you being the last of your order. Displeased by the wholesale slaughter of your fellow Fictorum, your character is on a mission of revenge to take down the Grand Inquisitor and lay waste to anything that stands in his way. While this is probably not the best way to demonstrate that you are not as reckless as the Fictorum who nearly destroyed the world, it is vastly more fun than hiding from the Inquisition.

It’s always fun to play as a mage or magic wielder, but let’s face it, nobody enjoys grinding away for hours just to get to the cool spells or casting one fireball and then having to rest for three days just to recover the mana to do it again. This is way Fictorum focuses on making you feel like a powerful mage right from the start and giving you access to enough cool spells to make Gandalf green with envy. Casting spells still consumes mana, but it recharges fairly quickly, so there is no need to constantly rest or quaff potions with alarming frequency. This results in a game where you can rain down fireballs on your enemies, shoot lightning from your fingertips to electrocute them or freeze them in their tracks with your ice magic.

To make things even more interesting the game features a rune system, whereby your spells can be augmented through the use of various runes. Do you need that fireball to fly further, that lightening to jump from one foe to the next or your ice spell to only trigger when enemies are close? Using the appropriate runes you can do just that, and what’s better, you can choose on the fly how much influence each rune has on the spell. The only downside is that your mana continues to drain while you are fiddling with the influence of your runes and if you run out your health will begin draining instead. Ordinarily this wouldn’t have been much of a problem if you could simply lug around an inventory full of health potions, but unfortunately Fictorum allows you no such luxuries. Instead, health is a very valuable resource as it can only be replenished by spending “essence” at vendors. Since essence also has other important uses and vendors can only be found at random nodes on the overworld map you have to be very careful with your health. You’ll occasionally find healing potions inside houses, but these only replenish a small amount of health and become more scarce as the game progresses. Resting on the overworld map can also heal your Fictorum a bit, but decreases the gap between you and the pursuing horde of the Inquisition, so it is not ideal either. Just remember that the game auto-saves between nodes, so if you exit a node with very little health and there is no trader nearby you could be in deep trouble.

Fictorum might call itself an RPG, but don’t experience points, exploration or talking to any friendly folks in search of side quests. All the story elements are text based, randomized and presented to you on a scroll each time you choose a new node. Usually they boil down to having to choose between entering a node and wreaking havoc for a reward or declining and moving on to the next node. This gives the game a bit of a “choose-your-own-adventure” feel, but unfortunately a lot of the same “quests” and characters pop up a lot. While you might occasionally have to destroy or protect certain structures or kill specific people, most nodes simply require you to reach the exit, called the Nexus, in one piece. To access the exit you need to destroy the towers protecting it first, which later in the game becomes a little more tricky when these towers are replaced by living magicians you have to defeat.

While Fictorum lacks the usual statistics found in role playing games, you can increase certain stats, such as your health, mana and resistances through equipment. Better equipment can be scavenged from houses or you can spend your hard earned essence on purchasing them from the random vendors. The game also allows you to spend essence on enchanting your gear to improve them and even using the scrolls you find to imbue them with new powers. This makes it a real challenge to decide on how and where you want to spend your essence as it can also be used to upgrade your runes and improve your spells. Unwanted gear can be sold at vendors for extra essence, but since your inventory is so small and the traders are randomly present on the overworld map we often found ourselves having to discard loot between levels.

The biggest selling point of Fictorum is undoubtedly the powerful spells you can cast and the ability to completely destroy buildings. Watching buildings crumble when you unleash your fury is extremely entertaining at first, especially if you manage to take down a few enemies with the falling debris. Unfortunately, that same debris can also hurt your mage, sometimes by simply walking over it. Enemies are also not the brightest we’ve ever encountered and almost all of them seem to think that simply running straight at you in a pack is the best course of action. Depending on the type of spells you favor this usually results in an initial period of trying to snipe enemies from a distance and then kiting as the rest chase you down. In the long run this becomes a little repetitive, especially when you keep seeing the same levels and enemies.

