Writing a Wizard With A Gun review is difficult. In many ways, you get exactly what the title says. A novel spin on a sandbox survival experience like Valheim or Ark: Survival Evolved, just with magic guns. And barring some iffy progression in spots, it is a fun time.
Wizard With A Gun Review – Turn Back The Clock
The premise of Wizard With A Gun is weird but effective. You play as a traveling gun-toting mage as the world crumbles to ruin by the primordial forces of Chaos.
Thankfully, you have discovered a pocket dimension called The Tower. Inside The Tower is a mystical device that can turn back time in small chunks.
The problem is it needs several scattered magical gears to work.
With this base of operations, you will travel back to the crumbling remains of the world, gather resources, and craft items, all with the ultimate goal of fully powering the machine and preventing the end of the world.
That description is translated perfectly into Wizard With A Gun's core gameplay loop. You will embark on expeditions from The Tower, collecting valuable resources, killing enemies, and looking for magic gears.
If you return to The Tower, everything you took comes with you. But if you die, you will lose everything you've picked up.
You will use those resources: wood, stone, herbs, etc., to build various devices like forges, evaporators, and enchantment tables.
These tables and tools are essential since all major gears are carried by various boss fights. And you will need every advantage you can get if you are going to survive.
Wizard With A Gun Review – Gunslinger, Spellslinger
What makes Wizard With A Gun unique from similar resource sandbox experiences are two unique selling points.
The first is the presence of Chaos. Every time you leave The Tower, a timer will tick down. Once that timer hits zero, the world begins to end: complete with meteor strikes and the ground falling away.
If you want to extend that timer, you will need to find Chaos portals and destroy them.
Second is the “gun” part of Wizard With A Gun. Most of your resources will go into researching and improving different types of magical ammunition for your weapons.
These range from direct elemental damage like fire, ice, and lightning bullets to more indirect effects like oil, charm, and poison rounds.
Hands down, the immersive sim effects your gunfire has added some great environmental chaos to the fast-paced isometric combat.
Oil catches fire. Electricity moves through water. In addition, what certain enemies drop will change depending on what kills them.
For example, freezing a poisonous toad may yield toxic ice, which can be used to upgrade ice bullets.
You are encouraged to make the most of these elements since gunfire is your only way of fighting back. If you run out of bullets, you're basically helpless.
Taken as a whole, Wizard With A Gun is at its best when you are juggling different types of guns and ammo for the situation at hand, using the environment to your advantage.
This can result in some chaotic gunfights. More than once, I was frantically dodge rolling out of a burning forest with waves of enemies on my tail and my framerate dropping.
Yet, even when I died, I kept playing thanks to the palpable sense of flow. Whether you're doing a simple supply run or pushing further to the next boss room, the gameplay feels so zen.
Alternatively, The Tower expands as well as you play. As you explore each region, you will find additional magic doors, which lead to different wings of The Tower.
Unlocking these gives you more floor space, letting you live out the fantasy of a steampunk wizard building their laboratory.
Wizard With A Gun Review – We Must Do Research
What helps keep these bursts of arcane gunfire interesting are the different environments you unlock as you play.
These biomes are pretty standard: plains, poison swamp, icy mountain, hot desert, but the effect they have on gameplay is great.
Electrocuting swamp water to take out a swarm of poisonous frogs. Using the heat of an oil fire to stave off the cold in the mountains.
The only part that seemed half-baked was environmental hazards. If you don't have certain enchantments or drink certain potions, you will take ongoing damage from hazardous weather.
Yet, throughout my playthrough, I wasn't bothered by their effects. In fairness, I had multiple forms of health regeneration active, but it still felt like some potential was lost.
Then there is research progression. You can only unlock certain weapons and armor upgrades by scanning enemies. But the scanner is slow, short-range, and can be interrupted by enemy attacks.
The only other use of the scanner is to provide blueprints for structures. If you have a blueprint, you can remake it in The Tower. Creatively, it is a nice time waster, but it doesn't have much effect on gameplay.
Lastly, Wizard With A Gun's main story and characters are sparse. There is interesting worldbuilding and lore in the margins, and there's even some dialogue packed with that distinctly off-color Devolver Digital humor, but the time loop structure makes it difficult for meaningful characters or in-depth narrative.
Wizard With A Gun Review | Final Thoughts
If you can ignore some annoying progression elements and a thin narrative, Wizard With A Gun is a delightful survival sandbox experience.
With combat emphasizing ammo conservation and a solid escalation of base management, this is one party at the end of the world you will want to visit.
TechRaptor reviewed Wizard With A Gun on PC with a copy provided by the publisher over the course of 15 hours of gameplay - all screenshots were taken during the process of review.
- Fast-paced Isometric Gun Combat
- Reactive Environmental Effects
- Rewarding Survival and Base Management
- Barebones Story
- Tedious Upgrade Requirements