Witch Rise from Ratalaika Games and lightUp is an FPS in which you must save yourself from a curse set by an evil witch. Check out below if this game is worth your time in our Witch Rise review!
Witch Rise tells the tale of a sweet, innocent young girl who was turned into a piglet by the cruel Fallen Witch.
Now, our heroine must embark on a quest to overcome the curse and change back into to her old self again. During your journey, you’ll need to find the four magic staffs in order to defeat the Fallen Witch and thus recover your human body.
Witch Rise from Ratalaika Games and lightUp tells the story of a formerly benevolent witch who eventually grew greedy and researched dark secrets. She heard about a little girl learning magic, and out of jealousy, she transformed her into a pig. You’re playing as that girl, and your objective in this game will be to recover the four magic staffs to recover your true self. Right off the bat, I noticed a few grammatical errors in the opening sequence and this could have been proofread by a professional writer, given the few sentences that were written.
On the gameplay side, you’ll be navigating through the (very) confusing dungeon in order to beat monsters and recover the magic staffs hidden within. Each section of the dungeon is connected together, and you’ll switch from one area to another after passing a small sign showing the difficulty of the next area you’re about to explore.
The combat is done by pressing the R2 button and is very clunky. You must wait after each hit for the animation to be completed, so even if you’re spamming the button, you won’t hit enemies as much as you’d like to. Later, you’ll obtain better weapons that, unfortunately, drain your mana in a flash – but at least you’ll automatically recover some over time.
One of the areas that I thought this game dropped the ball was in its level design, which is confusing. Even with the game map, you’ll often find yourself in a room you didn’t want to go in. Each room is also a labyrinth in itself, so even if you know where you want to go, you’re likely to get lost and go in trial and error to find out where you want to go, which is not helped by the thick fog that prevents you from seeing more than a few feet in front of you. And to add to the confusion, every time you get hurt by an enemy, you’ll be stunned, and your direction will change. For a game that’s already plagued by a confusing level design, further scrambling your point of view each time an enemy hits you was not a welcome idea.
The level design is confusing, and the enemies can rotate your point of view, but another aspect is the unclearest compass ever designed, which points to both your direction and the opposing one until you understand which color is your actual direction. And since you’ll often enter rooms by mistake and return to the previous one to find the one you were looking for, the enemies will also respawn at the same time, slowing down your progression and adding to the frustration.
I had a few other minor annoyances while I was playing that game. You can only see the game map when you press the Triangle button, which you’ll need each time you’re in front of a door to make sure you’re going to the room you really want to go. The menu can’t be closed by the PlayStation standard Circle button and you’ll have to press the Triangle button again to close it. Strangely, you’ll likely get used to it pretty quickly.
I also noticed a bug in the menu. You can see all the weapons you’ve collected in the menu, and it says to press R2 to select another one. Well, this doesn’t work, and once you have a new weapon, it is impossible to revert to a previous one. I tried every button on the controller and none worked. It was annoying because even though the later weapons are stronger, they consume mana, and once it runs out, you’re a sitting duck until it replenishes.
On the presentation side, the game looked like a very early first-person shooter game where the environment is in 3D, and everything over it is a static sprite. You can think of the original Doom or even Heretic but with a much more colorful presentation. The soundtrack is repetitive, but at least the music itself was fun to listen to.
Being a Ratalaika Game, you can expect a quick Platinum trophy for your effort in this game, and since the game is Cross-Buy between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions, you could achieve two Platinum trophies in one sitting. The list is short with only 11 Gold trophies and the Platinum itself. Most of them will unlock automatically as you progress through the game. You’ll be collecting money (which doesn’t seem to have any use), fighting a set number of enemies, and beating the two first bosses. All in all this can be done within an hour.
Witch Rise is a first-person shooter that tried to capture the nostalgia of the early 3D games but failed to keep my interest. Each room is a labyrinth, and orienting yourself in the dungeon needs to be clearer. If you’re a trophy hunter, luckily, you’ll achieve the Platinum at about the halfway point through the game. Witch Rise is out as a Cross-Buy title with a budget price of only $4.99, so you’ll be able to download both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions at no extra cost.
This Witch Rise review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Ratalaika Games.