Wizardry 8

aka: Wushu 8
Moby ID: 5580
Windows Specs
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Wizardry 8 is a direct sequel to Crusaders of the Dark Savant, the previous installment of the Wizardry series. All hell breaks loose as The Dark Savant takes flight with a device called the Astral Dominae, an incredibly powerful artifact containing the secret of life itself. Following him are two powerful races, the T'Rang and the Umpani, as well as the player's own brave party of adventurers. Everyone is heading to Dominus, a world on the cusp of the Cosmic Circle, birthplace of the Astral Dominae and home of the Cosmic Lords. Many paths will converge on Dominus, and many long-hidden secrets will be revealed.

The basic gameplay system is similar to the previous entries in the series: the player-controlled party of up to six characters roams the world viewed from a first-person perspective, completes quests and fights enemies to gain experience and become stronger. Unlike those, however, Wizardry 8 has a real 3D environment, where enemies visibly approach the party (rather than appearing randomly). The party is also able to move during combat, sometimes using terrain to its advantage. Character formation plays a role, the player being able to use tactical setups for the party in order to be better prepared for upcoming fights. Though still turn-based, the battles are more flowing than in the earlier games, since the characters act depending on their personal statistics rather than being confined by rounds.

The eleven races from the two previous games return, encompassing traditional fantasy RPG representatives such as elves and dwarves, as well as the more exotic rawulfs, felpurrs and mooks. A new character class, the Gadgeteer, has been added to the other fourteen imported from the previous games. The player can customize the statistics of these characters as he sees fit during the party creation phase. It is also possible to add personality traits to each of the characters. These do not affect the gameplay, but provide commentaries from the party members during conversations with the NPCs. A skill system is used for all the character types, ranging from weapon and magical proficiencies to pickpocketing and communication. Skills, as well as main attributes, can be manually developed by the player when the character levels up, but they also increase with repeated use.

Similarly to its predecessor, Wizardry 8 has several beginnings depending whether the player has imported a party from Crusaders of the Dark Savant or not, and which faction that party was allied with in the previous game. The game also has three different endings, which are achieved by making choices before the final confrontation.

Spellings

  • Wizardry 8: Возвращение легенды - Russian spelling
  • 巫术8 - Chinese spelling (Simplified)
  • 巫術8 - Chinese spelling (Traditional)

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Credits (Windows version)

239 People (231 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 27 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 64 ratings with 6 reviews)

Endgame

The Good
So the whole Wizardry-saga comes to an end and the eighth part of the series has a couple of novelties. There is the new character class of the Gadgeteer which is some kind of Gyro Gearloose with it's tools. He is able to construct deadly devices, which contain powerful spells, from garbage. An example: You have a broken blaster and a microwave chip? No problem, these guy will build a microwave blaster, containing a boiling blood spell. Hey, maybe Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child have played the game. In their novel Brimstone the bad guy uses a similar weapon. But the Gadgeteer is not the only one with spell containing items. The other class is the bard, but does not build the instruments, he have to find them. But again, these things have powerful spells. Beside that there are four „normal“ spell books, each accessible by different character classes. Another new thing is the character evaluation. You fight monsters / solve quests, getting experience points and new levels. OK and for each new level you can spend points on attributes and skills, that's normal. Now the uncommon part: Skills can also be increased by simple using them. Your bloodthirsty warrior loves this axe and use it always during combat? He will increase his skill soon. Of course: The higher the skill is, the more time is needed for training. But beware: Training is necessary because spending skill points will only work for some time. To reach a skill of 100 you have to train. Oh and there are some special skills, accessible only if a character increased an attribute (like strength for the power strike skill) to 100 points. Another good new improvement is the personality of you party. During the character creation process you give each character a personality. Effect of that? Well during the game they will comment events like killing of a monster or spotting a new NPC. Of course they comment also by voice. Unfortunately the personalities are all flat. Not like in Baldur's Gate II there you have extra quests and relationships within the party.

