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Wizardry 8

aka: Wushu 8

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Critic Reviews 86% add missing review

Science Fiction Weekly (A) (100%)

Since Bioware's Baldur's Gate smashed the sales' charts in 1998, publishers have rushing to establish role-playing franchises. One publisher who didn't need to rush, however, was SirTech. Its Wizardry series is as old as computer role-playing games itself, and each new addition has been devoured by eager fans. The series' latest edition, Wizardry 8, takes gamers on a journey through the world of Dominus. It's a strange journey in which not only do swords flash and arrows fly, but spaceships, ray guns and flamethrowers hold the key to victory.

Aug 26th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Quandary ( ) (100%)

If you are a fan of classic roleplaying games then Wizardry 8 is a must. If you haven't played one then try it out. It's just too good to miss. NOTE: I certainly did finish Wizardry 8 and my opinion never wavered. It performed perfectly and remained engrossing to the very end!

Dec 2001 · Windows · read review

Withingames (5 out of 5) (100%)

Auf dem Planeten Dominus soll sich das letzte der drei mächtigen Artefakte befinden, hinter denen nicht nur der Dark Savant her ist. Vereinigt jemand die drei Artefakte, so soll er die Macht eines Cosmic Lord erlangen. Mit unserer Abenteurer-Gruppe sind wir nur eine Partei, die hinter dem "Destinae Dominus" herjagt – und nicht alle sind so ehrenhaft wie wir. Wir begeben uns also auf eine gefahrenvolle Suche voller Monster und Magie...

Dec 29th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (100%)

There are times I do not understand this industry. Games not even close to being done are boxed and sold with a wink and a nod by developers who know full well they are still months away from having any semblance to a working product. Yet they seem to have no trouble finding a publisher to pour rocks and sand into a cardboard sleeve and charge 50 bucks. Then along comes a game like Wizardry 8 that emerges from the ashes at what once was Sir-tech Canada, and actually manages to work. It even manages to be fun, provided you are able to find a copy. After failing to secure a mainstream publisher, Wizardry 8 was picked up as an exclusive release by retail giant Electronics Boutique. If you don’t have a store in your local shopping mall, you’ll have to order online or wait until the full retail distribution. The good news is that your wait will be worth it. Wizardry 8 lives up to the legacy built by seven games spanning two decades.

Mar 2002 · Windows

Game Vortex (9.5 out of 10) (95%)

Wizardry 8 is a detailed RPG with lots of game play, and is quite challenging. The game is very solid, with nary a bug to find. Whether you like old school RPGs like Bard's Tale and Wizardry, or you prefer the modern games with their flashy graphics and sound, you should find something in Wizardry 8 to love. Every aspect of the game shows Sir-Tech's love and devotion, and if you played and enjoyed either of that company's Jagged Alliance games, you should find many of the same features in Wizardry 8.

Jan 30th, 2003 · Windows · read review

ActionTrip (94 out of 100) (94%)

"Far before most of the gaming population today started realizing what computers are, the first six parts of the Wizardry serial had already been on the market for various platforms - from consoles to personal computers with but a couple of megabytes of RAM on them, for quite some time. Those were the days when skilful programmers actually managed to create firm and functional code in harsh hardware conditions without the help of modern 3D acceleration and superior CPUs."

Dec 18th, 2001 · Windows · read review

NUKE Computer Gaming (93 out of 100) (93%)

Wizardry 8 really does have everything an RPG lover could want. The sad fact is that this is Sir-tech’s last game. The amount of money the company lost in development will probably not be recouped even if Wizardry 8 sells remarkably well. What we’re playing here is the last - and ironically the best - RPG the company will ever make. Enjoy it while you can.

2002 · Windows

Just RPG (A-) (91%)

This is the end of the Wizardry series, and I will say that the series goes out with a bang instead of a whimper. This is old-school RPG playing at its best, and by far the best entry into the Wizardry series. The game is probably the best dungeon crawl I have ever played, but without a solid story line or something to amaze players with, it will never surpass Planescape or Ultima Underworld in my book. A great RPG that falls just short of being a classic RPG, and a must have for the Christmas season.

Aug 3rd, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (9.1 out of 10) (91%)

"Its engaging gameplay and surprisingly good graphics and sound make it a worthy finale to the Wizardry series, as well as an excellent RPG in and of itself."

