With a set of spells at the ready and a threat in the form of the Ectos, Ghostly Horizon has players fighting their way to victory on a distinctly unique global planet. Should you get ready to duel, or is this third-person shooter shot?
Unlike other third-person shooters on the market, the bread and butter of combat in Ghostly Horizon is based around its spell system. A different spell is mapped to the left and right mouse button, each with its own ability and cooldown. One may fire off a projectile shot, while another will make a shield barrier.
However, this system needs some serious QA – spells would not trigger at times, even when we were desperately clicking the proper button. This also applies to the targeting – something as simple as a barrier will be sent to an area 20 feet away if not careful. In addition, players must swap between different elements and “spell layers,” which force players to learn the proper key configurations to pull up the proper setup. A simple standalone menu players could pull up, or even different abilities on a setup on the screen, would have gone a long way. As a result, it is far too easy to get confused with what you currently have and how to activate it.
This is made that much worse when it comes to gathering new spells. New elements can be found in stonehenge circles around each world. These can give new abilities with cool names like “dark mist,” “liquid soul,” and “death ray.” This can also be somewhat cryptic, as it can be hard to figure out what each one does until it is actually in action. There is not much balance in place either – though certain spells can take a set amount of energy, that is not enough to prevent players from sticking with the overpowered spell of their choosing and spamming their way to victory.
It’s not like the game requires much strategy either. The Ectos (which look strangely like carrots) are a dumb bunch, throwing rocks and fireballs all willy-nilly. There is no sense of feedback to each attack either – the only way you know an attack connected is with the number above each enemy’s head steadily decreasing. Though there are eight different difficulty modes available, we were able to survive just fine on normal.
In the Early Access version of the game, there are two main modes to choose from: “Survival” and “Invasion.” Survival is just as it sounds, but Invasion has players taking down six different boss enemies and closing portals. The low poly and large, looping worlds make this mode drag on for far too long, and the main Ghost character moves way too slow to be viable in high level combat. A gliding ability is available, but those looking for a bit more strategy will not find it here.
Ghostly Horizon’s spell setup and unique spherical worlds have potential, but the game is far too rough in its current state to play for any extended period of time.