Vikings and Magic in the World of Kyn

Kyn is a tactical, isometric RPG, quite classically known as a ‘Diablo clone’. But with such beloved games in the genre out there now, such as Torchlight and Titan Quest, it’s hardly a fair description anymore. What sets Kyn apart from so many others?

First of all, Kyn is hard. Even on the easiest mode, casual, you’ll find yourself dying quickly if you don’t have a strategy. This isn’t your classic hack and slash where you can just go in swinging. If you do that, you’ll end up dead every single time. While Kyn is real-time, time can be slowed down to work out a strategy. This is limited, though, so use it wisely.

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Kyn
is party based, with up to six characters in your party. While exploring, your companions will chat with one another, keeping the immersion going along with the story and allowing you insights into what they’re thinking. You start off with your two main Viking heroes, Alrik and Bram, who have spent the last few months in a cave becoming Magni warriors (which just means they now have magical powers). Since they’ve been living in what was no doubt close quarters, they seems to know each other well and converse with one another quite a lot throughout the experience.

The world and story are interesting and you seem to be able to affect it with your actions. While you can’t rotate your view, you can zoom in or out. The map handily marks both quest givers and quest locations so you won’t get lost in your adventures. Besides quests, you’ll come across puzzles to solve as well, which will vary in difficulty.

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Controls are what you’d expect in this particular genre of game, with mouse clicks moving characters and hotkeys to use abilities. Loot will be picked up in your travels, allowing bigger and better items to be equipped. You’ll level up stats and skill trees, and can have two skills equipped per character at any given time. There’s an extra skill slot for a creation unique to Kyn, however, called ‘Feedskills’ which require ‘Feedstones.’

Feedstones are a rare find throughout the world of Kyn, but give access to unique skills when found. Also, a terrifying visual of a creature spawning onto your back. Each type of stone requires something to ‘feed’ it (hence the name); for example the fire stone will feed on nearby fire, while the death stone is fed upon each slain enemy.

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There are a few places Kyn could use a little improvement. You cannot click and hold to move, but must continuously click, which quickly gets old when traveling a long way. It’s also sometimes quite fiddly to get a character to move exactly where is needed (which is necessary in puzzles). The tutorial was practically non-existant, leaving you to figure out much on your own. And while there are many out there who like a challenging game, some prefer to play a game for it’s story. So with the wide variety of difficulty choices they present you with, casual could involve much less dying. With all that said, Kyn is not yet released so nothing is set in stone and it remains to be seen just how it will play once available.