Wizardry 8 is a level-grinding RPG with turn-based combat, developed by Sir-Tech Canada and first released in 2001.
It’s a first-person adventure story, with real-time exploration and random battles that kick in when you discover monsters. Which is: all the blummin’ time!
You start off on a beach underneath a clifftop monastery. After killing some hostile crabs and snagging some nearby weapons you take the door into the building. What then unfolds is a relentless battle through monster-infested corridors as your party of six struggle to survive and make it to the next town.
Combat, healing, spells, inventories – and all that stuff – are taken care of via a number of neat menus. Stats and skills all have similar menu screens. In terms of design, layout, and usability, Wizardy 8 is very user-friendly and easy to get to grips with. All the numbers and details are welcomed, although constant pop-up messages do get in the way of moving around sometimes.
There’s even a story to it, although it’s not a particularly memorable one. Wizardry 8 is a very enjoyable game to play, though. Mostly because the combat is so good. The random nature of the battles does often put a very difficult one in front of you, every now and then, although thankfully the save system is good so you’ll spend a lot of time saving and re-loading.
Wizardry 8 is a rewarding and challenging fantasy action game, for those willing to put the time into it. It’s not the best of its kind, but it is beautifully designed and will appeal to RPG fans who love stats and old school dice-rolling.