Fantasy weapons are beholden to none of the restrictions placed on more realistic weaponry. Rather than seeking to replicate realism, fantasy games can play with magic to make more exciting versions of the tools people might use in real life. That’s not to say that they can’t be realistic—in fact, many of our favorite fantasy weapons are based in reality, albeit with a bit of a twist to them.
These fantasy weapons are a few of our favorites, ranging from the faithfully realistic to the purely magical.
Theorycrafting is a niche interest, but for fans who like their gaming with a side of math and analysis, it’s the ultimate exploration of a game’s potential. “Theorycrafting” refers to the practice of analyzing a game’s armor, weapons, attacks, and other customizations to determine the most effective method of play.
While basing your gameplay around theorycrafting may ruin the fun for some players, others like the logical progression of solving the puzzle of ideal efficiency. Every game offers a different level of customization, but to the theorycrafter, each one is a code just waiting to be cracked.
New Game Plus, where completing a game unlocks powerful features to enjoy in a new playthrough, along with other post-game temptations, keeps players hooked after what might ordinarily be considered a game’s ending. Competition is fierce in the gaming market—though games are typically priced at $60 or less, developers are clamoring to keep players interested for longer periods, tempting them with DLC or additional modes.
This has an interesting effect on the way we play games. Modes like New Game Plus (NG+) encourage us to pursue mastery, not merely beating a game. By raising the stakes and creating more open-ended gameplay with a variety of elements to perfect, games keep us hooked longer. Even if not every player pursues these options, they’re there for those who like them, opening up the opportunity for players to truly master a game, rather than just finish it.
Every gamer has a favorite video game platform. There’s a strong sense of loyalty in any platform’s community, which is great from a unifying perspective, but not so great when it comes to competition. Discussions of which video game platforms are best can rapidly turn heated, as players debate the merits of all the different systems.
Each platform has different strengths, and it’s hard to say which one is objectively the best, when they each serve different audiences. Just as you can’t lug your PC on the bus for a high-speed game of League of Legends, you also can’t expect your phone to deliver something as graphically intense as Lichdom: Battlemage. So what is it that draws players to each individual platform?
Video game movies are nearly always viewed with an air of suspicion, thanks to numerous poor adaptations in the past. But, given the same careful eye and loving hand of other mediums-made-movies, they could be stunning. Video games are both visual and narrative, interactive and passive, giving them a unique position in media; if directors, screenwriters, and actors put enough care into doing them justice, the resulting movies could be something special.
Lists of hopeful video game titles often include the same few blockbuster action titles, but we’re taking a look at some other options that would create some pretty unique film experiences.
Minimaps to help players navigate video game worlds are common, thanks to the current popularity of open worlds. With an open world, you can really immerse yourself in a setting, exploring without the typical invisible walls or limited pathways of earlier gaming generations. Which can be a great thing, but many players find themselves more inclined to navigate not by interacting with and examining the game’s stunning world, but solely by the minimap instead.
Though they’re invaluable for navigating large worlds, they’re also something of a distraction. Most players skip around Skyrim’s‘ setting by using fast travel or heading straight for quest markers, making a useful tool into an indirect encouragement to avoid exploring the painstakingly developed world. Minimaps are one solution to pointing players in the right direction, but not the only one; there are a few different ways that games and players get around virtual spaces without them, making for unique experiences that force you to really consider the world you’re in.
‘Immersive’ is a buzzword often applied to video games, but actually determining what makes a game immersive is a little difficult. It’s a subjective concept that varies from player to player—while some might find the open-ended gameplay of The Sims to be wholly engaging, others require the first-person perspective of a linear shooter like Battlefield. Others still are (rightly) excited about the immersion promised by upcoming VR titles.
An immersive game is not only one that lets us step into the shoes of another person, nor is it solely a game that makes us forget the real world for a while. There are many shades to immersion, each offering something unique to different types of players. These are just a few of the ways games draw us into their worlds, creating experiences where we step outside of the real world, even briefly, and into somewhere different.
Famous wizards come in many variations, ranging from the child prodigy to the old and wizened master, from the cocky upstart to the reluctant hero. When it comes to the best fictional wizards and magic users of all time, there’s a lot of variety—unfortunately, not all of them get the videogame treatment they deserve. Whether due to a lackluster adaptation or not being featured at all, these famous wizards deserve better.
Games like Lichdom: Battlemage show how much enjoyment there is to be had in playing truly powerful magic users. Lichdom really understands (and shows) that magical power is fun—slinging spells quickly and without restraint provides a heady feeling of ultimate power. While not all of these wizards fit the mold of a battlemage, many could benefit from an approach that really suits their characters in a similar way.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ title for magic users. The reason we have distinct words for wizards, mages, witches, and others is because there are subtle differences between each one. Those differences go all the way back to word roots; there’s a reason we associate wizards with old, wise figures, why witches are so often women, and why warlocks are often thought to be part of an evil covenant.
Each type has something unique about them, but video games often tend to focus on just a couple kinds of magic wielders or to misapply names. If we stuck to the true definitions of these different magic users in all video games, we’d have some truly fascinating gameplay.
“Fun” games are subjective: while some players enjoy the grim and tortuous world of Dark Souls, others prefer their gameplay to be a little more lighthearted. But games don’t always have to be one or the other—some blend aspects of dark settings with gameplay a little more on the light side, giving players a taste of both fun and grimness that balances well.
While dark and gritty worlds might be the popular setting of the moment, incorporating a little levity can make games stand out. These three titles prove that juxtaposing a more adventurous, thrilling, or silly gameplay mechanic with a grim atmosphere can make for a lively, enjoyable experience.