This is definitely a game everyone should try, especially if you’re a fan of beat ‘em ups.
It’s an RPG style game (I’ve read comparisons to Dark souls) that focuses on hand to hand combat with a good focus of online play and has it’s own small story line. What’s not to love?
The story starts with a very short cut scene with a room full of people practicing martial arts, an important looking man taps your created character on the shoulder and you’re transported in to a mysterious pastel looking world. You explore for a short time (learning the combat systems and different ways to defend yourself) and find a nice gent who tells you about the big bad at the end of the map, but to get to him you need to defeat the mini bosses on the map, who won’t be easy. To improve you must fight and improve your combat techniques from these fights, until you’re good enough to take on the bosses. If you lose a fight you’re transported back to the last ‘check point’.
Overall the main story line is only 5-6 hours but you need to get good enough to take on these bosses, I only needed to play for about an hour and a half before I defeated the first mini boss and then another couple hours for the next to give you an idea of how long it takes.
This is where the game really packs a punch (lol). The combat system is amazingly complex and definitely makes you want to revisit over and over to improve your character.
You can parry block or dodge (each class is better in each one of these, I chose forsaken which improves your parry) to defend yourself and everything you do depletes your stamina at different amounts, so you need to decide what suits your style of play the best.
There are 4 stances (facing 4 different directions) which change how you start each attack, you build up these attacks/combos with your own ‘attack deck’ which have a varying range of moves. These moves can be kick or punch and have different levels of power and speed, you build your combo completely based on how you want to fight and what you think best suits you, and every few levels a new combo slot is added to a different stance. The only way to learn new moves is to fight and defeat enemies, you then learn moves that have been used on you, if you run from battle or are defeated nothing is learned, combat is the only training you need!
This is all done through the meditation screen where you can level up, build your combat deck and practice your new combos and moves.
Here you can also equip new items and use the level up system. You can level up standard attributes like strength health etc. and equip new items on most of your body, different items improve your blunt or cut skill.
There are also weapons, a sword or war gloves, these are pretty temporary as the game focuses heavily upon Combat. They’re easily broken or disarmed however you can equip armour to increase your cut attribute and build up a ‘special move’ to summon a weapon. The weapons also have combat decks which you can build up and enhance. (there’s also other special powers such as weighing players down or healing yourself).
The actual combat is really fun, it works whether you’re fighting one or multiple enemies and you really need to learn how to fight because you will die, a lot. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to fight 3+ enemies but it’s a fun challenge. Once you stop spamming dodge and actually learn how to parry & block the game starts to become rewarding. It’s one of the best combat systems I’ve experienced in an open world game.
I’ll briefly mention that the graphics are nothing to complain about. They’re quite simple pastel graphics which work for the calm feel of the game, I experienced few glitches and there was never any problem when running in to battles.
There’s a tonne of online play which works really well. Other online players can attack you at any time or fight along side you in the open world if you’re struggling with a group of enemies, they can’t help with bosses however. There’s also one on one fights which are entered by praying at an altar, these are a best of 3 and are great for levelling up. I think this will be the mainstay for the game as the story isn’t that long. There’s definitely a lot of fun to be had by testing your skills against other online players and I can imagine the COOP aspect would be fun. Also I don’t usually massively enjoy online games but this is something I want to keep playing, I didn’t mind losing to other players because I want to improve to be good enough to defeat them.
I have a few small issues with the game. There’s a bit of lag when players enter an area and sometimes this does affect your fights as the game can slightly glitch. Sometimes when fighting multiple enemies it gets a bit messy, but this may simply be down to me not being good enough. Mostly it needs a clearer and larger map, the map only appears when you’re at an altar and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of where you are, I ended up running around in circles in the same areas over and over and there was no real way to tell where I had to go when not at an altar, this is bugging me a little as I’m used to on screen maps in these sorts of games, the map is also pretty small but I appreciate it’s an indie title.
Overall it’s a great game that I’m definitely enjoying but I don’t know how much I’ll play it once I’ve completed the short story. Anyone who wants to play a very alternative online game who loves martial arts should definitely check it out.