[PlayStation 4] Project Warlock Review
Project Warlock from Crunching Koalas and Buckshot Software is a first-person shooter with a fantasy theme that pays homage to the old-school classics in the genre. Learn more in our Project Warlock review!
In Project Warlock from Buckshot Software and Crunching Koalas, you will step into the shoes of a mysterious Warlock with a simple mission: to eradicate all evil. To do this, he’ll be making good use of the guns and magical weapons he finds along the way, as he destroys giant flying bats, deadly succubus, humongous poisonous spiders, and more, in a journey that will take players through 60 levels with varied locations to visit – the sands of Egypt, a frozen Antarctic base, and more!
Once you’re ready to start a new game, you can select between four difficulty options. There’s Casual, which grants you unlimited lives, and your progress will always be saved. The Standard difficulty setting will have you start with three lives, which you can increase with items you find, and if you lose all your lives, then it’s game over. Hard mode also has you start with three lives, but the monsters you’ll face are faster and deadlier, dealing twice as much damage. Hardcore, as the name suggests, is the hardest of all settings. Monster are fast and deadly, you have a single life, and once you die, your progress is reset.
You’ll be moving your character with the left analog stick, looking around and aiming with the right one. You can interact with things with the X button, which will help you when you need to trigger a switch or two. The R2 button will be for attacking, and you can change weapons with the R1 button. You can also open up the weapon wheel with the L1 button in case you have many from which to select. Since Project Warlock has a magic theme to it, you can use magic with the L2 button and can chance between spells by pressing left and right on the D-Pad. The game will notice which weapon and magic are your favorites, and you can quickly change back to those by pressing up or down on the D-Pad, respectively.
As is the case for the old-school classic first-person shooters that Project Warlock pays homage to, you’re going to find a bunch of secret rooms in each of the game’s levels. Searching every wall in every corner of a stage, and paying attention to damaged walls that need to be destroyed, will reward you with secret rooms that contain a bunch of extra ammo, health boosts, and loot that you can collect to boost your experience points. Experience points, as expected, will allow your character to level up, so that you can increase your character’s Strength, Life, Spirit, and Capacity.
Strength will increase the melee damage it deals, Life will increase overall max health, Spirit will increase your max mana, lower mana drain, and boost each spell’s capabilities, and Capacity will increase how much you’re able to carry. You will also find special upgrade points that look like rotating stars, which can be used at the workshop to boost your character and its arsenal. Upgrade points can be used for purchasing new spells to use, or to upgrade weapons so that you can, for example, deal more damage while also regaining some lost health, or to, for instance, gain a power for your staff that can freeze enemies.
There are also perks that you can add to your character to increase your odds of survival. For every five levels you gain, you will obtain one perk point. Along with requiring that you spend your perk points, some perks will have extra requirements before you can unlock them. For example, the Treasure Hunter perk has no requirements other than you having a perk point to activate it, and it will increase the odds of getting loot drops from enemies you defeat and crates you destroy. On the other hand, the Ghost perk, which allows you to walk through enemies, will require that you first boost your Spirit to five.
There’s a bunch of trophies to collect in Project Warlock, and once you’re done with the list, you’ll have a new shiny Platinum in your collection! There are going to be trophies for completing the game in each of the different difficulty settings, and I suggest you don’t do a Hardcore run the first time you play the game since that would be best left for a second or third run. You will also need to locate dozens of secret rooms in the game, defeat each of the bosses in the game, purchase many upgrades, as well as finding some easter egg nods to other video game franchises.
You can customize the game’s look by activating the Retro Shader option. What this will do is activate a more old-school look for the game, with a variety of color palettes to mimic the look and feel of classic video game systems such as the C64, the Amstrad CPC, the Game Boy, the ZX Spectrum, Pico-8, and more. You can also increase or decrease the pixelation as you please. There’s even a CRT shader to give it that vintage look, and you can also activate an LCD or a monitor shader. If you want to go deeper, there’s the option of using a custom CRT shader for which you’ll set the horizontal and vertical scanlines, their size and speed, the strength, size, and speed of moving scanlines, and even add glitches such as curve, jitter, wobble, noose, and distortion. You can also activate or deactivate post-processing effects such as bloom, ambient occlusion, and motion blur.
Project Warlock set out to pay homage to the old-school classics in the first-person shooter genre while still managing to stand on its own and do its own thing, and I believe it does that in style. You’ll be playing 60 levels split between five different locations, collecting as much loot as possible to level up and improve your character’s stats, upgrading its weapons, and gaining access to new perks that can you survive. Project Warlock s out now on PlayStation 4 for only $14.99.
This Project Warlock review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Crunching Koalas.