Kyn, video game, box art, knight, wizard, archer, village

Preview: Kyn

After receiving a preview code for isometric RPG Kyn, Ben was quick to raise his hand and get to grips with this Scandinavian adventure.


Title overview

Name: Kyn
Developer: Tangrin Entertainment
Publisher: Versus Evil
Release date: To be announced
PEGI rating: Not listed
Platforms: Linux, Mac, PC
More information: Official website

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Ben says…

We’ve had our eye on Kyn for some time now. A game that mixes Vikings and magic in a style reminiscent of Dungeon Siege and Baldur’s Gate, it sets to reignite the isometric RPG. There’s was no doubt we enjoyed our time with it at Rezzed and the guys at Versus Evil were kind enough to let us try out the latest build of the game.

The game is being produced by Tangrin Entertainment, an independent duo based in Holland. First things first: no matter how the final game turns out, Kyn is a phenomenal achievement. For two people to produce something so polished, with the level of depth and attention to detail available in the preview code we were provided with has to be lauded.

If the above sounds like it should come with a ‘but…’ then I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. The brief time I’ve had to spend with the title has impressed me. The build I tried began with two warriors, Bram and Alrik, having just undergone a coming-of-age ritual which has imbued them with magical powers to heal friends and strike terror in their enemies. The game then charts their adventures in a world inspired by Norse legend as they meet other warriors to form a team of six.

It follows standard isometric fair, with the mouse used almost exclusively to interact with the world and the keyboard to cast spells, use items, etc. Combat is as you would expect, although it has a clever way of slowing time down to help you make the decisions for each member of the party: who will attack, who will cast magic and who will heal. It doesn’t freeze time entirely which adds extra pressure but that’s a good thing.

Why? Because it’s also challenged the hell out of me. Make no mistake, Kyn is tough. Like the best tactical games, one false move or error in your team’s strategy could see you wiped out in an instant. It gives a tension an immediacy to combat that forces the player to think and consider every decision they make, just as they should. The difficulty could be tweaked by the time the title is released but I think it’s part of the attraction.

Thankfully, so long as at least one of your warriors survives, the others will resurrect. On the surface this might be seen like a bit of an easy route out but in practice it works as a handy risk/reward mechanic. Go all in and sacrifice team members for the resurrection at the end or go cautious and keep them all alive? The choice is yours.

Kyn is shaping up really well, and if you’re a fan of Baldur’s Gate or Dungeon Siege this needs to be on your radar.

The sounds and visuals are cracking too with dungeons, forests and hidden temples looking their part. The character models move fluidly and responsively with each weapon or armour piece being worn when equipped. It’s a small but important touch. Clanks of swords and spells are as expected but the music is what excels most. It’s a beautiful combination of strings and drums, perfect for the setting.

Kyn is shaping up really well, and if you’re a fan of Baldur’s Gate or Dungeon Siege this needs to be on your radar. It combines classic RPG elements in a well-designed world and the ability to slow to combat right down adds a new element to the strategic combat. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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