May 25, 2015There are a lot of good things about Wizardry 8. It allows you to create up to 6 core party members. (You have two more slots for NPCs.) It has a lot of variety of races and classes. The spell list is extensive and the tactical combat is fairly deep. It is an old series, built upon a very free-wheeling mixture of science fiction and fantasy -- strangely refreshing in comparison to theThere are a lot of good things about Wizardry 8. It allows you to create up to 6 core party members. (You have two more slots for NPCs.) It has a lot of variety of races and classes. The spell list is extensive and the tactical combat is fairly deep. It is an old series, built upon a very free-wheeling mixture of science fiction and fantasy -- strangely refreshing in comparison to the narrower tropes of many of today's RPGs. The high-level plot isn't terribly deep, but it does not compare unfavorably to more modern RPGs.
It is a hard game -- brutally hard on "normal", and not remotely easy on "novice". "Save early, save often" is the mantra to live by with this game. Whether that is bad or good depends on what you are looking for, but you want to go in with your eyes wide open. Wizardry is not forgiving of mistakes.
Depth is a double-edged sword. Unless you research extensively, you _will_ make mistakes in your initial party design. Depending on how big those mistakes are, you may later be frustrated. The difficulty is made worse by the Wizardry's depth -- the ideal party for the beginning of the game will not be ideal in mid-game, and the ideal party for the end will again be different.
So, that's the good. The bad: There are continuously wandering monsters in many zones (especially initially, but they _do_ respawn). These fights are hard, and you can easily go from one fight to another, depleted, with no hope of winning it. Sometimes you can run away, but that isn't always an option. At times, it feels like an endless grind. The story is often lost in the mix -- Wizardry relies heavily on this mechanic, and the gameplay can be extremely repetitive. It can get boring.
If Wizardry is old-school in a lot of good ways, it's also old-school in some bad ways. The parties of wandering monsters you face often make no sense. There is no sense of story there, no explanation of how this fits into a bigger picture. You can loot NPCs' chests without consequences. Unlike more modern RPGs, there is comparatively little sense of character, of interpersonal story. It's a game built around tactical combat with a thin leavening of plot.
In the end, the repetitive game-play and paper-thin characterization make it hard for me to give it more than a 7. If these aren't problems for you, you may enjoy it more.… Expand