Think FTL with a mage instead of a ship and crew, and you’ve pretty much summed up Fictorum. On the upside, you don't begin the game as some wimpy little apprentice, a baby-mageling who can barely toss a few magic missiles around. Instead, you’re an experienced, stone-cold badass; a master wizard who can hurl fireballs, lightning bolts and more, and you can do it... all... day... long (if you just make sure to take a little time to let your mana regenerate every now and again). If you run out, you can even cast using your HP as fuel, but heals are hard enough to come by in this game without helping your enemies by draining your own life away.
You begin the game with a lot of power but not much else; you only have one offensive spell and some mediocre gear. You can quickly find some nice upgrades that are (oddly) located in civilians' homes, on the condition that you haven’t leveled their houses first. That's right, you can indulge your most destructive fantasies here; obliterate shacks, destroy homes, reduce magical towers to rubble; you can even drop heavy stone fortifications with a quick spell or two. But that leftover rubble can do some damage of its own, both to you and your enemies, and if you blow up a structure that has loot inside, it’ll be converted into a small amount of Essence (currency) instead of that tasty power-up, so you have to use your destructive powers wisely.
Now the game's big, glaring, downside; the AI is severely lacking. As in, it’s pretty bad. Neutrals will run around like decapitated chickens or just charge straight at you, only to dodge at the last second. Melee enemies will just rush at you period until you put them down, while casters, archers and the like will at least attempt to pick you off using their ranged weapons, despite clearly having absolutely no concept of “taking cover.” It tends to make the combat – which is a huge part of the game – lackluster. The lack of an aiming reticule, even an optional one, doesn't help things either, as this simple addition would have done wonders for aiming.
The Story & The Flow:
Much like FTL, you start off partway through a node-based map, but in Fictorum's case, you choose different mountain passes; some of them will result in nothing in particular happening, while others will have a shop, a battle, or a simple “Choose A or B” type of event. While all of this is happening, the Imperials you’re fighting against will encroach, effectively cutting you off from certain areas as they move.
Graphics & Sound:
The graphics are decent. Not amazing, but not terrible. They could still use some work, and I was still finding glitches after the 1.0.6. patch. The music is unobtrusive and pleasant on the ears, and the sound effects are fitting.