More Reviews
REVIEWS Wayward Manor Review
Not even the power of Neil Gaiman and The Odd Gentlemen could save this game from a fate worse than death: a terrible score.

ONE PIECE Unlimited World Red Review
"Unlimited World Red"? More like "Sorta Limited Town and Extended Areas... Red. And Blue. And Some Yellow."
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Sacred 3
Release date: 08/05/14

CounterSpy
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14


LATEST FEATURES How Bioware Creates Romances
Bioware's games have romances where you might save the world, on the side of course.

We Absolutely Should Be Upset With Club Nintendo's Latest Elite Rewards
Surveys out the wazoo and I get a code for Dr. Luigi?
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Kakulukia
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

Rise of the Kasai Preview

Joe_Dodson By:
Joe_Dodson
01/27/05
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Sony 
DEVELOPER Bottle Rocket 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
M Contains Blood and Gore, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Off with their heads!


Nobody spends more time killing stuff than a gamer. We kill mushrooms, monkeys, furniture, dragons, terrorists, counter-terrorists, and even each other using our butts, beat sticks, magic wands, arrows, frag grenades, AKs and n00b hammers. Where most art imitates life, ours imitates death, and does a bloody good job of it.

Sony's The Mark of Kri was a fine example of this. Not only could you carve up your foes with a wicked array of bladed weaponry, but you could also target and combo several enemies at once, proving that two decapitated heads were better than one.

The only real issue we had with The Mark of Kri was its length; you killed everybody and their mother, but what about fathers, brothers, sons and pets? It was good, ghastly fun, but it was also really short. And since there has been no other game like it, we feared we might never kick ass the same way again.

But at a recent press event, Sony calmed our fears and teased our destructive appetites by allowing us to sink our teeth into a juicy, bloody build of their new sequel, Rise of the Kasai.

The events in Rise of the Kasai take place both ten years before and ten years after The Mark of Kri via two distinct plot threads. In the post-Kri thread, Rau and his sister Tati are on a quest to discover the meaning of a strange tattoo on Tati's back that gives her dark and mysterious powers. At the end of this journey, Rau is mysteriously slain, and his death drastically tips the cosmic scale in evil's favor.

The Oracle tree, sensing the impending cataclysm, summons two great warriors of the past, Baumusu and Griz, to embark on a quest that may lead to Rau's future salvation and the redemption of humanity. Oh, plus tons of hewn torsos and severed limbs. Sweet.

At the beginning of the demo level, we were asked to choose between either Rau or Tati. We first chose Rau, and were told to head up onto the rooftops of a city controlled by the evil Kasai, while Tati prowled the streets below. As we went about our business relieving villains of their heads, arms and lives, we could hear Tati engaging in her own battles far below us. Then, after climbing down a ladder, we met up and eviscerated some butts together.

The cool part is that Tati's engagements are unscripted and function independently of your actions. Instead of being followed around by a useless appendage who only gets in the way, your companions have their own objectives to meet, meaning they're out of your hair while simultaneously getting things done. You might run into them in the thick of a battle, share a few laughs, and then they're on their way. This is shaping into a brilliant approach to A.I. companionship.

Since Tati seemed so immersed in her hunt through the city streets, we thought we'd check things out from her perspective the second time through and delightfully discovered that every level can be experienced from two entirely different perspectives, each with its own objectives and obstacles, for twice the visceral fun.

Rau still plays much like he did in The Mark of Kri, and Baumusu, Rau's mentor from that game, plays just like Rau, while Tati and Griz are also very similar and a bit stealthier than their hulking counter-parts. The R-stick is used to target up to three nearby enemies, each of whom are associated with a face button on the PS2 controller. Tap an enemy's button to direct an attack their way, regardless of what direction they're in, and tap it repeatedly to perform a basic combo.

But who likes being basic? Combos can be modified for greater damage by any buttons that haven't been applied to an enemy. The combos that do the most damage use all three face buttons, but these are available when only one enemy is targeted. In turn, the least damaging combos only use one button. This makes sense if you think in terms of attention paid to each enemy. If you only have one enemy targeted, they're going to receive your undivided attention and thus one hell of a beat-down, but with three enemies targeted, you're too busy fending off all their attacks to really slice-and-dice anyone in particular.

When you do get the chance to bring all your cruel intentions to bear on a single foe, the results are gruesome. Tati might hand foes her daggers, only to make them stab themselves in the eyes. Then, using the protruding dagger hilts like handles, she whips the enemy over her head while allowing the enemy's momentum to remove himself from her blades. Rau, on the other hand, is big on chopping his enemies in the crotch with his humongous sword, then sawing until the blade is somewhere near their heart before ripping it free.

These are but two of many, many acts of cartoon-on-cartoon violence in Rise of the Kasai, all of which stand in stark contrast to the game's decidedly Disney aesthetic. The characters look and move much like they were yanked out of Aladdin, and the environments are all rendered with soft, water-color palettes. According to Sony, Rise of the Kasai's animation and art-direction are so stellar because they worked side by side with a team of film animators to provide their characters with a level of grace and style never before seen in a video game. From what we've seen thus far, they might well succeed.

Especially in the case of Rau's little sister. Tati is equal parts Pocahontas and Valeria, with a zesty splash of malice and a twist of sadism. Tati may be the sexiest video game character we've ever seen; not because she wears a skimpy loin-cloth or has a huge rack (although she does, incidentally, have both), but because of the way she moves. She has all the poise and confidence of a predatory cat and is so fun to control it's almost a guilty pleasure.

The same can be said of the other characters, minus the guilty part. We usually think of action and animation as inherently separate elements of a game, forgetting how often the success of one hinges on the other. Then a game like this comes along and reminds us that good gameplay often relies on clear, fluid imagery as well as rational control mechanics. Rise of the Kasai doesn't just look good - it feels good. We look forward to getting our hands on it March 15.

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Rise of the Kasai


More On GameRevolution