Magicka is a good game. And so is Magicka 2.

So I got the chance to play through Magicka 2 through as well and it quite enjoyable. At the start I was skeptical about some of the changes, for example the magicks now having a small cooldown for all of them—as in, you can’t chain cast magicks as fast as you can tap them in. It is slightly alleviated by the new hotkey system, where you can bind four magicks to just a single key which then have their own cooldown and a smaller shared cooldown.

But with that, there were also several changes I found good. Among them, shield now lasting a lot longer but only working for spells not physical damage as well as mobs now clearly showing when they were resisting or weak to a certain element. This made the usage of different elements feel much less random and more considered. The mages also can stand a bit more damage and aren’t quite as squishy as in the first game, which also made it much more enjoyable to play along with much faster feeling combat in general. Animations also got an update and are much nicer in the sequel.

All of this added up to really nice and surprisingly different yet familiar game experience. But I think for me, just getting to play more Magicka with slightly nicer graphics would’ve been enough to think it was a good game so them managing to actually change some things that ended up being for the better—for I was sceptical of some of the changes, namely Magicks having a cooldown, at the start—I find rather impressive.

There were also some less interesting changes implemented though I think they might make a potential second playthrough more enjoyable—namely, the artifacts. These change some rules of the game, for example: either increasing or decreasing the damage of certain elements; changing the graphics style of the game; or simply adding more humor—haven’t tested that one yet, but it seems interesting. They do have one unfortunate property though, namely that they—along with alternative robes and the like—need to be collected through playing the game and finding secrets. While they certainly are optional and only there to add flair to the game, it feels a bit unfortunate that they need to be unlocked first since I really after the first playthrough couldn’t see any obviously interesting combination to do. I think increasing the damage of some elements would be the most interesting thing to do, since that would increase the chaos factor of playing with others but that remains to be tested since I can’t do it for all elements yet—though that might not be possible at all, since I believe there are fewer artifact slots than there are elements (5 and 8 respectively).

In conclusion, Magicka 2 is a good game, would recommend playing it through though the last boss is a bit frustrating.

As an interesting sidenote, I ended up playing some more Magicka (the original) again since another friend of mine had gotten the game and it actually gave me a greater appreciation for Magicka 2 strangely enough—as in, I started to appreciate some of the changes Magicka 2 had made more after playing the original again since the second one just feels a bit better to play than the original. I’m not sure if this is mostly down to just the updated graphics or if there is something else to it as well, but playing the second one just feels a bit smoother somehow.

So if that isn’t an endorsement for the second part I don’t know what is.