The Wizards: Dark Times Is Getting Cooperative Multiplayer For Free

Nearly two years on from its initial launch, Carbon Studios’ The Wizards: Dark Times is getting free cooperative multiplayer support.

A recent Steam post for the game confirms the news. The multiplayer mode will support three players and allow them to play as either Frost, Fire or Storm mages. You’ll meet up in a hub world and then head into two randomly-selected maps to fight off waves of enemies and complete other objectives. Survive these and you’ll get to fight a boss. It’s not quite campaign co-op, which the developer said it couldn’t get right after “extensive testing”.

Expect plenty of new content, though, as Carbon is promising new spells and enemy types. There’s no competitive element, but other modes are being worked on. A beta for the mode is expected to launch on Steam either this month or next, and the finished version will launch first on PC, too. Quest support is in the works too but the studio says it’s too early to tell if it will support cross-play.

It’s perhaps surprising to see more updates for Dark Times given Carbon released an entirely new game in Warhammer Age of Sigmar – Tempestfall late last year. That’s still in the works for Quest, too, and Carbon has added post-launch updates there, too. We were big fans of Dark Times, however, so it’s good to see the game getting continued support so long after launch.

Will you be trying out The Wizards: Dark Times’ multiplayer mode? Let us know in the comments below!

The Wizards: Dark Times Graphics Comparison – PC VR vs Quest 2

Just under a year on from PC VR launch, The Wizards: Dark Times finally hits Oculus Quest. How does it stack up to the original version? Find out in our The Wizards: Dark Times graphics comparison!

Carbon Studio has achieved a lot in the past five years. The Poland-based team has released not one but three different iterations of The Wizards series and, where it can, ported them to a wide range of platforms too. Not only that but the team is one of the few to push the boundaries of VR visuals, with amazing fantasy worlds. That’s especially true of the 2020 PC VR release of The Wizards: Dark Times, a game we were very fond of. Just like the port of the original The Wizards from PC VR to Quest, though, a lot has inevitably changed to get the game onto a standalone headset.

The Wizards: Dark Times Graphics Comparison

From a technical perspective, this port is an incredibly ambitious one. Dark Times offers an expansive single-player adventure with gorgeous and diverse worlds you can navigate in different ways. All of that is intact in the Quest version of the game – you’ll still get the same levels, enemies and weapons summoned from the excellent gesture-based system.

But, as is to be expected, there are heavy concessions to get the game running on Quest. Dark Times is a game of sweeping vistas, ones that look immaculate on PC but scaled back on Quest. You won’t see the mountain ranges in the distance, textures are much more blurry, and lighting is streamlined to do away with shadows and other effects.

The same is true of the spells. Fire no longer glows with the same brilliant orange, ice weapons don’t subtlely glisten in the sunlight, and your magical shield isn’t imbued with the same sorts of details. Effects like damage displays and shattering frozen enemies have been paired back, too, and the changes to lighting give the game a less convincing color palette. While Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife made design choices that allowed for near-parity across PC and Quest, Carbon has clearly gone all out for the PC VR version, making the gap with what’s possible on Quest that much more noticeable.

With that said, compared to other Quest games, Dark Times is still very much an achievement. For the most part, level geometry is exactly the same as it was on PC and, though they’re not as detailed, it’s still incredibly impressive to take in the views in the standalone version. It’s definitely one of Quest’s better-looking games even if the difference between it and PC is night and day. Still an easy recommendation, then, but if you have a PC up to snuff then you probably want to try playing Dark Times through Air Link.

The Wizards: Dark Times launches on Oculus Quest on May 6th and is already available on PC VR.

The Wizards: Dark Times Is Coming To Quest Next Week

The Oculus Quest port of The Wizards: Dark Times will launch next week, developer Carbon Studio confirmed.

The fantasy adventure touches down on the standalone platform on May 6th. Dark Times is a full sequel to the original Wizards that packs a linear single-player campaign. In it, players use gestures to summon spells and weapons like fireballs and ice arrows they can then use against different monsters. Check out the trailer for next week’s launch right here. The game’s already listed in the Quest store’s coming soon section.

The Quest port of the game has been a long time coming – we first announced Dark Times as part of the Upload VR Showcase in 2019 and the game released on PC the following year. We debuted the first Quest footage for the title late last year.