Nov 30th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Gamers.at (90 out of 100) (90%)

Kurz gesagt: Wizardry 8 macht einfach süchtig. Wen nicht stört das die Grafik nicht auf dem neuesten Stand der Technik ist (was Rollenspieler ja gewöhnt sind) und das im Spiel sehr viel gekämpft werden muß, für den ist das Spiel eigentlich ein Pflichtkauf. Außer der Might and Magic Serie gibt es kaum noch Rollenspiele die nach einem derart altbewährten aber guten Muster gestrickt sind, ohne alt und verstaubt zu wirken. Gute Englischkenntnisse sind aber Pflicht. Das Spiel wird voraussichtlich nicht in Deutsch erscheinen, da der Hersteller Sirtech Bankrott gegangen ist. Diese Krönung der Serie und des klassischen Rollenspiels überhaupt sollte man sich als Fan keinesfalls entgehen lassen.

Feb 11th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (90 out of 100) (90%)

Уходя в никуда, убеленная сединами Sir-Tech решила попрощаться с нами по-королевски, вложив бессмертную душу в километры виртуальных пейзажей Доминуса, сотни видов оружия, снадобий и брони, мегабайты безупречного звука, тысячи строк текста и двадцать три божественных мелодии Кевина Мантея (того самого, что дал миру саундтрек Majesty). Следующий визит в мир Wizardry состоится, увы, без нас и будет совсем другим: права на сериал отошли к проприставочной Atlus Interactive USA. Первая экшен/адвенчура для PS2 выходит уже в декабре с.г…

Oct 17th, 2001 · Windows · read review

GamingIllustrated.com (90 out of 100) (90%)

To cap off an excellent year for computer role playing games, Sir-Tech software managed to overcome difficulties finding a publisher and release the long-delayed eighth chapter of the venerable Wizardry series. Not only does Wizardry 8 triumphantly continue the pen and paper style RPG tradition of its predecessors, it also adds superbly detailed graphics and an involving open-ended story to elevate the game to the perch of CRPG classic.

Jan 13th, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameSpy (88 out of 100) (88%)

Wizardry 8 is an outstanding example of its genre. It has everything you could possibly ask for in a roleplaying game and then some. Despite that, the nature of this old school RPG is such that it will likely only appeal to a small niche of gamers, which is a real shame. This year, the roleplaying genre was slimmer than it has been in the previous couple of years, but even if it had been packed with titles, Wizardry 8 would still shine above most of them.

Dec 2001 · Windows · read review

RPGDOT (8.7 out of 10) (87%)

"When a hardcore fan of CRPG's thinks of the most popular and longest running series of games in the business, only a handful of names come to mind. Ultima, Might and Magic, and of course, Wizardry."

Feb 20th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Gamers' Temple, The (85 out of 100) (85%)

It might prove to be a bit frustrating for the casual RPG player, but those who enjoy the genre will be pleased by the intriguing world and huge amount of gameplay provided by Wizardry 8. Despite a few quirks and annoyances, it is a worthy successor to the Wizardry 8 line and will be a welcome addition to an RPG gamer's library.

Apr 5th, 2002 · Windows · read review

GameZone (8.5 out of 10) (85%)

"Many fellow RPGers and fans of the Wizrardy series had all but given up on Wizardry 8 seeing the light of day - when all of a sudden, like a thief in the night, it stole into the realm of availability."

Dec 3rd, 2001 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (85 out of 100) (85%)

Trotz der klassischen Rollenspiel-Elemente, ist Wizardry 8 gleichzeitig komfortabel zu bedienen. Das Spiel beweist außerdem eindrucksvoll, dass rundenbasierte Kämpfe keineswegs „out" und von gestern sein müssen. So haben die Entwickler von Sir-tech ein tolles Rollenspiel geschaffen, das neben altgedienten Wizardry-Veteranen auch neue Spieler anlocken wird. Wer nur im Entferntesten etwas mit PC-Rollenspielen anfangen kann, sollte hier zugreifen und sich auch nicht von der bisher „nur" englischsprachigen Version abschrecken lassen. Wer weiß schon, ob und wann das Spiel hierzulande erscheint.

