IntroductionWolcen: Lords of Mayhem is a new-generation hack-and-slash RPG adventure by a debutante studio sharing the namesake. A medieval army officer develops magical abilities and runs away from the authorities. In the quest, he must confront a variety of monstrosities to unravel a mystery behind a plague and famine corrupting the realm.
Wolcen has been in public development for several years, through Steam Early Access. Now, the first "1.0" version was released just a few days ago. Other ARPG classics, like Diablo and Path of Exile, have clearly inspired Wolcen, which is a good thing as that's exactly the type of game people are looking for. Any mechanical similarities end with Wolcen's class fluidity, though. You're not caged to the limited set of skills of a single class. There's a deliberate focus on character customization, including the ability to hybridize your character across multiple classes at any point along your quest.
Another design focus with Wolcen is the enemy AI designed to be a lot more adaptable and tactical than you'd find in other titles of the genre. Another interesting decision by Wolcen Studio was to give the game a high level of eye candy and production design, whereas other titles keep the graphics at tame levels to maximize the user-base, so that even people with weaker hardware can enjoy the title at decent FPS rates.
Bringing the world of Wolcen to life is CryEngine 3, along with a high level of detail. This is one ARPG in which you'll find yourself zooming in a lot—if you have the time during the hectic action. The game takes advantage of DirectX 11 and can be fairly taxing on your machine with high settings. In this article, we put the game through a selection of popular graphics cards. We also compare its average frame rates to other games in our graphics card test suite.