We gave the game 4/5 on PC last year, saying: “The Wizards never lets you forget you’re playing a VR game. Rarely do more than 10 seconds pass without the need for grand hand gestures to summon magic or for you to reach out and interact with things around you. They’ve got a great magic system that’s intuitive and fun to master in a fantastical world that provides a unique type of adventure you won’t quite find anywhere else.”

Naturally, we’re excited to see how the Quest version holds up. A co-op mode is also planned for the experience post-launch. Carbon, meanwhile, is also working on a new Warhammer VR game due out later this year.

May 6th also sees the launch of Demeo, the new tabletop VR RPG from Resolution Games. Will you be picking up either game? Let us know in the comments below!

The Wizards: Dark Times Getting Co-Op Post-Quest Launch

Carbon Studios’ The Wizards: Dark Times will be getting a new co-op multiplayer mode later in 2021.

Announced today, the new mode will see players team up to face enemies in an arena-based challenge. Players will be able to pick a character class and magical affinity before taking on increasingly difficult hordes of enemies. As usual, you’ll need to master a series of gesture-based spells using your VR controllers. Carbon will also be designing and adding new enemy types to face in this mode.

The update is due at the beginning of Q4 2021, but Carbon says there’s plenty more to come for Dark Times. We already know, for example, that an Oculus Quest port is in the works and will arrive before this update. We debuted a first look at the Quest version in our Winter Wrap-Up event in late 2020.

But the team is also planning yet more content to enhance Dark Times’ story campaign. When it launched on PC VR last year, the campaign was the main feature of Dark Times, evolving over the original The Wizards with linear progression and new spells. These updates are set to roll out over the course of this year and into 2022.

We thought the campaign was great, awarding Dark Times 4/5 when it first launched. “Rarely do more than 10 seconds pass without the need for grand hand gestures to summon magic or for you to reach out and interact with things around you,” we said. “They’ve got a great magic system that’s intuitive and fun to master in a fantastical world that provides a unique type of adventure you won’t quite find anywhere else.”

Elsewhere, Carbon is also working on a new Warhammer VR game, Tempestfall, which is set in the Age of Sigma universe. That’s due to hit Quest and PC VR later this year.

The Wizards VR Game Series Has Sold Over 200,000 Copies Across All Platforms

Action-adventure spellcasting VR RPG series The Wizards from Carbon Studios has sold over 200,000 copies across all platforms combined. There have been four releases so far, with The Wizards – Dark Times launching most recently in mid-2020.

The first game in the series, The Wizards, was an ambitious action-adventure that pitted spellcasting warriors against hordes of enemies across a variety of levels punctuated by brief moments of exploration and light puzzle solving. To give credit where credit is due, at the time, it was refreshing expansion of the tired “wave shooter” format that had become all-too-popular at the time.

After that it got an Enhanced Edition with more content and features, ported to PSVR, then an Oculus Go spin-off titled The Wizards: Trials of Meliora, and finally Dark Times last year. Carbon Studios is now working on a full Quest port of Dark Times, as well as a new Warhammer VR game: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall. Carbon Studios intends on continuing to support Dark Times after it hits Oculus Quest as well.

“We want to show all VR gamers that we appreciate their involvement and thank them for their support,” says  Aleksander Caban, Carbon Studios Co-Founder, in a prepared statement. “The best way we can do that is by giving them even more entertainment in our title. All of the planned additional content will be available to everyone who bought the game, free of charge. The VR community supports and trusts us, and thanks to them we have the opportunity to keep working on this title by introducing new features and improving on what has already been presented.”

What makes The Wizards so enduring as a VR series is the interactivity of its gameplay. Rather than just pointing and pulling a trigger to cast spells, you have to actually draw the runes in the air to summon the magic into your hand first. Things like fireballs, ethereal bows, shields, lightning blasts, and more all require you to memorize and reenact various gestures. It does a great job of making you feel like a sorcerer.

This is a big milestone for a small indie studio with a plucky brand and well-received franchise. Let us know if you’re a fan of The Wizards down in the comments below!

Watch: 12 Minutes Of The Wizards: Dark Times On Oculus Quest!

