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Kyn Review - Fun But Forgettable Fantasy

Marshall Lemon | 11 Aug 2015 00:00
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Now obviously we can't judge a game for its system alone, we have to evaluate its story content as well. And on that front, Kyn feels rather lackluster. While the plot isn't awful, it is overly broad, creating a generic fantasy universe that offers little that's unique to the genre. The Magi are your typical fantasy heroes, while the assembling evil army is interchangeable with any other fantasy menace. Not that Kyn doesn't have any personality: Making the Aeshir a peaceful race slowly corrupted into evil is an interesting touch. But overall the universe tends to feel pretty flat, engaging you on the merits of tactical combat as opposed to characters and nuanced storytelling.

Part of the problem is that Kyn has trouble delivering key information to the player. The game effectively starts with a cold open, using an opening cutscene that only establishes the Magi are leaving a cave with new magical powers. There's no overall context for the world, or discussion of the trials they experienced. (And let's not forget those cave trials would be a perfect place to fit in a handy tutorial.) Your second mission has a similar cold open, as the Magi appear on a beach talking about a horrible shipwreck they'd just experienced. You know, as opposed to a cutscene - or even a text description - of the dramatic plot development.

That being said, Kyn does offer some intriguing experimental ideas as it progresses. One of my personal favorite missions was to evacuate a snow-filled town under siege from a skeleton army, the twist being that fallen villagers are resurrected to fight for the enemy. It led to several tense encounters as I rushed against the clock, retrieved villagers near the outskirts, and lost my non-essential party members to the horde - characters I didn't even know could be killed permanently. This is basically the old-school RPG equivalent of the White Walker attack from Game of Thrones Season 5, and it turned out surprisingly well.

Unfortunately for every good idea, there are other experimental touches that fall completely flat. Like puzzles where you navigate pits and spinning blades using Kyn's mouse-click navigation. Or when you meet a quest-essential NPC who's terrified of party members, so he runs away slightly faster than your character's movement speed. These elements usually aren't long enough to be completely frustrating, but they do distract from the game's actual strengths.

Which is a shame. There's an engaging game within Kyn that could be more accessible with just some polish and fine-tuning. But at is stands, Kyn is an average RPG that entertains but will probably be forgotten by the holiday rush. Here's hoping Tangrin Entertainment's next game will surpass those limitations.

Bottom Line: Kyn is a solidly-crafted RPG with some fun and interesting set pieces, but isn't innovative enough to stand out among similar titles in the genre.

Recommendation: Kyn is a great way to pass the time between RPG favorites, but what it aims for is better achieved elsewhere.

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