The levels in Fictorum are fairly large, but despite making use of the Unreal Engine 4, the visuals are not that exciting. Destroying buildings obviously look spectacular and the fire effect is also quite nice, but enemy designs are bland and all the animations in the game are also very stiff. There is some variety between levels in terms of scenery and weather conditions, but by the time you reach the end you’ll have played on the same looking levels many, many times. Character customization is also very limited and consists mostly of choosing a style of beard and altering a couple of colors on your outfit. The audio in Fictorum doesn’t fare much better either as the background music quickly becomes repetitive. In addition, the game doesn’t feature any form of voice acting either.

There is fun to be had in Fictorum for sure, but sadly there are just as many annoyances that can get in the way. From the overlong initial loading times to the issues with enemy intelligence, repetition and bland visuals, there are a couple areas where the game falls short of expectations. Players who are willing to overlook these issues will have a blast with the innovative spell system and destruction, but overall Fictorum could have benefited from a bit more spit and polish. The developers appear to be committed to the project, so will tell whether they can tighten up things enough to make a big difference.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7+ 64 bit
  • Processor: Core i5 or equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GTX 760 or equivalent
  • Storage: 10 GB available space

Related posts

Stonekeep

Stonekeep

It was a very long wait for gamers back when Stonekeep was first announced until it was released, but it was also worth it. The game is fun to play, although some role playing purists might bemoan the lack of character customization. Stonekeep features a long quest, with plenty of great characters, but is hampered somewhat by slightly tedious combat and endless corridors that look the same. If you don’t mind the slow pace and the fact that the visuals are definitely showing their age, then you will have a lot of fun with Stonekeep. Gameplay: A fun dungeon crawler with a better than average storyline. Graphics: Obviously dated now, but back in its time the enemies and special effects were brilliant. Sound: The voice acting is surprisingly good and the music is nice and atmospheric.

Runespell: Overture

Runespell: Overture

Runespell: Overture shares many similarities with the Puzzle Quest series, but never quite manages to be as great. It is undeniably addictive and has some great ideas, but can become repetitive and the whole thing ends rather abruptly. Considering the low price tag it is well worth checking out however. Gameplay: Addictive but can become repetitive. Graphics: Nice considering the limitations. Sound: Orchestral soundtrack and great sound effects.

Jets’n’Guns Gold

Jets'n'Guns Gold

Despite not being a new release Jets'n'Guns Gold is still able to go toe to toe with newer titles. The action is relentless and the sheer amount of enemies and levels is quite amazing considering the low price tag. This is not an easy game, but persevere and it will have you hooked for hours. Gameplay: Old school side scrolling shooter done right. Graphics: Colourful and chaotic. Sound: Energetic soundtrack with plenty of sound effects to back up the action.

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent is a hidden object game that doesn’t just confine itself to one theme, or even time period. Instead, you’ll be visiting a variety of locations, spread across the ages as you attempt to thwart a member of the secret order who has gone rogue. It is a good looking game, with plenty of detail and while there is nothing here we haven’t seen before in the genre, it still kept us engaged and entertained. Gameplay: Plenty of hidden object scenes as well as puzzles to solve. Graphics: The locations are nice and varied and the visuals are quite detailed. Sound: The soundtrack is quite moody and atmospheric.

Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N’mar DLC

Loren The Amazon Princess + The Castle Of N'mar DLC

The storyline in Loren the Amazon Princess really sucked me in and the cast of memorable characters kept me hooked. The turn based combat also turned out to be surprisingly fun and the game has a ton of replay value. Hopefully with the Steam release the game will receive the attention that it deserves and open the flood gates for more Winter Wolves titles. Gameplay: A very nice fusion of visual novel and role playing. Graphics: Although there is no animation the artwork is beautiful. Sound: Good sound effects and some very memorable tunes.

STAR WARS™ – The Force Unleashed™ Ultimate Sith Edition

STAR WARS™ - The Force Unleashed™ Ultimate Sith Edition

With so much potential and clearly a lot of work put into the audio and visuals, its hard not to be disappointed by the lackluster level designs and imprecise controls. This Ultimate Sith Edition includes all downloadable content from the console versions plus an extra level set on Hoth, but the rather large download size (30GB) and host of annoyances makes this one for the die-hard Star Wars fans only. Gameplay: Ultimately could have been so much better. Still playable, but not living up to the standards of the Jedi Knight series. Graphics: Excellent art style and some visually stunning locations. Sound: Decent voice acting and stellar audio.

Leave a comment

2 × 4 =