We’re kicking our Winter Wrap-Up event off with a little magic – 12 minutes of gameplay from The Wizards: Dark Times on Oculus Quest, right here!

Carbon Studios’ full sequel to its popular spell-casting VR adventure, The Wizards, first hit PC VR earlier this year. Since then, the studio has been busy stirring the cauldron and cooking up an Oculus Quest port. Check it out below.

The Wizards series has built its name on intuitive gesture-based controls and great visuals, and both seem to be intact here. Dark Times offers a full single-player campaign that evolves on the original’s arena-based battles. You’ll summon ice arrows and fireballs with the flick of a wrist and put them to use against some truly weird and wonderful enemies.

We were big fans of Dark Times when it launched on PC VR. “The Wizards never lets you forget you’re playing a VR game,” we said in our 4/5 review. “Rarely do more than 10 seconds pass without the need for grand hand gestures to summon magic or for you to reach out and interact with things around you. They’ve got a great magic system that’s intuitive and fun to master in a fantastical world that provides a unique type of adventure you won’t quite find anywhere else.”

Carbon says the game will be launching in early 2021, though there’s no specific date just yet. The team’s also working on the recently-announced Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall, which is also due to hit Quest and PC VR next year.

UVR Winter Wrap-Up_Schedule

Thanks to Carbon for kicking off Winter Wrap-Up with us! But don’t go anywhere; there’s plenty more where that came from! Later today we’ll be talking about the biggest headlines of 2020 from our VR studio, and we’ve got exclusive looks at Demeo, Wraith, Sam & Max and more later this week. See the schedule above!



The Wizards: Dark Times Review – Action-Packed Magical RPG Adventure

The Wizards: Dark Times drops today for PC VR and we’ve already blasted our way through spellbinding RPG action adventure epic. What’s the verdict? Read the full The Wizards: Dark Times review below to find out!

Note: This review was original published on June 4th, 2020. It’s been updated today to include impressions of the just-launched Oculus Quest version.

The Wizards: Dark Times Review – The Facts

What is it?: A sequel to spell-casting action game, The Wizards, now complete with a full, linear campaign
Platforms: Quest, PC VR (flatscreen version coming soon)
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $24.99

Back in 2017 The Wizards released on PC VR and delivered a capable single-player action-adventure romp through a handful of fantasy-themed levels. Basically you’d mow down the enemies, advance to the end, and repeat. There wasn’t a whole lot of meat on the bones there, but it was fun and the gesture-based magic was inventive and highly interactive.

Fast forward a few years and Carbon is back with a bigger, better, and more robust follow-up that feels like a more fully-realized version of what the original wanted to be.

In The Wizards: Dark Times, a mysterious plague befalls the realm of Meliora and it’s up to you to journey through the Forsaken Wood and take on twisted apocalyptic evil mages. It’s a pretty straight forward plot, but it fits the game’s more linear design well.

Admittedly, things start off very slowly in The Wizards: Dark Times. In fact, it’s a solid 15 minutes or so before you even battle your first enemy. Instead, you spend those minutes learning your beginning spells like the fireball, shield, ice bow, and a force push (sorry, erm, Arcane Pulse!) spells that are all activated by different hand gestures.

For example, you create a fireball by holding the trigger in one hand and twisting it over — it’s simple and effective. Summon a shield by holding the trigger and sliding a hand from outside your shoulder to in front of your chest. Use the pulse spell by holding the grip button, pulling your hand in towards your elbow, and then pushing forward quickly. It can sound complicated when listed out like that, but all 11 spells are unique and feel extremely natural. A lot of thought clearly went into gestures that feel appropriate for the specific spell, it’s not just randomly mapped movements.

The Wizards: Dark Times Review – The Quest Effect

Nearly an entire year on from PC release and Dark Times is finally available on Quest. The entire campaign mode is included, though Carbon is still working on the arena mode on standalone. This version of the game holds up well – there are some heavy and expected hits to the visual fidelity, but the performance is incredibly smooth and the lack of a wire allows for more active gameplay. For a more detailed comparison, make sure to check out this week’s graphics side-by-side.

One great example is a massive burst spell called Storm Nova (shown in the GIF above) that’s triggered by casting Lightning in both hands, holding the grip buttons, rotating your hands to create an orb of electricity, and then dramatically spreading your hands out wide so the ball of energy erupts. The magic system is like this throughout the game so that it’s less about memorizing gestures and more about intuitively moving your body and interacting with the environment.

