Review: Kyn (Computer)
Kyn: Official GBAtemp ReviewComputer 2,103 views 2 likes 1 comment
- Release Date (NA): July 28, 2015
- Release Date (EU): July 28, 2015
- Release Date (JP): July 28, 2015
- Publisher: Versus Evil
- Developer: Tangrin Entertainment
- Genres: Action, Adventure, RPG
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Welcome to the world of Kyn!
Indie games have been a large thing for the last few years after it became easier to develop and share games on online store fronts instead of just the traditional brick and mortar stores. At first, the quality and immersion of the games were not guaranteed with unfinished and unpolished games being released, but lately there have been more efforts in making games with detailed graphics, interesting stories and functional gameplay mechanics. This direction has finally gotten us Tangrin Entertainment, the two developer team from the Netherlands, and their game Kyn. Note that this review is mostly based on the beta preview builds of the game, which means that some features may be updated to be more balanced in the final build.
Kyn has a somewhat familiar game world. As you progress in the game, you will find more and more inspiration and ideas taken from Norse mythology and the viking era. People talk about odd events and magical creatures popping up everywhere. The wrath of an unknown enemy is turning previously friendly populations of non-humans into frenzied monsters. Something is raising an army of undead warriors from the bodies which are piled up everywhere from the warring between different faction. This is where you step in as the heroes of the land and travel the vast lands in search of answers.
The land is populated with different enemies ranging from easier cannon fodder skeletons to powerful wraith types with special area of effect spells. The game focuses heavily on the power of numbers and the effects of high ground and bottle necks in the landscape. In many cases you can tank one of your heroes into a perfect meat shield with huge armor and hit point bonuses, but still get overrun by a group of strategically placed weaker archers or mages. Often you have the option of regrouping in a previously explored location on the vast maps, but at times the enemies can manage to encircle your group of enemies resulting in a quick reload after defeat.
The game's story unfolds quite nicely with some mysteries, plotting and unexpected turns of events to expected. You will travel areas up in the mountains, local towns up in flames as well as areas full of lush forests. As you try to save as many as you can, some events may be out of your hands and you face defeat. At times, you may even feel like you will end up being overrun as wave after wave of new enemies come forth. Trying to save the world and the mysterious Tris located in different nations will have you interested for the whole game, but personally I felt that the story could use a bit more polishing.
A hint of Diablo and a touch of Baldur's Gate
The camera options allow the game to either focus on a single character and move with the player in a similar way as in the Diablo series. This works surprisingly well, but there is a bit of a challenge with controlling more than one hero in multiple locations while following only one of them. The other camera option makes the game play more like CRPGs such as Baldur's Gate or the Fallout series. This is a nice addition, as some parts of the game require you to split up your team in order to complete the tasks or puzzles in the game world. In order to better control your units in combat against to many foes of Kyn, there is a pause function, which slows the game's time, but not the interface itself. This addition of a time slowing pause feature is interesting, though mastering the use of it in the fast paced combat can become difficult. Players familiar with MOBA-styled games will feel right at home in any case.
This setup makes the game world seem a bit more immersive, but the more traditional RPG elements in character development and crafting are the beef of the game. As you progress in the game, you gain more stat points to allocate into the three main stat pools: Mind, Body and Control. The character development is entirely based on these three stats as they define your hit points, to hit chances and many more as well as affect the equipment you can use, available skills and their levels. Simply put, the more skill points you invest in a specific stat, the more powerful your hero becomes in the respective branch. As you cannot know what kind of loot you will find as you progress, the game has made it possible to reset a character mid-game. This makes the character building a bit more interesting as you can test out the builds as well as the skills you gain more points to invest. Similarly the possibility of immediately equipping better gear is cool, although this has to be done outside of combat.
The other, more effective way of gaining better equipment is the crafting system. As you travel the vast areas of Kyn, you gain raw materials that can be used to create more powerful items in the main town hub of the world. Since the loot is random, it may take a while to gain enough materials of a certain type for a legendary tier item. In the preview build I managed to find an item duplication bug (fixed in the final build), which made it possible for me to gain unlimited gold and thus buy enough of all the different material types to test out the different crafted weapons. As one could guess, a team equipped with the best gear in the game for their level will rampage and destroy most, if not all, opposition in a matter of seconds. This shows that the game can be made a lot easier with proper gear, but if the extra gold I had was removed, I would have not been able to make nearly as powerful items as I had in the end.
A nice addition to the gameplay is the terrain and its effects on the game. In many games archers would fire directly through a wall or barrier without much thought. In Kyn this is not as simple. If your archer-themed character is behind a wall, he will start firing arrows with little effect on the enemy. The same will happen if you try to attack enemies on higher ground. As a mechanics, this is a welcome addition to the core of Kyn, but it could be beneficial to have a more advanced character AI in the larger battles of the game. This also bring forth an issue with enemies spawning based on certain events in the game maps. At least during the preview testing, a few maps had triggered events that spawned a group of 10 AoE equipped mages with special slowing effects and another 10 special type damage dealers also equipped with special stunning effects in their attacks. This made the level virtually unbeatable with harder difficulties as the enemies would both freeze and stun your heroes with such intensity that you couldn't give any commands.
Is Kyn a game for you? Yes or no, depending on how much you like dungeon crawlers with lots of RPG elements in play.
Kyn is a great game in my opinion, but still feels somehow a bit unfinished at times. The gameplay works well, with a few minor quirks here and there. The character development and leveling system is done in an interesting way without being too strict on making bad choices thanks to the character reset system. The story in Kyn is interesting, but not as immersive or long as some of the more story-driven RPGs out earlier this year. If this is the level of quality Tangrin Entertainment was capable of doing for their first game, I'm certainly awaiting for the future games from the developer.
+ Large maps with detailed environments
+ Challenging puzzles
+ Character development promoting finding your own play style
+ CRPG gameplay works well
+ Game setting works well
- Some triggered events in the game can be quite overwhelming with suddenly appearing masses of enemies
- Storytelling could be improved
- Campaign is somewhat short
The game looks amazing and the level design works well. You can create strategies based on the advantages and disadvantages of the terrain. For a small studio, the game world is a stunning feature.
The gameplay reminds me of many games I used to play years ago. Clear influences have been series such as Diablo and Baldur's Gate, but with some improvements in character development via crafting and character resetting. Some choices in level design and enemy spawning bring the score down.
Kyn is a single player game, but has quite a bit choices for character creation. Still, the game's story will not change between playthroughs, which lessens the replay value. On the other hand, if the core gameplay is your cup of tea, you can easily play the game in a completely different fashion by customizing your group of adventurers
out of 10
(not an average)
Kyn is an interesting first game from independent developer Tangrin Entertainment. The game brings with it an interesting campaign and gorgeous environment, but could use some polishing in the story telling side.