The new game of 505 Games and Keen Games, Portal Knights, debuted yesterday on Steam Early Access download platform and today we will present it in our preview. Developed with an eye to the lovers of Minecraft and even in some ways of Terraria , Portal Knights is a title that is already from the first minute able to transport the user in a typical fantasy setting, permeated by magic and with an eye-catching appearance.
After the creation of our digital alter egos, which can be equipped with the characteristic powers of one of the three classes in the game (mage, warrior and archer), we will be immediately catapulted into the first worlds of the Portal Knights because, you need to know, that the game’s universe consists of innumerable “islands”, small worlds connected by magic portals, hence the name is thought by the developers for their title. Within each of these islands, our power will be absolute: we can destroy, build, or simply decide to shape the environment surrounding for us that best we see fit, just as we do in one of the many sandbox games that nowadays are characterized in the gaming market. Unlike the usual graphics pixelation or two-dimensional, however, in Portal Knights one of the most interesting elements is precisely the style used by designers, a style from comic script, with characters in super deformed style.
Another ubiquitous element in the title of Keen Games, and always under the eye of the players, is its simplicity. Unlike similar structure of titles, there is here the presence of too many tools or complications from realistic point of view. A tree of cascading talents and crafting with not too many objects, well distributed, in fact, allow us to understand after a few moments of the game the functionality of each of the elements present. We dig the ground in search of minerals, break down trees and plants for timber and creating ingredients, hunt monsters in the hope of finding special materials, etc; all tends to create all that we want: a variety of equipment generally, potions and spells, components to build our homes, which can range from narrow caves or gigantic castles with architectural forms that most will prefer. As it happens in every sandbox game that is worthy of respect, the only limit is our imagination.
To better diversify the game, the developers have also decided to divide it in the aforementioned islands, each of which will be characterized by its own finite environment and structure so as to be able to present a different origin from everyone else. We will pass by calm islands and peaceful, with a bucolic and sunny setting, desert, snow-covered islands, immersed in the most impenetrable jungle, until we reach areas only composed of acidic lakes or flaming volcanoes, populated by fearsome dragons and other monsters typical of those lands. In our adventures we will get to meet also the simple transition worlds, where the only purpose will be to deal with the “boss of end level”, typically a big monster with its own combat mechanics, that we have to inevitably break down before proceeding with our adventures.
In this regard, there is to be mentioned that the combat itself is definitely not among the most refined and complex, but manages to fit perfectly with simplicity and enough action to make Portal Knights a relatively difficult and rewarding game. Dodging, jumping and somersaults will be our daily bread in each of the battles that we will find ourselves facing in each of the many worlds we visit in our travels. Enemies can unleash the fury of the elements, with big and brawny orcs, angry chimpanzees or cross eyeballs with hungry bats that will be our bitter travel companions, who are always present and ready to give us the experience points needed to level, get new skills and continue towards our ultimate goal: finish the game and reach the last island, to reinforce “the gap” that has destroyed the universe in a myriad of separate islands and become the ultimate hero. Typical.
As it is now understood for most of the games, even in this case we will have at our disposal a multiplayer cooperative mode. In this case, we can host matches up to four players in order to have companions with whom to deal with and have all the adventures described above, also it will enable us to create even more elaborate buildings (the union in this case really is strength), facing enemies more easily and exchange materials or ingredients for our creations.
Ultimately, Portal Knights manages to present itself as a clean title, free of bugs that ruins our gaming experience, although being a game still under Early Access. Now, wanting to advance a bit, the intent of Keen Games should be to enhance each of the elements to be submitted to them, as well as perfect a game with real potential. In any ways whatsoever, Keen Games and 505 Games have succeeded in creating a title with Portal Knights truly accessible for anyone with its simplicity. Portal Knights is a highly recommended game to anyone who loves the sandbox genre.