Ziggurat - Xbox One

Release Date:

March 20, 2015

Also on:

Xbox One PS4

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.0

Summary:

Ziggurat for the Xbox One was developed by the team over at Milkstone Studios. Combining aspects of modern FPS games with the twist on roguelike titles, Ziggurat seeks to find that special balance between high octane and high concept. You start the game off as a new sorcerer in this virtual world and your job is to go forward and face off against some intense challenges in order to prove your worth.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Milkstone Studios
  • Publisher(s):
    • Milkstone Studios
  • Release Date(s):
    • March 20, 2015
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone 10
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 1.18GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Unity
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-18

Steven_Shaw

Writer

Xbox One

7.0

Ziggurat for the Xbox One was developed by the team over at Milkstone Studios. Combining aspects of modern FPS games with the twist on roguelike titles, Ziggurat seeks to find that special balance between high octane and high concept. You start the game off as a new sorcerer in this virtual world and your job is to go forward and face off against some intense challenges in order to prove your worth. The title was developed for the Xbox One, which we are reviewing, as well as the PC and PS4. We loved the idea of an accessible game for the XB1 that was an original IP as well, so we couldn't wait to dig into the game.

So right now the gaming world is sort of experiencing a digital revolution as more and more intellectual properties are developed by small independent companies. This has given way for new games to get space in the public perception that they never would have gotten before. Venues like STEAM and ORIGIN as well as the PSN have given room for these games to develop while Microsoft and the Xbox have fallen behind that regard, preferring to wait for AAA titles to make their dollars. Well, here comes Ziggurat with every intention of fixing all of those issues. As we said above, Ziggurat is an amalgam of several different genres and play styles: dungeon crawling, FPS's, RPG's, and so much more.

Upon loading up the title we were immediately reminded of titles like Serious Sam. We shouldered our expectations for the game and went in with as blank a slate as we possibly could. Upon loading up the game we take on the role of a sorcerer ready to take on every bad guy in front of them. You have to work your way through a dungeon with separate floors, in classic format that reminds us of titles like The Quest. Upon starting the title, after naming your little 3D sorcerer, you start on the 1st floor of the dungeon. Your goal is crawl forward, through as many rooms in front of you as you hunt for a portal key. After finding the key you just have to survive until you can find the actual portal.

Combat in Ziggurat occurs through several different functions of violence. As you push through the floor you will run through horde after horde of different enemies as well as environmental traps, and one gigantic boss waiting for you at the end. Death in Ziggurat is constantly hovering over you and the punishment is always harsh. If you manage to die, at the beginning of the first floor or halfway through the fifth, you will be sent back to the beginning. In order to make deaths even more challenging you will have to deal with the fact that your levels are procedurally generated. This means that you will never run into the same enemy in the same spot twice. Gameplay will always be evolving around you as the game constantly tries to one up you.

With games like Ziggurat there is always the fear that the title will grow tired before you actually fight your way through to the end. Sure, combat can be repetitive and having to start over levels really puts a cramp in your style but you just have to accept some tedium going into the game. Besides, this is the best kind of tedium, the kind that is filled with magical death and destruction.

Roguelike titles are making their way into the public mainstream in a big way and its for good reason. Having accessible combat goes a long way toward making sure that sessions in the game can be entertaining in big chunks or even little chunks. Going through all five sections of the Ziggurat can take up to an hour at a time, depending on how comfortable you are with the gameplay, but you won't be expected to do all of it one chunk. Instead, we spent around 20 to 30 minutes to get to the 3rd floor before getting conked out. Short sessions allow you to stay entertained while long ones allow you to actually earn the depth of the game that is on offer.

So far we have talked about Ziggurat as if it is nothing new. The truth is that roguelike games don't try to be creative and different. Instead they focus on doing the little things well and making sure that the experience is tight and accessible, at least in the early going. That is what Ziggurat does. While the title and concept of the game are pretty laid back, the actual content is anything but. The controls used in combat are completely tight and they allow for you to get into a groove. Weapons include wands, guns, grenades, and even magic scepters. These items utilize magic in order to keep your enemies at bay. Wielding different spells and magical energy feels pretty great. The art style, while generic, is well done. Textures are sharp, lighting keeps the dungeons interesting, and the opposing creatures are well modeled.

Though you start of the game with just your sorcerer you can unlock more characters the longer you play. Each character is limited in their own way, whether they are weak to certain elements or they are inhibited by some other handicap. Fortunately there is an extensive upgrade system that allows you to perk your warriors up to handle the big trouble that you will run into toward the end of the game. The upgrades are given to you in the form of playing cards that have perks and such. The more cards that you unlock the bigger your stack, and the more powerful that you get. It's a satisfying feeling to nab another card for your upgrade set.

At the end of the day what Ziggurat offers us is a title that is shamelessly proud of the history of RPG and dungeon crawling gaming. The graphics don't steal the show, the concept doesn't push you to think too much, but everything is wildly entertaining.

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By:

Milkstone Studios

Release Date:

March 20, 2015

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