Have you ever gotten so mad at someone who you just…want to light them on fire? Do you enjoy being all-powerful? How about wearing the most impractical clothes for whatever situation you happen to find yourself in? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may secretly be a mage. One the one hand, you are probably the most bad-ass thing that ever walked the planet. On the other, video games just never seem to do you justice. All you see are flimsy excuses for mages that are constantly out of mana, waiting for cooldowns and being one-shot by goblins. It’s frustrating, but fear not. Finally there comes a game that captures the essence of what it means to be a true mage. This game is called Lichdom: Battlemage. Your spell equip screen. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time here. Developed by Xaviant, Lichdom puts the player right in the middle of the magical action from the first minute of the game. There are no fancy tutorials or quests; just the mage and a subterranean environment that is reminiscent of Skyrim. The environments are highly detailed with lots of places to explore. Being that the game is still in the early alpha stage, there are still the expected graphical glitches. It tends to be that the closer the player gets to an object or monster, the more it disappears from view. Monsters turn into glowing green orbs and pedestals of flame turn into floating campfires. Some cut scenes display odd behavior as well. The game’s graphics have not been fully optimized yet, meaning that to play the game you are going to need a pretty beefy system. If this were a fully finished game, it would be in some serious trouble. However, these glitches will likely be fixed as the game is further developed. Floating campfires? Let me grab some graham crackers and marshmallows. One aspect of the game that looks especially promising is the skill crafting system. Forget learning spells that the game built-in for you or paying a trainer; in Lichdom, you make your own. There are three spell schools as of now: fire, ice and corruption. Defeating enemies will yield different spell elements that can be combined for some pretty neat effects. You can turn your spells into homing missiles, make enemies shatter into ice or add burning effects. You can also synthesize old or duplicate effects into new ones that may be more useful. In the future, there will likely be even more effects that the player will be able to create spells with. As of now, this is one of the major selling points of the game. One downside is that the system for synthesizing new spells can be a little confusing the first few times. It’s not bad once you get the hang of it though. Turn your old effects into new ones. Warning: you may end up with something worse than you started with! Overall, there seems to be good things coming from Xaviant. Lichdom: Battlemage is certainly a game to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. This game can be purchased now on Steam, which gets players into the Early Access program. As with all games in development, feedback is important! Equally important is being forgiving of glitches, as they are bound to happen. Lichdom is definitely worth the ride from alpha to release. Take it, if you can. http://console-gamer.com/ Console Gamer Looks promising! Not a big fan of early access games, though. I’m not willing to cough up money just to be an alpha or beta tester. CrisJ I agree with that.