It seems almost fitting that on the day of the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls release we take a look at another game in the action RPG genre. We had the chance to sit down with Kyn, an ambitious upcoming ARPG from Tangrin.
Kyn is an action role playing game set in an expansive single player world. Its frenetic pacing means it’s rarely about making the perfect choice, but rather one that will see you live to fight another day – you’ll have to rapidly formulate strategies in order to overcome powerful opponents, using abilities to bolster your party and incinerate your foes.
The preview build we received seemed to be comprised of 2 different chapters in the campaign. Initially I started out with 2 playable characters which gave me a pretty good introduction to the combat concepts behind Kyn. After just a few minutes with the game I was left with the impression that Kyn was unlike any ARPG I’ve ever played before. The best way I can describe Kyn is imagine that you combined Diablo 3 with Warhammer: Dawn of War II. Kyn’s combat could be described as fast paced and intricate.
Where Kyn looks to set itself apart is that instead of controlling a single hero like Diablo and many of its clones, you control an entire party of characters. To start out I was given a party of 2 characters, and then later gained a third. It would appear that later in the game you’ll have up to 6 characters in your party. If you’ve ever played Diablo you likely can imagine how much more complicated Kyn is. Gone are the moments when your character has nothing to do other than swing an axe. In Kyn there is always a character with a spell or ability ready to queue up. The combat is fast enough that will 6 party members it’s unlike you’ll be able to maximize efficiency without learning some hotkeys. Keyboard lovers will be thrilled with the higher learning curve in Kyn compared to other ARPGs on the market. Thankfully Kyn gives the player the ability to slow down time by holding the spacebar, this makes playing with solely a mouse much more viable as well. Slowing down time allows you to swap between party members to cast spells without suffering unnecessary losses in the fast paced battles. The slow time ability has a limited duration but the bar for it regenerates quick enough so that you could use it often.
Each character shares a large party inventory and can be uniquely customized for various play styles. It appears that each character begins as a generic fighter which you can spec any way you choose; I went with a traditional priest and a two-handed axe wielding berserker. Adjustable character stats are simplified into Mind, Body, and Control. You additionally have Health, Spirit, Armor, Damage, and Attack Speed which are raised by equipment. The Mind, Body, and Control stats are what determines what abilities each character has access to. A character with lots of mind points will excel as a priest or mage while having limited access to body based abilities such as taunt or ranger-type control abilities. Each character is allocated two base abilities and a third “Feed Skill” which is a situational ultimate ability. These Feed Skills can be augmented using feedstones to create unique abilities based on the type of stone they are imbued with. Though I didn’t get the chance to craft anything during my playthrough, Kyn appears to have a much more robust crafting system than Diablo players might be accustomed to.
One of the biggest draws in Kyn for me was the advanced AI. As you play through the game the AI learns to better defend itself and take advantage of your weaknesses. As the game progressed I found the enemies learning new tactics and becoming increasingly difficult to trick into weak positions. A fine example is when one of my heroes died and a group of skeleton archers chose to camp his corpse from a higher position rather than follow the rest of my party out of the area so that I could kill them in smaller groups. I was impressed by the AI’s lability to learn how to outplay me. It all felt a lot more intricate than me simply running into crowded room and hitting everything is sight. The AI was familiar with that trick and would act accordingly. You might have noticed I compare Kyn to Diablo a good amount. I do that simply because most players are familiar with Diablo. In truth comparing Kyn to Diablo is sort of like comparing Need for Speed Underground to Forza Motorsports, they are similar in theory but quite different in design. Kyn feels a lot more like an ARPG Dawn of War in the sense that you have multiple highly customized party members each with a small set of abilities to use during combat.
Before this week I never imagined a game like Kyn could exist. The blending of fast paced action RPG combat with a RTS-like party management structure is risky and ambitious to a huge degree. To be able to expertly control a party of 6 characters in Kyn is in my mind an impressive feat that takes a lot learning and skill. If you’re looking for a game sort of like Diablo that rewards you for doing more than clicking the left mouse button Kyn is probably a game that you’ll need to put on your wishlist. Be on the lookout for Kyn some time this Summer 2014. You can learn more about Kyn on the official website http://www.kyngame.com/