Nov 28th, 2001 · Windows · read review

PC Games (Germany) (85 out of 100) (85%)

Wizardry 8 vermittelt von Anfang an das gute alte Rollenspiel-Feeling. Charaktererschaffung und -entwicklung sind nicht durch starre Regelzwänge beschränkt, sondern bieten viel Freiheiten. Im Spiel selbst kommt durch abwechslungsreiche Aufträge, Schauplätze und Gegner kaum Langeweile auf, trotz der zahlreichen Rundenkämpfe. Die Interaktionsmöglichkeiten mit friedlichen Nebenfiguren reichen von umfassenden Gesprächen über Handel bis hin zum Bestehlen oder Rekrutieren – das bietet nicht mal Genreprimus Baldur’s Gate 2. Nervig sind allein die sensationell langen Ladezeiten sowie Feinde, die im ungünstigsten Moment respawnen. Ansonsten kann ich Wizardry 8 jedem nur wärmstens ans Herz legen, selbst wenn Sie keinen der Vorgänger gespielt haben.

Jan 7th, 2002 · Windows · read review

PC Action (Germany) (85 out of 100) (85%)

Nicht alles, was Gold ist, glänzt! Im Vergleich zu den inneren Werten präsentiert sich Wizardry 8 eher schlicht. Rollenspielfans sollten sich von der Optik keinesfalls abschrecken lassen, für den Spaß sorgt nicht die Verpackung, sondern der Inhalt. Sir-Tech hat es erneut geschafft, ein episches Abenteuer - rund 100 Stunden purer Rollenspielgenuss stehen Ihnen bevor - in einer fantastischen Welt vorbildlich in Szene zu setzen. Ausreichende Englischkenntnisse sind allerdings Voraussetzung, denn bislang ist keine Übersetzung in Sicht.

Dec 2001 · Windows

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( ) (80%)

"Its statistics heavy gameplay and brushed-up turn-based combat recall the Gold Box era of role-playing, when stats and tactical combat were king. Still, with Wizardry 8, Sir-Tech sets out to breathe life anew into old-school RPG's."

Jan 4th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Stratos Group (4 out of 5) (80%)

Though this type of game has fallen out of vogue in recent years, Wizardry 8 manages to capture the original magic and feel of they style amazingly well while updating it to mesh with today's more modern competitors.

Apr 20th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Game Over Online (76 out of 100) (76%)

Note for players of the previous Wizardrys: the designers seem to have "fixed" some of the features that made it easy to create powerful parties. In particular, there used to be a real incentive to swap characters between multiple classes. You could take a 10th level character, start over again as a first level character and earn 10 levels before the 11th level party you were with made it to 12th level. They would restrict you to 1 HP and little/no stat improvement until you passed your old level, but you could build up an impressive array of spells, special skills and what not. Now, you keep advancing at the previous rate, so a 10th level priest turned into a 1st level Bishop takes (11th level Bishop - 10th level Bishop) experience to advance (i.e., forever). You CAN start out as any character class (you no longer have to build up to the more advanced classes), but I would rather have the old style back.

Jan 21st, 2002 · Windows · read review

IGN (7.5 out of 10) (75%)

"It would've been easier if I was unconditionally enthusiastic about Wizardry 8, but honestly there are enough flaws in it to keep it from being the perfect capstone on a long and honorable career that it otherwise could've been, as I'll try to demonstrate."

Dec 14th, 2001 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (75 out of 100) (75%)

Bei Wizardry 8 bleibt Sirtech der legendären Reihe treu. Und das im positiven wie auch negativen Sinne. Die Spielmechanik mit den zahlreichen Spezialisierungen der Charaktere klappt auch im achten Teil hervorragend. Völlig indiskutabel ist die Katastrophen-Optik. Außerdem lässt mich das Programm zu oft allein. Jedem Fitzelchen Story muss ich mühsam hinterherlaufen, und die Tagebucheinträge verschweigen wichtige Infos. Wer damit leben kann, bekommt ein umfangreiches Rollenspiel klassischer Prägung, das durch die ausgefeilte Charakterentwicklung Spaß macht. Gegen Baldur’s Gate 2 und Gothic ist es aber chancenlos.

Jan 2002 · Windows

Svenska PC Gamer (70 out of 100) (70%)

Striderna blir givetvis lidande, men det är ok då spelet mer handlar om att utforska och upptäcka nya platser (som förvisso ser ut som skit). Karaktärer och dialoger kan vara riktigt underhållande, och det är faktiskt uppfriskande med två rollspel under samma månad som inte är koncentrerade runt strid (Morrowind är det andra). Är du en fanatiker kan det här definitivt vara något för dig, men jag tror att de flesta kan komma att skrämmas bort av grafiken och stridssystemet. Men, ge det en chans, kanske när det kommer som budgetspel.

