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Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls Game Poster Image
Adventure remake is repetitive, shows its age.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game features basic good versus evil themes, though the characters' motivations range wildly. While players do complete some quests meant to help others in need, others are simple time fillers with little impact on the overall narrative.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players create and recruit adventurers to their side, with most serving their own motivations. Some characters join the fight because it's the right thing to do, while other seek out fame and fortune from defeating the different magical creatures and criminals placed in their paths.

Ease of Play

Basic gameplay should be familiar to most classic role-playing gamers. Although this version of the game sports new visuals and streamlined controls, the original almost punishing difficulty remains intact for a whole new generation of hardship-seeking role-playing game fans.

Violence

Characters constantly battle against various supernatural and fantasy creatures using an arsenal of medieval weapons and magic spells. Battles are turn-based with still imagery and no graphic depictions of violence. Damage is reflected onscreen by flashy visual effects, occasional minor blood splashes, and sound effects. Defeated enemies simply vanish from the screen.

Sex

Some visuals include suggestive images, including exposed rears and strategically covered nudity.

Language

Some mild profanity, such as "ass" and "bastard" occasionally appear in dialogue.

Consumerism

This is the latest chapter in the long running Wizardry series, and it's a remake of a game originally released in 2011.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol occasionally appears, including a quest which specifically focuses on recovering bottles of wine for a reward.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is a single-player role-playing game (RPG) available for download on Windows-based PCs. The game is a remake of the original 2011 PlayStation 3 release, which in turn is part of the classic Wizardry video game franchise that has spanned nearly four decades. The game features turn-based combat with still imagery of monsters and fantasy creatures. While combat is a regular occurrence, there's very little blood and no graphic violence shown onscreen. There's some artwork that shows characters in suggestive poses and exposed buttocks, as well as some mild profanity in the dialogue. 

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What's it about?

WIZARDRY: LABYRINTH OF LOST SOULS returns RPG (role-playing game) fans to the classic style of spell casting and dungeon exploration that has made the Wizardry series a staple of the role-playing genre for nearly forty years. This remake of the original PlayStation 3 classic features high definition graphics, multiple controls options, and a new Turbo mode to speed up gameplay, as well as all the collected downloadable content from the original release to keep the adventure going. You'll create your party from a selection of eight classes and five races before you venture forth to prove your mettle in combat against more than one hundred creatures. You'll fulfill your destiny as you set out on a quest to defeat the monsters terrorizing the people, seek out artifacts of ancient power, gain fame and fortune, and uncover the source of the dark forces rising throughout the land.

Is it any good?

Even though this chapter of the classic role-playing game franchise has had some visual updates and content extras, it's really starting to show its age. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls was released nearly a decade ago in 2011 on the PlayStation 3, and now that chapter of the classic Wizardry tale has been remade for modern PCs, complete with HD graphics, new controls, and other minor tweaks to the original. But does the game still measure up after all this time?

It needs to be said that, even when Labyrinth of Lost Souls was first released on the PS3, the game felt dated. Unfortunately, even a fresh and colorful new coat of HD paint slapped onto the framework of the original can't keep it from showing its age. Moving through dungeons and fighting in combat feels more like you're navigating a slideshow than adventuring. The visuals feel static and stale, with very little response to any of your party's actions outside of an occasional grunt and a flash of light. The game also seems artificially difficult, with random encounters that quickly overwhelm your party. While being able to swap out abilities on the fly is a nice feature, you never really know what you need until it's usually too late. As a result, the whole package winds up being repetitive, frustrating, and lacking even the nostalgic charm the Wizardry series once had.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the evolution of video games. How have video games changed over the years? What are some of the ways that games have become more immersive with changing technology? What is the appeal of returning to classic gaming experiences?

  • How are fantasy adventures represented in entertainment such as movies, TV, and video games? What are some of the sources of those influences?

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