Kyn Preview

Kyn is a fast-paced role playing strategy game from Tangrin and Versus Evil, set in a world of Viking mythology and magic.  It is due for release on the 28th July 2015.

KYN Logo

I received code earlier this month and have had a good amount of time with the game.. I loved it when I first tried it, and I still love it now!

In Kyn, players control up to six playable characters, each of which you can set up with their own specialised abilities and gear to match.  Points can be allocated to three attributes: Mind, Body and Control.  Mind increases a character’s Spirit pool and Spirit regeneration, and is good for casters, while Body increases Health and Weapon Damage, and is good for fighters.  Control adds to Spirit and Health, but mainly increases Attack Speed.

Points can be piled into one stat or spread across all three.  Alrik and Bram, the two newly inducted Magni Warriors that you meet at the beginning of the game, both start off with 2 points in Mind, 2 points in Body, and 1 point in Control.  Both have Rebirth (a resurrection spell) in slot 1, while in Slot 2, Alrik has Healing Winds and Bram has Terror, a targeted AoE fear.  I found these easy to get to grips with for the early game, and after the first few missions, I gave Alrik more points in Mind and Bram more points in Body, to create a Healer-Fighter pair.  Since Warriors can be re-rolled at any time, I had no worries that I might be messing the characters up in any way.

There are three skill trees, one per attribute.

Kyn - Mind Skill Tree

New tiers are unlocked every 15 points, with skills levelling up and becoming more powerful as more tiers are unlocked.  For example: Healing Winds, a Tier 1 Mind skill, starts out healing all allies in the target area for 15 health and 15 health for 5 seconds.  Once 15 points have been placed in Mind, the second tier is unlocked and Healing Winds is worth 20 health and 20 for 5 seconds.  Once 30 points have been placed in Mind, the third tier is unlocked and it heals for 25 health and 25 for 5 seconds.

Warriors also have Feed skills, which are special skills combined with feedstones.  They can be used to heal, shield, reflect damage or boost weapon power, depending on the combination of skill and feedstone.  Before a Feed Skill can be activated, the feedstone must be filled and this is done in different ways, depending on the stone: the fire stone fills when the character is near fire, while the death stone fills as creatures are killed.

Kyn - Feed Skills

Feedstones are few and far between, though extras can be found through solving puzzles here and there.  At first, there’s no real choice, but later, when there’s a selection of feedstones to choose from, I enjoyed choosing Feed skills to suit each character and the way I was using them.

Characters level up after each mission, with points added as they return to town.  At first, I hadn’t realised my Warriors had levelled up at all, as there was no “ding!” or flash of light as in other games.. you have to click through to the Equipment and Inventory screen to see that the points are available to spend.

The system allows a lot of flexibility: you can pour all a character’s points into one attribute, and unlock all the abilities in that tree including the most powerful, or create a more balanced character with a mix of less powerful abilities.

As I’ve had more Warriors coming in and out of my party, I’ve given Alrik only Mind points and focused on healing, with the Feed skill Project Lifevial for extra healing power.  The problem then is that Alrik has a smaller health pool and only light armour, so unless I keep him further back from the action, he’s liable to die rather quickly.

Kyn - Positioning

Here, I let Bram engage the enemy while keeping Alrik and the bow-equipped Warrior at range.  I loved this particular Mission, where the Warriors had to rescue villagers while facing waves of enemies.  The missions have been varied enough to be interesting, though some might object to the amount of running around!

There’s a wealth of gear and items in the game.. loot drops freely and every item you find in the world can be used in the crafting system, with thousands of items available to create.  There are restrictions on armour and weapons past the most basic pieces, e.g., heavy armour requires a higher Body level, bows often require a certain level of Control, and gear with Spirit-related bonuses are intended for those with more points in Mind.

The downside to the huge number of items in-game is that it’s fiddly to find upgrades – you have to wade through all the existing items to look for ones that might be suitable.  You can filter by slot, but that’s all.  The Blacksmith has seven pages worth of chest armour, so if I want an upgrade for one specific character, I have to flick back and forth trying to compare suitable items, whilst ignoring those of a lower quality or even unusable due to high Mind, Body or Control requirements.  It would make it a lot easier if I was able to filter out unsuitable items, those with weaker stats than the item equipped, or view only those items of Rare quality and above.

Kyn - Blacksmithing Potential

Since Warriors only have two slots for abilities, it makes sense to specialise them and then have them work together.  At times this will mean splitting them up, e.g., when solving puzzles with floor switches, moving through gates, and so on.  I have enjoyed the puzzles 🙂

Unfortunately, there are no preset tactics in Kyn, so I can’t tell Alrik to stay at range, or tell Bram to pick the toughest or weakest or nearest enemy, and so on.  Combat is in real time, and control-wise, I found it a little awkward to switch between the Warriors and effectively use their abilities in the middle of a fight, more so as new Warriors joined the team.  I’ve also found targeting quite difficult at times, especially while everyone is running around, and if a target is behind a Warrior, they’re next to impossible to select.

Despite that, I’ve still enjoyed combat.  The enemies offered a surprising challenge.. sticking together and surrounding my Warriors, while archers and mages stayed back out of reach.  At times I’ve had to switch between fearing enemies away or pinning them in place, so I could run away and heal up, before fearing them and running away again.. Kyn is tough!

Kyn - Combat

Kyn’s pathfinding was at times annoying, with Warriors getting caught up behind objects if there was a bottleneck, eg, getting trapped behind the catapult in level 2.  I also found one Warrior trying to shoot enemies through a wall rather than walking to where he had line of sight.  I’d have liked to be able to zoom out a little more too.. at times, enemies were hitting me from the edge of the screen.

I’m enjoying Kyn’s world and story too, and it’s rather nice to see the town start to fill up with people I’ve encountered during missions.  There’s some humorous moments, especially in the dialogue between the Warriors and NPCs.  One side quest had me following a dog to discover what happened to some missing villagers, with an amusing outcome.. I won’t spoil it!  There were a few little quotes and references to films that made me smile too.

Kyn - Chief Noma being Inspiring

The music throughout the game is very good, changing as you explore and go in and out of combat.  The weapon and creature sound effects are varied, no repetitive death screams or axe whooshes here!  Will Bedford composed the music, and it is the only part of Kyn not created by the two-man team that is Tangrin.

What more can I say, but: “Buy this game!”

Kyn will be available on Steam on the 28th July 2015.  Those who pre-purchase the game will receive the Legendary Firemaster set for free: a full body armour set and powerful “Eye of the Fire” Axe that deals extra fire and weapon damage while boosting the player’s attack speed.

Kyn Preorder Bonus - Legendary Firemaster Set

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