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Magicka Expansion Sends Mages to Vietnam

Tuesday during Game Developers Conference 2011, Paradox Interactive revealed the upcoming expansion pack for Arrowhead Game Studios' hit PC game, Magicka. Unlike the current fantasy world based on Norse mythology, the expansion's setting will be located in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam.

"Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if wizards were allowed to roam the jungles of war-torn Vietnam, attempting to bring peace and stability to the region by casting spells on all opponents?" reads the press release. "Wait, you haven’t ever wondered that? Ever? Okay, so we’re probably the only ones who have but in our defense: here’s your chance to stop being so closed-minded."

Magicka is a humorous, action/adventure game where players take on the role of a wizard from a "decadent" ancient order. The gimmick behind this game is the ability to combine various elements (earth, fire, water, air etc) to create a seemingly unlimited variety of spells. Sometimes these spells work as planned; other times, they can have drastic yet humorous consequences that have thus made Magicka such a surprising hit. It's even better when playing with other gamers online.

"Games are about being social, gather a couple of friends and hit the couch," said AGS CEO Johan Pilestedt. "You'll sure to have a blast as you either hurl them off a cliff with a misplaced earth-projectile or successfully bring down a huge mountain troll due to flawless teamplay!"

Currently the pricing and availability of Magicka: Vietnam is unknown. However, Paradox said that the expansion will be available on all major digital distribution channels soon. Gamers using integrated GPUs as their primary graphics source may want to look elsewhere, as the original Magicka title doesn't officially support on-board Nvidia and AMD GPUs (although the game is somewhat playable on low settings). Those stuck with Intel integrated GPUs can't play Magicka at all.

"The fine folks at Blizzard have dozens and dozens of engineers who've consciously made the effort to optimize [StarCraft 2] to run on low end machines," reads this FAQ. "The Arrowhead team, while also fine, consist of 7 developers. Of which 2 are programmers. When the choice came between additional gameplay features and optimize performance on IGP's we chose the former. What would you have chosen in our position? The simple fact is that generally speaking IGP's aren't great for gaming."

"It was an early design decision to use shader model 3.0, and we can't change that without rewriting large parts of the game engine," an Arrowhead representative added. "I hope that those who bought Magicka and still can't play it will find the opportunity to do so in the future."

While there doesn't seem to be plans to include the integrated graphics community in later patches, the Magicka: Vietnam expansion pack is expected to arrive soon.