One More Gate: A Wakfu Legend is a rogue-lite deck building pseudo-RPG, and if that sounds like a lot of words to string together, it is. Wakfu is for everyone who’s ever wanted an animated version of a collectible card game but with more streamlined options. If that’s not your interest, Wakfu will not be for you.
You play Oropo, who broke a Zaap and is trying to master Wakfu and explore the World of Twelve in order to fix his snafu. And you will be building a powerful deck of cards in order to be able to accomplish that. That’s it.
Let me be transparent, I’ve never really been a fan of the card-based battle genre of games. While I can see the appeal and how some folks might have fun with it, I’d really just rather play an in-person CCG, so bear that in mind as you read.
Wakfu does rely on a structure intimately familiar to anyone with experience in the genre. You collect and upgrade cards in your deck in order to equip Oropo with advantages and abilities in battle. Where Wakfu diverges from the standard formula makes the game more interesting.
First, Wakfu eschews the standard node system and opts to move Oropo in 3D either by clicking an area or by using a stick on a controller. How you do that is up to you but having the option to use a controller is nice. By exploring, you also discover not only the random enemies and events but also containers to open that can have all sorts of goodies you’ll need to get through the rest of the game, so don’t ignore them.
Wakfu’s combat formula doesn’t involve this same level of innovation. You basically try to stack armor cards and attack cards in order to prevent damage to yourself while dealing it to your enemy. However, Wakfu offers a few restrictions. You begin each battle with three action points and receive one more action point each turn, maxing out at six. Once you play a card that costs that six-point maximum, you deploy Oropo’s ultimate attack, which is a nice way to build in an end to combat. Should that not wipe out your opponent, your action points reset your points to three. That could cause problems at later iterations of combat. If you choose not to use that ability, however, you end your turn before using all of your points and move on with your life. This structure offers some interesting opportunities for tactical planning without becoming overwhelming for someone not interested in planning out their moves six moves in advance.
Wakfu does afford you the option to upgrade your cards and deck, and it does this via three types of currency: coins, green currency, and blue currency. You can find each currency type in the world as you fight enemies and explore. What’s really interesting here is how each type of currency functions. Coins and blue currency allow you to purchase cards and card upgrades respectively that are permanent. You use green currency to purchase temporary upgrades at shops near bonfires. These last for the duration of a single battle cycle. Each time Oropo increases in level, you get a new card to add to your deck, so Wakfu rewards play, which is nice.
The visuals and sounds are nice. They aren’t going to blow you away, but they’re fine. However, Ankama Studios does alter the appearance of the world based on real-world events. I believe the last one they did this for was Halloween, so I imagine we’ll see a Christmas version. The devs also intend on adding what they’re calling “divine statuses” in the game and are letting players vote on the first one. I’m always glad to see developer involvement with players, especially in Early Access games, so that was good to see.
Wakfu does seem to have some balance issues, between your ability to do damage and how much the enemies can soak up, especially in early levels, so bear that in mind.
I will say that individual runs in Wakfu are geared toward players who can sit through them, but it’s not great if you don’t have the time to devote to them. Plus, given that so much of the content is procedural, if you miss something, it’s gone, which again, isn’t great for folks juggling families and other obligations.
Overall, Wakfu looks and feels like a standard card-based battle game, but there’s just enough innovation here to give it some promise. It’s in Early Access and retails for $18.99 on Steam.
- Prepare to spend a lot of time dead, especially at earlier levels.
- Wakfu gives the protagonist a name and a personality as well as story elements to the World of Twelve, which sets it apart from other titles in this genre. While I’d like to see more of these elements, again, the game is in Early Access.
- I did find the level of damage soaking abilities the bosses had to be irritating, but then, you’ll stumble upon a ridiculously OP card that is a game changer. It makes for uneven play, but I can see how that can be fun.