Compared to the first game there is a lot more going on here. Throughout levels there’s constant (and solid) voice acting that fleshes out the world a bit and makes it feel more established. You’ll not only blast away enemies with your powerful magic, but also solve some light environmental puzzles and climb plenty of walls.

wizards dark times ice swords

Speaking of climbing walls, they take quite a while to scale. Reaching between ledges (or in some cases, mushrooms) is a bit tedious — especially after flinging myself across entire islands in Stormland. Luckily you can leverage the teleportation system to quickly reach areas instead of climbing if you want.

Pretty much everything else in terms of gameplay, combat, and the like all felt and flowed well. Audio is another story though. The voice acting itself is better than I expected, but the audio quality is hit or miss. Sometimes the volume spikes and leads to a garbled static sound for voices. I also noticed your character’s footsteps are incredibly loud (and far too rapid) when using smooth continuous movement. I had the speed as high as it would go and it sounded like my character was taking two or three steps for every slight movement forward. There is no footstep volume slider, only sound effects, which means lowering that also lowers all spell sounds, which are supremely satisfying to hear.

I’d also recommend turning off subtitles unless you need them to enjoy the game. The font and color are obnoxious and extremely distracting.

The Wizards: Dark Times Review – Comfort

The Wizards: Dark Times has all the comfort options you’d expect. You can play using snap turning or smooth turning; continuous movement, teleport movement, or both; sitting or standing; right or left handed for primary movement; adjustable height from the options menu; as well as an FOV vignette adjustment. Personally, I cranked everything up to full speed without a vignette and felt fine. I also tested the game wirelessly on Oculus Quest using Virtual Desktop and didn’t notice any issues. This was actually my preferred way of playing for wireless roomscale.

wizards dark times mushroom forest boss

The Wizards: Dark  Times Review – Final Verdict

At its core, The Wizards: Dark Times is a power fantasy come to life. There aren’t any mana bars to worry about, potions to refill your magic points, or any complex skill trees. You play through the game, learn new spells, and use those spells as you need them, when you need them. By the end, you’ll feel like an earth-shattering powerhouse of arcane fury.

All of this stuff adds up to this feeling like a  fullyrealized adventure rather than just a series of arena-style battles strung together. Carbon has a real franchise on its hands here. Minor gripes aside, The Wizards is one of the few action-adventure games in VR that isn’t all about melee combat or shooting guns. It’s still a bit rough around the edges, but it delivers on its promises all the same.

The Wizards never lets you forget you’re playing a VR game. Rarely do more than 10 seconds pass without the need for grand hand gestures to summon magic or for you to reach out and interact with things around you. They’ve got a great magic system that’s intuitive and fun to master in a fantastical world that provides a unique type of adventure you won’t quite find anywhere else.

4 STARSthe wizards dark times review pro con list

You can read more about our five-star scoring policy here.

What did you make of our The Wizards: Dark Times review? Let us know in the comments below!

June VR Games 2020: The Biggest Releases This Month

Need a way to cool down this summer? Well we definitely don’t recommend VR; it makes you really hot. But with the new June VR games, it’ll be hard to stay away.

We’re rounding up the biggest releases of the month below, including the long-awaited launch of Phantom and the return of The Wizards. Don’t forget that we’re also hosting the Upload VR Showcase: Summer Edition on June 8th, and there’s bound to be some surprises in there, too!

June VR Games 2020

The Wizards: Dark Times – June 4th (Rift, SteamVR)

Carbon Games’ popular spell-casting series returns with an all-new campaign. In The Wizards, you use gesture-based controls to summon elemental weapons. This started out as a standalone expansion to the original game but now Carbon says it’s grown into a full sequel.

Premium Bowling – June 4th (Quest)

Bowling… on Quest! Premium Bowling is a popular take on the sport that finds its way onto the standalone VR headset. With a raft of improvements made over the course of Early Access on PC VR, you can expect this to be a solid experience.

DreamBack VR – June 10th (SteamVR)

A brand new psychological VR horror. Haunted by suppressed memories of a terrifying night in a mansion, you face the events head-on with the help of a psychiatrist. The game was designed specifically for VR, so let’s hope it offers some real scares.

