Kyn: Hands-On

Game code provided by the publisher

I quite enjoy Kyn, you could say it’s Kyn-d of good (gosh, I sure hope the pronunciation makes that pun work). It’s been compared to Baldur’s Gate (and other Infinity Engine games) which it seems to takes some inspiration from. From what I played, it seems to be true in that combat and movement is much like those; but not the sprawling world with traveling between locations over and over for quest purposes, though that could just be the demo levels giving that impression.

There are three levels to the version I played, but they were disconnected due to steps in the story being missing (including the introduction) so I won’t dwell on story, as there wasn’t much to go by because of the fractured nature of what I experienced.

It’s a party based RPG and not one that pigeonholes you with a rigid set of classes – or any classes for that matter. Instead it seems to be opting into a skill tree system where you put points into the characteristics you want, which in turn gives you access to specific skills. The skill trees as they stand let you spec into a melee focus, magic focus or ranger/thief focus, which means that you can mix and match who is what – seemingly but not necessarily on full release – whenever you want, when outside of combat.

It’s something that many of you – myself included – will probably use to have one of each specialisation. I had two of each class. It was nice to be able to tweak skills and stats on the fly to create exactly what I wanted, especially after coming off the back of Pillars of Eternity which is by no means rigid, but forces you into taking certain characters if you want to experience their stories.

There are a fairly diverse set of skills and using them wisely and at the right time seems to be a central point in some of the tougher battles, of which there were only a few of in the levels I tried. Thankfully all the abilities on offer were wildly different, so with the exception of perhaps taking duplicates of a healy/tanky ability you will have some decent variation across your party members.

There is also a special skill that charges up and is also only usable with specific magic stones applied to them, and it seems to give some fairly large diversity – but there were only two of these stones that I could find. Also they only worked in one skill tree each, so I’m at a loss for how interesting or useful these will be but they do get their own tab in the inventory menu, so they’re probably pretty good… probably.

Going back to the comparison to Infinity Engine games, it doesn’t want to be them exactly, which I think is a good thing. Instead of being able to pause a game infinitely as you assign actions, it instead slows time down immensely but you can only do it for so long. You can keep track of it on a bar showing how much you can slow down time for and I think it works rather well. Not only does it serve the purpose of letting you give orders, but it also has an overlay providing information on who is attacking what.

The inability to pause forever and let me over-plan each situation made it more spur of the moment, snap decision making, which adds to the tension in big boss fights (of which I played one). It takes more of the bar away activating it then keeping it on for a few seconds, so it’s meant for medium length, occasional use it seems; and won’t let you use it too often in a short space of time.

Kyn reminds me more of the hero orientated sections of Spellforce, with its progression across the map with the odd side quest and puzzle thrown in. It’s one of the things I’m looking forward to most about it; puzzles in these sorts of games tend to be fairly simple, but aside from the first one I came across (move one man on pressure plate and loot appears), they seemed to ramp up in complexity fairly quickly. I’m looking forward to what they put in as side quests as they’ll hopefully have some difficult ones to play around with.

Other than story there were a few other things that weren’t really a big part in what I played. There is a crafting system offered but that wasn’t in the demo levels; levelling wasn’t shown either, so other than knowing that some stats can be bumped up I have no idea on that front.

One thing I should mention, is the Norse themes and the art design is gorgeous. For something that’s being worked on by a team of two, it’s pretty exceptional. While I’m taking the demo levels with a grain of salt, I enjoyed what i played even though it was relatively easy most of the time; it’s another game I’m looking forward to quite a bit and i’ll look forward to getting some story too.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

Leave a Reply