Jun 2002 · Windows

Gameplanet ( ) (70%)

THE AGE OF THE Ascension is upon us. Wizardry 8 is here and bigger and better than ever before! For those hard-core Wizardry fans out there who have been anticipating the arrival of the latest installment of the classic Wizardry series of RPG games, the time is at hand. Wizardry 8 will have you back in the seat ready to take on the Dark Savant before you know it!

Jul 29th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Electric Playground (7 out of 10) (70%)

Wizardry 8 is a decent, if unspectacular first person hack n' slash. It doesn't have the ease of use and richness of a Baldur's Gate, but it's a nice reminder of where CRPGs came from. More recent RPG fans might not see the charm. If you were one of the ones that sobbed every time Return to Krondor was delayed, you'll go through Wizardry like an adult going through their childhood home. In some ways, it's a piece of living history.

May 8th, 2004 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

Fantastic finale which leaves us hungry for more.

The Good
(Some minor spoilers)

Wizardry 8, the final addition to this 20+ year old series does everything that made the classic games a success, while adding so much more.

For the first time, we are treated to free flowing movement, 3d graphics (DirectX and OpenGL both supported), an entirely new combat system, and characters with real personality.

Fans of the older games should not be put off by the free flowing movement. Step by step tile based movement was the norm with the previous games, and more than a few Wizardry lovers were skeptical about the change to movement, worried that the traditional gameplay would be thrown off, perhaps resulting in a game that resembles more modern RPGs than the Wizardry series. I can say for certain that this isn't the case. The developers did an excellent job of revolutionizing movement all the while staying true to the classic feel. While the graphics are not as good as other first person games of the time, they are way, way above standard for Wizardry games. Besides, it was never graphics that made the series a success, so the 3d is just gravy. Not to mention, it runs very smoothy on relatively older systems. I for one would rather have average graphics that run awesome, rather than awesome graphics that run slow.

The combat system is new to the series, and quite unique. With six members in your party, you have the option of strategical placement of each member. Fighters and melee up front, casters and ranged attackers in the middle or back. Should monsters end up behind you though, your melee classes will be out of range and your more delicate characters will be subject to melee attack. Nevertheless good placement is key to keeping characters alive.

As far as the fighting goes, there are many options for various characters. Melee, ranged attack, use of items, spells, defense (allowing you to recover stamina by passing on an action in combat, useful if you're character is about to go unconscious during battle), even protection of other party members are all individual actions each member can take. A party member is close to death? Have a couple of members offer to defend them until your healer can cast a spell. Lots of strategies and various play styles are allowed giving the player a sense of individuality in their tactics. Good stuff.

There is no real wrong way to build a party. Just about any combination of characters can win. I've even read about hardcore players that could solo the entire game with one party member. This isn't to say that the game is easy, far from it. All party configurations will be put to the test.

Creating characters is fun, and not too daunting. While there are a load of stats, the interface serves to make creation friendly and simple. You can also assign personalities and voices to your characters. This is great fun, as various statements made by your characters throughout the game will correspond with their personality. What's more, if you get tired of a particular voice or personality, you can change it at any time during the game. In traditional Wizardry fashion, you may also import characters from the previous scenario (Wizardry 7).

The story is excellent, and while it continues on eventually giving conclusion to the Dark Savant saga, new players would not need to play the previous versions.

The mix of fantasy and technology began with DW Bradley in Wizardry V, and in Wizardry 8 it's more apparent than ever. I enjoy fighting with swords, bows, and spell casting all the while being blocked by force fields controlled by computers. It's a nice touch that lends yet more uniqueness to the series. That's not to say that no other game or series has incorporated technology with fantasy, but Wizardry does it best.

In addition to your party members, you're also able to take some people along with you at certain times. They have their own personalities and skills. NPC interaction is also good, as diplomacy returns, along with the ability to pickpocket, shoplift, do quests for and align yourself with various NPCs.

There is plenty to do in the game, and you do not have to complete every little side quest or explore every single area.

Also, there are some nice twists such as a party member being eaten by a monster and you have to kill the monster to get your member back. On one occasion, a party member got kidnapped and I had to rescue him. All good stuff.

I really could go on and on about this game, but honestly I feel that words cannot describe the atmosphere and level of immersion this game has. You can't be told what Wizardry is, you must experience it for yourself (kinda like the matrix).