Spectro – June 11th (Rift, SteamVR)

This cutesy VR ghost game moves from Early Access to full release. You complete floors in a haunted house, ghost-busting your way to the top.

Mini Motor Racing X – June 20th (SteamVR)

mini motor racing x psvr

Already available on PSVR and Oculus platforms, Mini Motor Racing X is a Micro Machines-style racer in which players can either speed tiny cars around miniature tracks, or take the driver’s seat too. A raft of options makes this a palatable, if not essential experience.

Rinlo – June 23rd (SteamVR)

An Early Access launch of a new third-person adventure game from a new studio. Rinlo has you controlling Agatha in a quest to find her parents. Expect this to be the first steps in an intriguing new VR game.

Phantom: Coverts Ops – June 25th (Rift, Quest)

nDreams returns with its most promising VR game to date. Phantom is a stealth game set entirely within a kayak; you infiltrate a Cold War-era naval shipyard, avoiding detection with realistic movement and interactions. Plus it has David Hayter!

Which June VR games are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!


The post June VR Games 2020: The Biggest Releases This Month appeared first on UploadVR.

Spellcasting Sequel ‘The Wizards – Dark Times’ to Launch on PC VR Headsets in June

Carbon Studio, the Poland-based team behind The Wizards (2018), today announced that their upcoming sequel to the spellcaster series, The Wizards – Dark Times​, is slated to arrive on PC VR headsets June 4th.

Carbon initially planned for Dark Times to be a standalone expansion when we first saw it at Gamescom 2019, however now the studio says it will be a full sequel “similar in scope to its predecessor.”

When we got our first 10-minute demo of the game at Gamescom 2019, we were treated to a new spellcasting system, which focuses on taking the game’s elemental spells and making the resultant damage more in line with standard RPGs, i.e. an ice attack can freeze an enemy in its path so you can transition to a more powerful spell to deal more damage.

Carbon says there are 11 individually designed spells which you can mix and match in combat on their way through the story-driven game (read: not arcade-style arena play like the first).

Furthermore, the studio says the game will receive a series of free post-launch content updates following its release in June.

“Since Gamescom 2019, where the Dark Times’ press demo received overwhelming praise, we decided to extend the scale of the project. We made sure our spellcasting adventure will keep everyone slinging fireballs and roleplaying as the Emperor for hours, without any pesky magical barriers that slow your progress,” says Jakub Pander, Carbon Studio’s producer.

The Wizards – Dark Times is headed to SteamVR headsets via Steam and Viveport, and to Rift on the Oculus Store on June 4th, priced at $25.

The post Spellcasting Sequel ‘The Wizards – Dark Times’ to Launch on PC VR Headsets in June appeared first on Road to VR.

The Wizard’s – Dark Times Release Date Revealed, Now A Full Sequel

You won’t have to wait much longer to dive back into the world of The Wizards.

The Wizards – Dark Times, the sequel to Carbon Studio’s magical VR combat game, arrives on PC VR headsets on June 4th. It will cost $24.99 and be available on both the Oculus Store and Steam. Check out the first gameplay trailer for the game below.

In The Wizards series, players use a range of gesture-based controls to summon spells, conjuring swords and arrows out of thin air. Whereas the original game in the series was more of an arena-based battler, Dark Times places a focus on linear-progression, appearing more like an actual campaign. We played it at Gamescom last year and liked what we saw.

Carbon announced Dark Times as part of our E3 VR Showcase last year. At the time, the developer referred to the follow-up as a standalone expansion. However, in a press release today, producer Jakub Pander explained that the expansion had itself expanded into a full sequel.

“Since Gamescom 2019, where the Dark Times’ press demo received overwhelming praise, we decided to extend the scale of the project,” Pander said. Carbon states that the game is now similar in scope to the original. There will also be free post-launch content updates.

There’s no word yet on possible PSVR and Oculus Quest versions of the game, though the original title arrived on both. To date, The Wizards series has sold over 100,000 copies.

Are you going to be playing The Wizards – Dark Times next month? Let us know in the comments below!

The post The Wizard’s – Dark Times Release Date Revealed, Now A Full Sequel appeared first on UploadVR.