Other things that may be not new, but I like them: The game is awesome long and have an awesome range of items. You will meet a lot of different races, each with a race personality, explore strange dungeons and visit much more strange places. There is a human city with a space port, an underwater area, a city in the trees, an old monastery and a lot more. Playing this game will need some time. Another time consuming part are the combats. Again you will meet a wide range of monsters and, that's the funny thing, these monsters also have abilities and spells equal to the playable characters. Because this game is in real 3D, the monsters can attack you from the side or from behind (beware of surroundings) so arrange your party well by e.g. place the well protected war machines to the front, range fighters to the sides and in the behind them all the support characters like priest or mage. The different range of the weapons is also important for the fight. What should you do if you supporting spellcasters from the back are out of mana? Well some the weapons are large enough to hit the opponents in front of you, but throwing or shooting weapons might be the better solution. Luckily the game auto swaps weapons (if your characters are equipped with a primary and a secondary weapon) if the monsters are out of range. Nice and often forgotten, but now real: The world is a globe! Walking long enough to the north and you reach your origin from the south. I also like the environment / the story. It is a nice mix from normal fantasy like swords / magic and Sci-Fi elements like androids, space craft and high-tech tools. I can tell you much more about the great graphic of the game, the huge amount of different spells, the monster radar or the puzzles you have to solve the find the retro dungeons. But the review is getting longer than I thought, so I close with: There are to special guys in the game which will craft you unique weapons and armor. The only thing you have to do is to bring them the raw materials. Yes, you have guessed right: Most of the raw materials is guarded by strong monsters.

The Bad
There are only two things that I don't like in this game: 1)It is damm hard to survive. Especially if you have less then the maximum party size. Now I'm playing the game with only four party members and I can tell you that I often have to avoid fights. Otherwise the monster groups will rip my party to small pieces. 2)The other thing is that monster states are sometimes a little strange. You meet a group of monsters, each with health > 100 and statima > 300. After a long, tough and bloody fight you receive a little more than 3.500 experience points per monster.

The Bottom Line
Wizardry 8 is a long and tough but also a very large and wonderful game. If is one of the best RPGs that I have played and believe me, I have played a lot of them. Playing this game is an experience that everyone should have made. Even if the game itself is very time consuming (luckily you can save the game freely). I hope that someday there will be a Wizardry 9. Maybe it is already planned, after you fought the last battle, the game creates an ending save game.

Windows · by jaXen (261026) · 2016

Top of the line traditional cRPG. Graphics/audio sufficient for the fan.

The Good
This is one of the top 5 cRPGs of all times. It's got adventure and loot and monsters, oh my! Like other Wizardry-series games, it's helpful to understand the stats and levelling system, but for a change, it's not absolutely necessary.

There's a huge world to play in and you'll find yourself spooked by insects in the swamp and without a place to hide in the desert. The atmosphere will keep you coming back for more.

Quests and puzzles are not as open-ended or numerous as in previous Wiz games, but that will please everyone but the die-hard fans. (Be careful: a few guide books and websites get some info wrong, based on the BETA.)

A fantastic new class, the Gadgeteer, adds to the bountiful set of team choices. While I don't recommend switching classes first time through the game, it's possible to play almost any combination and have a good time.

There are tons of battles (perhaps too many), but that seems to be a handicap of the genre for some reason. You can tweak the toughness of encounters (tied to your strongest character), but, alas, not the frequency. I like tweaking my RPG battles, so I really liked the phased combat system -- although battles with far-away or round-the-corner creatures aren't handled as well.

The variety of strategies, monsters, and environments keeps evolving as the game progresses -- like most of the Wiz series, there's some especially tough Bosses that you can avoid or try to take out.

Like the other Wiz games, you can join one or both of the main factions or go it alone.

The Bad
There's a few arbitrary restrictions on where NPCs can go, which makes planning your excursions less open-ended than I'd like (work-around: use NPCs as "extras" rather than key team members).

The monster AI is about the best for this genre, but it's still not up to shooter level.

And, just when you think you've gotten to the end of the game and released the final level...well, you're only about 3/4 through the game. The End Game lasts a long time.

(And, like other Wiz games, your PCs will get tired, run out of inventory space, and run out of mana sooner than you'd like -- but, if you have an open mind about this, you'll see it's probably a fair game balance.)

The Bottom Line
I won't describe the storyline in detail. Plenty of reviews on the net do that already. Instead, here are my thoughts on how different types of players will react to this game.

(I played this game on a 500 MHz laptop w/1 MB vRAM and 512 MB RAM. This was fine, although it played better on a 1.5 GHz machine w/separate v-card.)

