Decapitate, dismember, and kill lots of people!
With the PS2 having such a lackluster summer lineup Mark Of Kri was the one title I was truly looking forward to. After great reviews from some of the top publications and hype from Sony that went through the roof this game was destined to be a classic right? Well after countless hours and gallons of Jolt cola I have finally dragged my sorry ass back to the review board to once again set the record straight. Mark Of Kri is innovative, creative, and well designed. The problem? It isn’t that much fun.
We start with the overall look of the game, seriously it looks as if it was designed by Disney Interactive. The game takes pages from their developer log and pours them over a steamy foundation drenched with blood and gore. Imagine Hercules with decapitations and dismemberment and you have the general idea. The character models, while nicely animated, give a sense of stiffness that I found irritating. This is supposed to be 128-bit sure, but do they have to be so damn one dimensional.
What Mark of Kri does it does well, take whatever you know about beat ‘em up style combat and throw it out the window. MoK brings something so new and fresh expect it to be imitated with a vengeance over the next few years. Instead of whaling on buttons to defeat your foes you swing the right analog stick in a circular motion to lock onto three targets. Each target is assigned a specific button such as Triangle, X, and Circle. Once locked you can attack each enemy with said button, this makes for nifty combos and truly breathtaking combat action! The problem that surfaces more often than not is the shitty camera, it positions itself just right making it impossible to tell where each enemy is and if they are about to attack. Frustration is not a key factor in game design so why do I keep getting it while playing this game? Must be that damn emotion engine.
The story line of MoK is also a far cry from an Oscar winning script! You are Rau with your pet bird that acts as a primitive set of binoculars, scout him ahead to get an idea of the danger that lies before you. Sounds intriguing right? Think again I rarely used the bird as it never told me anything I didn’t already know. Stealth is also a main factor in MoK, your best bet is to sneak up and kill enemies without alerting others in the process. This becomes tedious and takes away from the great combat system the game bases it’s appeal around.
What does this leave us with? A great idea poorly executed, this is what extra development time is for. This game came outta nowhere and appeared at E3 with promise. Sony thinking they can cash in on a cool idea leave the hardcores in the cold with another rushed effort. Here is to hoping the sequel makes up for the disappointment, better luck next time.