Project Warlock is a retro style, Doom-esque shooter complete with a pumping soundtrack. It’s rough around the edges but at its core it’s a bloody, messy romp of fun!
You’re a Warlock with spells and guns. Your goal is to completely eradicate evil and end the devil himself.
Project Warlock is a first-person shooter where you kill monsters and navigate through linear levels. As you fight and go through levels you get experience from killing monsters and picking up treasure. As you progress, you’ll unlock more weapon types such as a pistol, shotgun etc. You also unlock spells that you use mana to cast. There are ammo, mana and upgrade pickups throughout the levels and they also can drop from enemies. There are also secret areas.
Upgrade points can be used to unlock spells you’ve found and upgrade weapons. As you collect experience, you level up and can assign a stat point to one of 4 stats –Strength, Life, Spirit, and Capacity. Strength determines melee damage, Life increases your life total, Spirit improves mana abilities and Capacity allows you to carry more ammo. Every 5 levels you get a Perk Point that has requirements for e.g. 3 Strength and 3 Life are required for a Sprinter perk.
There are different difficulty settings that give you unlimited lives, a set amount of lives or only one life. You can find lives throughout the game but they are few and far between.
Levels usually have colored coded rooms that require keys to unlock. Every chapter (about five level sets and then a boss) is themed along with the enemies. When you finish a level you get to see your stats. There are also environment hazards such as traps, explosive barrels etc. that can help or hinder your level progress and how you handle enemies.
The whole game uses 2D sprite textures. The animations are good and are very satisfying. Watching a shotgun shell fly away or an enemy’s body collapse into a gory heap is wonderful. Every chapter has different enemies and environments. Some pickup designs also change to fit in with the new chapter theme. You can even change the shader to a “retro shader” and adjust it to your preference.
Your HUD shows health, mana, ammo, stamina, spell equipped, keys found, and experience on the bottom of the screen. There are no crosshairs so aiming is done by eye. Your character’s face in the lower left corner of your HUD also gives an indication of how bad you’re hurting like in Doom. There is also a transparent map in the top left corner to help you navigate.
The interfaces throughout the game such as the menus and loading screens could use some work. They are quite rough but they get their respective messages across at least.
The sheer variety of sound effects and enemy noises gives off a great level of effort that went into the game’s sound design. Some of the mastering may be a bit off (i.e. making sure one sound doesn’t dominate another) however tweaking it in the main menu to your liking will lessen this minor issue.
This is a game retro-shooter fans and casual players will definitely enjoy. Simple mechanics, simple levels and a short campaign gives a tight gaming experience. The enjoyable nature of the designs, sounds and mechanics make this game very fun to play. You can play short sessions or finish the game in one day. The addition of a retro shader is something special especially to old fans of the genre. While the interfaces aren’t that polished, it’s a minor flaw that can be overlooked. Who wouldn’t love to fire a hail of bullets and magically decimate some demons?
Review copy provided by Buckshot Software
Release Date: October 18th, 2018
Publisher: Buckshot Software
Developer: Buckshot Software
MSRP ($): $12.00 USD