Previews// Rezzed Round-Up: Kyn, LA Cops and Magic Shot

Posted 8 May 2015 13:36 by
Tireless reporter and Sausage Factory host Chris O'Regan has been abroad again, haunting the halls of Rezzed and playing anything he could get his paws on. Below we've got the next three previews from his time spent taking a whistlestop tour of the best indie games EGX Rezzed 2015 had to offer...

Developer: Tangrin
Format(s): Windows PC, Mac and Linux

Kyn stood out for me as it was the one of only a handful of party-based RPGs that was on display during EGX Rezzed 2015. Which, frankly, I was surprised at, seeing as the remake of Baldur's Gate and the recently released Pillars of Eternity should have encouraged more of these types of games emerging. Time will tell, no doubt.

Kyn is set in a high-fantasy medieval world where magic is largely suppressed due to the destructive forces it tends to unleash. The combat is entirely real-time and does require the player to plan out attacks before throwing themselves into them. Even the placement of the characters has an impact on the combat as flanking is generally more effective than tackling enemies head on.

I played Kyn for quite a while as I'm a sucker for RPGs and it has all of those little hooks that draw me in. A pair of characters (at least the ones I controlled) living in a world with some very ambiguous morals, forcing the player to make hard choices in order to progress and to save the world in the name of the greater good.

As with any good RPG there is plenty of loot to be found and a comprehensive crafting system when used can forge extremely powerful weapons, far more potent than what can be found in the environment. From what brief glimpse I had with it I found it to be relatively straight-forward. It uses schematics that unlock the more bespoke weapons the player can use to dispatch enemies with.

Kyn is presented in the traditional isometric viewpoint, with all of the player characters being controlled using the traditional RTS system that the aforementioned RPGs also sport. This makes getting to grips with Kyn very easy for those of us who are experienced with this sort of game. Newcomers are also catered for with an extensive tutorial and hint system.

From what I played of Kyn I did get the feeling that I would be spending many an hour wading my way through a myriad of beasts across the realm while trying to keep the masters I serve happy and not wanting to fight one another.

Kyn is due to appear some time in autumn of 2015.

LA Cops
Developer: Modern Dream
Format(s): Xbox One

Donuts. There I said it right off the bat. Now you don't have to do the pointless drinking game of reading a preview about LA Cops and taking a swig of whisky every time a certain sweet-tasting and soft foodstuff is mentioned. So now that's over and done with we can talk about LA Cops like adults sans any reference to donuts... DAMMIT!

LA Cops puts the player in control of a pair of detectives who seem to spend a great deal of time shooting and arresting people rather than doing any detective work. Luther this isn't, I'm afraid. But that doesn't detract from the immense amount of fun LA Cops offers. It's almost as entertaining as munching on some donuts. Almost.

LA Cops is broken up into a series of set piece scenes that are interspersed with vignettes that show us glimpses into the lives of the donut-eating detectives, who seem to ignorant of the concept of 'back up' when taking on a building full of heavily armed criminals.

The action takes place within an isometric view and very clean colour pallet that provides a great deal of contrast and clarity. This is needed as the action is very fast-paced and the player's pair of detectives can be quickly overwhelmed by the previously mentioned gun toting criminals, all of whom have probably never eaten a donut.

There are parallels between LA Cops and Hotline Miami in that the player does have to clear out a level of enemies as swiftly as possible while not dying. The major difference is the control of two characters rather than one and the increased consumption of donuts from none to a great deal. It's also possible to arrest people rather than shoot them in the face. The clue is in the name of LA Cops as you're not playing a murderous psychopath but a pair of coffee-drinking and donut-eating policemen.

The simultaneous control of the cops is handled very well as they can run independently of player interaction and will react based on pre-defined behavioural routines. This allows the player to assume they will provide cover and even take part in breach-and-clear-like operations as the two cops barge into a room using two separate entrances, causing a lot of confusion to the criminals inside. Sadly there is no option to control the consumption of donuts or indeed coffee.

LA Cops is out now on Xbox One and will appear on other formats in the future, none of which will bear any resemblance to a donut.

Magic Shot
Developer: Nerial
Format(s): iOS

Billiards; there's a game with sticks and three balls. Apparently it's really popular in France, but here in the UK it is snooker that holds sway with its 22 balls and 12' by 6' table. While the former is a much faster game requiring well aimed and powerful shot to ricochet around the table, snooker is a much more sedate affair with every shot carefully considered and measured as the placement of the cue ball is almost as important as potting balls.

Magic Shot is an iOS game that draws a lot of inspiration from billiards. The player is required to hit both the red and yellow balls with the cue ball in one shot. The board on which the balls are placed is the play area and rather than being square is deformed and jagged, making for some very unique ricochet shots as the player fires the cue ball around the messed up table.

Being British I wasn't terribly familiar with billiards so tackled the game the same way a snooker player would when being faced with a cue ball. The result was the same level of failure when a snooker player approaches a pool table; ponderous and careful not the displace too many balls and avoiding putting the cue ball in awkward place. This is a very bad idea, as Magic Shot practically demands the player shoots almost randomly and as powerfully as they can as slow and deliberate simply won't do.

Once I understood the importance of power placed on shots I got on far better with Magic Shot. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had when managing to fire off the cue ball in such a way that it pings about the warped play area and yet still manages to hit the two coloured balls.

There is a built-in limiter within Magic Shot that requires the player lose one of three lives if they fail to hit both balls with the cue ball in one shot. This forces the player to be somewhat thoughtful before they fire off the cue ball and the tables become increasingly complex as progress is made in Magic Shot.

I enjoyed my relatively short time with Magic Shot and look forward to seeing it appear on iOS devices very soon.

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