The Bad
There are some flaws with this game, and I believe that the level of complexity in comparison to other Wizardry installments is what brings this about.

There are too many fights, and often the combat lasts way too long. Even when fighting relatively easy enemies that you're going to annihilate, it may take a couple of minutes to hack and slash through them. Boo. I had a fight against three groups of monsters totaling around 20 opponents, but they were all little bugs that would die in one hit. The majority of the time was spent waiting on the computer to move the bugs around into position. I timed it and it took 8 minutes to finish combat without a scratch. After it was finished, I immediately got into another fight with monsters that wanted to fight at range, and when closing the distance they'd run. That took another 6 minutes or so to kill low level monsters. After that, I got in a fight with what was an even match. That took about 5 minutes, but I had to camp in order to restore my characters. While camping, I was interrupted and had another fight that lasted 3 minutes. Then I finished camping. In total, I spent about 22 minutes walking about 10 feet. Ugh.

There are quite a few bugs. While there is a patch available, it is supposedly only for discs that don't have 1.2.4 printed on them. The older discs will wear out requiring a replacement, and the newer discs while not needing the patch, still have bugs. Sometimes NPCs that join the party become buggy or invisible. Having done quite a bit of research online however, there are almost always work-arounds for these bugs, so if you have a problem google is your friend.

The worst part about this game isn't about the game itself, but the fact that this is certainly the final wizardry. Sir-Tech is out of business, and if we did see some other company endeavor to continue the series I would bet dollars to cents that the new company wouldn't be able to give the series a proper revival when considering the same company designed these games for 20 years.

The Bottom Line
The best Wizardry ever, highly recommended for fans and newcomers alike. If you can get past the long combat, this game has so, so much to offer.

by D Michael (221) on Dec 31st, 2006 · Windows

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.

by Tennessee Ernie Ford (16) on Aug 31st, 2003 · Windows

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.

by Icarus Lytton (19) on Oct 7th, 2012 · Windows

You finally have a chance to finish off the evil Dark Savant!

The Good
When I heard that Sir-Tech was making this game, I couldn't wait to play it. Over a decade ago, Bane of the Cosmic Forge and Crusaders of the Dark Savant enthralled me with their turn-based combat systems, truly different, imaginative and intelligent monsters and a captivating, original story of good versus evil. The ending in Crusaders left you wondering what the Dark Savant would do next ... what would become of the world now that he had taken off with the Astral Dominae? Yes, Wizardry 8 concludes the story ... and does it very well!

To help tie the old to the new, the introduction is presented to you in shades of brown and ivory as still pictures slide across the screen during the narrative. Choosing characters for your party comes next (in full color) .. and they are a diverse group with a good variety of faces and talents. Veterans to the series will notice several new classes and races in male as well as female. Choose the ready-made "sample party" or create up to 6 of your own from scratch. The designers made an intuitive and helpful character creation interface - a right-click answers all your questions about every aspect of it.

In between performing your "hack and slash" functions, an intricate, evolving story is told. Your main objective is to retrieve a trinity of objects (including the Astral Dominae) and then take them to Ascension Peak where, as legend has it, someone will ascend and become "Cosmic" Lords. Numerous sub quests are incidental to securing those items, but, of course, give you essential experience points.

You'll meet two opposing factions who, although both want to destroy the Dark Savant as much as you do, are convinced that the other is their enemy. With a little forethought, you can form an alliance with both factions and, in the end, bring about a truce and have them join together with you against your common enemy.

Character dialogs (both of your party members and NPCs) are the best part of this game, and I must say the same for the people who voice-acted them. Your party members will randomly make comments about the quest at hand, the city or place, the people and more. Each person has his/her own way of telling you that they are hurt or sick, are out of ammo and to confirm your orders. In battle, each one also has a unique "Heave Ho!" .. and they even exclaim differently when they've done well. (When my Ranger has an exceptional "kill", she cries out "I remain dominant!", while my Lord says simply, "Excellent!") And .. NPCs have changing dialog and can be asked about a large variety of topics on which they will answer. You can set the dialog to an "automatic" type mode so that key words, people, places are added as "topics" to ask about. Plus you can add your own words and phrases! Makes it mighty interesting!

In my opinion, the character animations and battle actions are "a cut above", making the fight sequences really fun to watch. The graphics of the world around you is pretty darned good and drawn very well. Another reviewer mentioned "monsters partly in walls" ... well, yes, that happened occasionally, but usually it was a crab with sharp claws coming through the walls of a grass hut! Now that's realistic!

