Sunday, 22 March 2015

Ziggurat (Xbox One) - Review

Ziggurat is out now on Xbox One priced at £11.99.

Up to now, to my knowledge at least, there have been no other games truly like Ziggurat on the Xbox One. Steam and PSN have rogue-likes aplenty, but this seems to be the first one to come to the Xbox One. I think the closest game to this I have played is Diablo III, although it's not really a rogue-like you can't deny that the repetitive dungeon crawling is very much like that. But Diablo III featured robust customisation, a narrative, the ability to save progress. Ziggurat takes everything I enjoyed about Diablo III back to the very basics...and I love it for that! I feel like this kind of game is a perfect fit for the Xbox One, and it was a game type I was certainly craving for.

The game doesn't take itself too seriously...Carrot Minions!
A little video when you load up Ziggurat shows you the premise of the game. You are a sorcerer that must battle their way through the dungeon of Ziggurat. You will always start on the bottom floor, there are no options to save your progress through the tower and this is part of its brilliance - this game is meant to be enjoyed NOW, picked up when you have a spare five minutes but ending up making you late as you progress further than you thought you would. To get to the next floor you will need to find the portal key for that floor which will summon the floors boss. Beat him and you get to battle through another floor. If you don't manage to make it past the boss (or even get to the boss like I did a few times) then you start right back at the very beginning again. As any good rogue-like should be Ziggurat is procedurally generated, meaning no two games are never the same. Dungeons will be laid out slightly differently. The minions held within may also differ as will the locations of any upgrades and extra weapons for you to pick up.

Bosses are usually a bigger, badder version of a minion
You begin each game with a magic wand and will collect more as you progress. You can carry up to four weapons, all of which spend mana, with some spending it all extremely fast. This means you will have to exercise some control, you can't just nuke everything with the best weapon you have, you will soon find yourself with no mana and a ton of pissed off minions ready to eat your face. The shooting is good though, really accurate, particularly with the magic wand so luckily I never felt too hard done to having to use it. Ziggurat is a game that handles itself really well. It feels perfectly paced and doesn't throw too much choice at you at once. Indeed any customisation is in the form of picking out one card (of two) when you progress, making it really quick and really simple to make your character that little bit stronger.

Ziggurat is a great game. It is simply fun. The minions you come up against aren't always the usual fantasy fare, and include carrots (yes really) and magic mushrooms, but there are skeletons, wraiths and other more traditional enemies to fight too. Ziggurat doesn't take itself seriously, and it is all the better for it. There are a few issues with a drop in frame-rate when certain enemies are killed, but honestly this is easily ignored in the face of such a fun game. I feel like it is one of the first indie games on the Xbox One to be competitively priced, and I can wholeheartedly recommend you pick this one up sooner rather than later.

9/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

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