Wizardry Fans: IMO, the best. It has all the fun of the first 7 games without all the click and get confused tedium. It has the only storyline of the 8 games that actually has a reasonable ending (although it's a let down, 8 games later).

Might & Magic Fans: If you're disappointed in MM9, this is your fix for a traditional dungeon crawling cRPG. You'll rate it one of your favorites.

TES Fans: not nearly as open ended and the 1st "team" (instead of 1st-person) perspective might trip you up, but you'll like if not love it. It might not make your top 5 list, but it will make your favorites list.

AD&D fans will be disappointed. Not nearly as much chance of role-playing. You'll complain about classes and 1st person perspective for a team. You'll dislike the levelling system. But, if you can get past that, you'll enjoy the story and adventure and have a good time.

Action-game players will also be disappointed. Limited graphics, unexciting sound.

Adventure-game players will probably like the game, unless they really enjoy high definition cut-scenes and well defined storylines. The game allows you to travel pretty much where you want when you want (except for the endgame areas...and keep in mind, some areas will be too tough to handle).

Bottom Line: a top game. Given how much they got right, it's too bad Sir-Tech is now out of business. If they teamed up (again!) with the Wizards & Warriors crowd, they'd have a unbeatable combination.

Windows · by Tennessee Ernie Ford (16) · 2003

Surprisingly engaging

The Good
There's many things to like about this game. For starters, combat is very involved and deep due to the wide range of spells to be used. Since you'll nearly always be attacked by mobs, the right combination of spells can do great amounts of damage which is very satisfying. The ability to reposition your characters is great as well

Exploring and finding hidden items is always pleasing as is the ability to pick pocket, shoplift, trade, ask NPCs about a whole range of subjects and many other elements that enhance the game.

There's also loads of stats which is refreshing after many years of "dumbing down" of RPGs - stats which actually make sense and aren't too hard to keep track of. It's clear what they do and every stat has its use in the world.

The Bad
Despite the positives, there's also several negatives:

  • the mini map doesn't show anything except dots for items and enemies so you have to check your map a great deal

  • the game only renders a fraction of the world ahead of you which makes it very easy to get lost or to get confused in towns.

  • there's waaaay too much respawning going on - you quickly get "battle fatigue" because there's simply too much of it.

  • once you figure out the best combat tactics, it becomes a case of "rinse & repeat" - levelling slows down quickly as well meaning you won't get many new spells after a while, leading to the game becoming rather repetitive.

  • the world isn't very detailed and lacks interaction

  • there's definitely auto-levelling going on here where enemies become stronger as you level up. I'm not fond of this - especially when you go back to old areas to find them crawling with tough monsters.

    The Bottom Line
    All in all, it's a good PC game with plenty of stats, engaging and satisfying combat with a proper loot system. Partly old-school, partly modern RPG. If it wasn't for the constant respawning (which forces you in combat all the time) and the rather bare world, this would be a true classic like Baldur's Gate and Morrowind. As it stands, it focuses too much on combat which is a mistake once you figure out the ideal spells - then it becomes a matter of repeating things over and over. I'd still recommend it, especially if you don't mind lots of combat, but if you look at the best RPGs out there (Ultima VII, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, etc.), they had a good balance between combat and story/roleplaying and this game lacks the latter.

Windows · by Icarus Lytton (19) · 2012

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Bored... Unicorn Lynx (181794) Sep 5, 2013
Samurai, Valkyrie, and Bishop Walk Into Bar St. Martyne (3648) Oct 18, 2008

Trivia

Distribution

The developers of Wizardry 8 had a really tough time finding a North American publisher for the game. Eventually a deal was worked out with Electronics Boutique to get the game distributed exclusively (or near enough) in it's stores.

In-game advertisement

SirTech must have known that many players would experience "slow downs" caused by frame rate problems.

Each time you select Exit, an advertisement screen appears with the words "This is No Time for a Slow PC". The ad is for Falcon Northwest, a PC builder, with their phone number and web address.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2002 (Issue #213) – Role-Playing Game of the Year

Information also contributed by Jeanne and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by OnlyBlue.

Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Entorphane, Jeanne, Klaster_1, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, marquisor.

Game added January 9, 2002. Last modified February 13, 2024.