A couple years ago when Sony showed its Move technology during its 2010 E3 press conference, the company showed what could very well had been an early build of Sorcery, which saw its final release roughly two years later. Was it worth the wait? Not really. Does it at least further the need for PS3 gamers to adopt PS Move to the point that Xbox 360 gamers have Kinect? Certainly not.
This action/adventure game tells the amazing story of an apprentice wizard named Finn who finds himself a rather powerful wand, then sets off to save the Faerie Realm from an evil queen. Okay, so the plot really isn't all that amazing. And, really, it doesn't seem like the staff at SCE Santa Monica really give a hoot. The game's characters (Finn included) don't receive much in the way of a backstory; or even a reason to really care over the course of Sorcery's eight-or-so hour playtime. A weak and under-supported story, however, is only one of the issues with this game.
Sorcery's visuals are okay at best, falling somewhere between what one would expect for a PS2 and PS3 game. Character models are uninteresting at best, and environments come off as both interesting and generic at the same time. The only thing really saving Sorcery's graphical presentation from being just plain drab is its use of color, which give glimmers of life to an otherwise lifeless game.
One redeeming quality that Sorcery has is the way in which it handles its motion controls. While the Wii may be the father of modern gesture-based gaming, Sorcery blows most Wii games away in terms of actual motion-controlled gameplay. Moving Finn around is rather industry-standard via the PS Move Nav controller, but how the PS Move Wand is used is where the game's magic literally happens. Casting spells, for example, consists of selecting a spell (the Wand's bulb changes color to show which spell is equipped), then a flicking the wrist casts it. Drinking potions is just as immersive a process, as the player shakes the Wand as to simulate the mixing of a bottled potion, then it's "bottem's up" as if the player was actually downing the substance via the Wand itself. Precise and innovative, Sorcery's control scheme is one of the few things that may make the curious gamer want to take the time with this title.
A word of caution: Be sure to take breaks every half hour or so. The game, while not especially difficult, has periods of play best described as hectic. Because all of this Wand gyrations the player performs over the course of the game, the player's wrist is bound to get worn out. When this happens, pausing the game and taking five is the player's best option.
Sorcery is one of those games that, had it been a PS Move launch title, would have garnished a more favorable reception. While its use of Move is overall acceptable, its lack of creativity and overall enjoyment coupled with its release more than a year after that of the technology itself provide for a woefully underwhelming game.
Final Game Guys grade: C-
(SCEA provided a copy of this game for review.)