The first thing to mention is that the graphics in this game are very pleasant to look at. The first area you enter shines a bright gold, as if the sun is rising or setting. Midway through the level, it gets a bit darker, giving off the impression of increased cloud cover (one never sees the sky in this game, although just from the lighting features used, we can guess what it looks like, which is impressive). This also reflects the mood. As the heroes emerge from the cave, they are very happy and light hearted, but as they see the worrying developments, their mood, and the world, get darker with the weather. This use of visual pathetic fallacy is very welcome in games, and it gives Kyn the atmosphere it needs to stand out, just from screenshots. The snow-capped mountainous regions of the game are also worth mentioning, which are just beautiful. Snow can often bring increased beauty to a scene, and this is certainly no exception.
The main point of this game is the combat. Kyn allows you to slow down time and plot your next move before the enemies have finished itching their toes. Ideally, you will see the enemy before they see you, and you’ll be able to outmatch them with a strategic flanking manoeuvre. This is a bit tricky at the beginning of the game with only two people, but as your party grows, so do the possibilities on the battlefield. You can fight as an actual Viking would do (who, by the way, weren’t just brainless brutes with no sense of strategy, as we often make them out to be. This is a common misconception. Just like the one about their horned helmets). Magical spells add to the possibilities, so after a while, you’ll find yourself with a strategy that is satisfying to pull off.
Getting there is tough though, because the game doesn’t sugar-coat your journey. For about twenty minutes, you’ll get relatively simple quests. Go and free these soldiers from this camp. Use your magic to revive a tragically killed girl. However, right when you’re settling in, boom. You’re set upon by four red-skinned berserkers. To fight them is useless, because they attack quick and hard. It’s like having a fist fight with a group of rowdy blenders. Fortunately, there was a method of getting around the camp without aggravating them, so we were able to advance.
Let’s talk about death, actually. And although that’s not the best way to start a conversation, it’s how we’re going to do it here. Dying in this game is punishing, but it shouldn’t be. Ideally, you’ll have saved often, and you’ll just instantly reappear where you left off. But you’re never told that AutoSaving isn’t a thing in this game, so you may find yourself right back at the start of the game, having lost forty minutes of progress. What’s worse, is that the loading in this game is quite long. Not exactly Sims 3 long, but long enough to warrant you to go make a drink and come back to find it still going. This reviewer also found that whenever he died, his sound options were reset to their defaults. Which doesn’t sound bad, but it was quite shocking to have the, admittedly nice, music suddenly burst through your earholes. Loading in Kyn is like a party in your eustachian tube, with every drunk, noisy Viking in the land invited.
After a while, you’ll get to the city of Vinborg, which is basically the hub of the game where you can spend your money on craft items and such, but good luck with the trading, as items don’t actually appear to be listed in any form of order. You’d think the items would be listed alphabetically, or under strength, price or something like that.
Another problem with the game is what our characters say. Often times they’ll speak during the game via speech bubbles, but you’ll likely be focused on the path you’re walking down, or maybe watching your abilities cool down, so it’s easy to miss. As well as this, we found the dialogue to be a bit too modern sounding for its setting. It’s all well and good adding a humorous character, as it helps keep the game from stagnating, but when he’s using words and terms like ‘gonna’, it’s easy to notice a bit of a fluctuation between the setting and the linguistics.
Kyn is by no means a perfect game. As mentioned, it suffers from dialogue which is questionable to the setting, oddly set out trading and loading screens that are painful to your productivity and your ears. However, the game boasts an impressive atmosphere, handsome graphics, swelling music and a well done combat system. It’s a mixed bag, and if you can get past the slow moving introduction, you may be in for a treat.
KYN / DEVELOPER: TANGRIN ENTERTAINMENT / PUBLISHER: VERSUS EVIL / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW