Developer: Lo- Fi Games
Genre: RPG, Simulation, Trading, Strategy, Squad Management
*Sigh*. I'll be straight with you, this game once consume me for a while. Therefor when I was chosen to do a review on KENSHI, i was rather taken aback and did everything i could to avoid doing it. But the time has come. And now i ask you the question, do you know what is KENSHI?
Most likely not, it's not a mainstream game nor a very well known indie for that one but those people who had the chance to try it will usually exclaim that it is better than most of the RPG on the maker and yet here i must make my statement regarding this game: It's not for everyone. Certainly not for me after i tried it. Ok so what is KENSHI?
RPG game, with a dash of realism. That is to say it is still in early access and i had tried years ago the alpha build before it went on steam and i have to say improvements have been made after all this years. It's an eastern style RPG set in a apocalyptic world where sands rule the land and law and order are determined by might with roaming bands of brigands out for your blood everywhere you go.
It's a very atmospheric world. You can be beset by cannibals, saved by the Holy Empire Patrol, loot dead bodies and equip yourself and after months of training and war you started killing settlements. The tables have turn.
And that my dear reader is what KENSHI embodies, symbolizes and make you experience. You are a human being, in a world where other people are often times better than you. You will bleed in the middle of the desert before using your last medkit to bandage your arm and hobble slowly back to the city. At the end of the day, life goes on. Why the bravado?
Simply because reviewing this game is subjectively hard. That and because i liked it. On with the review i suppose. Many parts of KENSHI will be miss however simply due to the scope. Gameplay
You can choose to start with several preset such as having a good weapon, having trade goods [the goods are cheap, the bag however is not.] having a good weapon, having good combat skill [recommended for beginner.] or having several dudes in your party at start. Which i do not recommend.
Anyways customize your appearances, choose a name, gender [Race is coming. Not very soon however since the updates are slow but big.] and then *BOOM* You are drop into the magnificent world of KENSHI. With only a very brief tooltip to get you started on your journey.
The game is an open ended RPG meaning you can do pretty much what you want without any objective save for those you set yourself. Therefor people who enjoy reading story instead of making it should probably not find it very enjoyable. Anyways you can do a lot of things in the game but lemme just use the very rarely used bullet point instead of typing it out.
- Start your own town.
- Become a master of arms.
- Become a bounty hunter.
- Become an anarchist.
- A blacksmith even! with upgrades and blueprints!
- Or my personal favourite: Wandering the waste, getting into fights randomly healing people or breaking their bones. Then you become a warlord and do all of the above. Nothing really stopping you to be honest.
And here is where the gameplay gets fun. You see KENSHI utilizes a unique RPG system where instead of skill points you actually perform the action to upgrade your corresponding skill. System like Carrying extra weight to train your strength, running without any loads to increase your running speed. And actually fighting to increase your fighting skills because you truly suck at the beginning where even a small bandit can make you into coma.
Speaking of coma this game HP system should be utilize into more game. For example your limbs have individual health bar and each of them can bleed out individually reducing their effectiveness and preventing you from using two handed weapons and sword for examples. But that is not all! Wound your opponent enough on the head and they will faint, on the leg and they will hobble, on the arm and well.... have fun. Meanwhile you also have a blood meter! Lost too much and get coma and die. Subject to everyone. So everyone has an equal chances of dying with only their martial art skill being the tie breaker.
There is also the element of trading, by buying trading bag which reduces your speed and make you more susceptible to bandits you can buy trading goods and trade stuff from town to town. Then all those training carrying sacks of metal made you stronger so you can then beat up bandits!
The game is hilariously open is what i am saying. That is not even accounting for squad formation, squad order. create-a-town mechanic function and all the other things in this world. It's the tip of the iceberg. Graphics
Compare to years ago the graphics have improve substantially although in 2015 its not really something to write home about. You can even sometimes see graphical glitches from time to time although seeing as this is a rather massively scope game such a thing are understandable. Sound
While atmospheric the ambient sound is best turned off, the game set to windowed mode and you play supplied with your own music. Trust me the lonely landscape takes time to transverse even at top speed so having your tune would supplement it quite well. Conclusion
My review will never do KENSHI justice, it is a game of such openness and it provides you with the mean to experience that everybody will play it differently. For me it is the ever path of the wanderer [And the warlord once I figure out how to actually kill someone with this metal rod i call a sword.]
Scoring Methology [Courtesy of Meat King]:
- S-Rank: excellent
- A-Rank: very good
- B-Rank: solid
- C-Rank: satisfactory
- D-Rank: inferior
Verdict: S-Rank [So long as the update is stable otherwise it's an A-Rank.]
Protip: Try the demo floating around the internet before you commit. The demo is rather old though with many new features have been implemented into the game. Still a long way before release though. Early Access Hiccups?
Plenty. Many features are experimented on all the time on this game. And as such it breaks easily during update. Does not stop you from enjoying it though.
EDIT 4/20/2015: I should really clarify something, i wont ssay this game has potential but it does [hypocrite] but the thing is about this game is that i got my enjoyment out of whatever update it already has so further progress is merely bonus at this point. So dont wait for the potential, just enjoy the now. Check out the Original Network Groups. Win free games, make new friends on Steam, & more! Original Curators Group, Original Traders Group, &
Original Giveaways Group