And speaking of battles, the fight interface is really good. Right-click your mouse or touch a key (or combination thereof) to select an action (i.e. M to cast a magic spell, U to use an item, L to repeat the last command). I chose to play in the turn-based "phased" manner for the whole game rather than "continuous" because I like the most control. Casting a magical spell is as easy as using a potion. Even low-level spells can still be effective with later game monsters since their intensity gets higher as you get stronger.

The "creatures" seem to be pretty smart and dexterous too, dodging, moving about the screen, and casting spells on their own. And there are hundreds of them, some familiar and some brand new, to keep you mighty busy -- all with unique animations and sounds for their species. If you have a ranger in your party, you can select him/her and right click on a monster to see its unique strengths, weaknesses, type of attack and immunities, and then plan your attacks accordingly. If your foe is 100% immune to Fire, for instance, you'll have no effect whatsoever with a Fireball spell! And just when you've become used to casting magic all the time, you'll enter a "no magic" zone ... or you'll find yourself under water where no fire magic works! That's where the numerous potions, powders and bombs come in handy!

Other things I liked:

  • Multi-layered area "auto" maps on which you add notes
  • Unlocking doors, chests with an unusual (and challenging) "lock-pick" technique
  • Much more for your Bard and Thief (2 professions often ignored in other games)
  • Varied landscapes and locations
  • Unlimited Save Game slots with 3 Quick Save and Auto-Save functions
  • Decisions made during gameplay can change your ending
  • Teleport over long distances using "Set Portal" and "Return to Portal" magic spells (for characters high enough in magic) plus 2 permanent ones
  • So many magical spells that you may never see all of them
  • A well-written, truly useful manual
  • Radar screen that shows locations of collectible items and monster locations
  • Good value for the buck ... it takes a -very- long time to finish
In addition, there are 4 different endings! One depends upon whether an important quest was finished, while the other 3 are based upon a decision you make during the "end game" portion.

**The Bad**
My complaints are few. I loved Wizardry 8 so much that, even with these quirks, I wanted desperately to finish it!
  1. The minimum system requirements aren't enough! While the game will install and run on a Pentium II 233Mhz machine, attempting to perform even the smallest of functions (like moving the mouse cursor on the screen) is literally painful. The game crawled on my PII 400MMX (even with 256Ram), but it flies on my Pentium III 1000Mhz laptop. BTW, no "recommended" system requirements are contained in any of the written material.

  2. Evidently the first release of the game was produced on inferior CDs and they can wear out! (This according to a message on the Sir Tech forums). Because files on my CD#3 refused to load (the game hung up as soon as it was inserted), I had to buy the game again. My second copy is the "Game of the Year Edition" which seems to be much better. Because of the copyright protection, I failed in all attempts making a personal backup copy.

  3. I got tired of the battle music, but after awhile I "tuned it out" and really didn't notice it. Each locale does have unique music but none of those tracks were really exciting.

**The Bottom Line**
This game has been added to my "Top 10 RPG Favorites" ! Wizardry 8 is simply marvelous! It has all of the elements you'll want in a Role Playing Game: turn-based combat - easy to use, intuitive interface - complex, interesting story - loads of characters and monsters with personalities all their own - plus user customizations for keyboard shortcuts - and so much more!

by Jeanne (75386) on May 22nd, 2004 · Windows


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.

by jaXen (259108) on Dec 30th, 2016 · Windows

Though it was the swan song of the series, it was a proper pinnacle.

The Good
Though I was leery of the change to free motion and 3D modeling, these were well used and added to the game instead of hurting it. All the things that were great about the Bradley part of the Wizardry series were there - real role-playing decisions, a plot with the right degree of complexity, continuity with the predecessor games. In the Wizardry tradition, some of the puzzles were quite obscure but they mostly made sense.

The Bad
Sometimes there were problems with controlling your party movement. Some fights were rendered artificially difficult because of 3D problems like monsters partly in walls.

The Bottom Line
If you liked the earlier Bradley Wizardries, you will likely love this one. It manages to be pretty without failing to be Wizardry.

by weregamer (155) on Nov 7th, 2003 · Windows

Plus 55 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, Peter Taucher, Patrick Bregger, jean-louis, Yearman, Renat Shagaliev, Wizo, Kabushi.