“Sony’s ‘Mark’ one worth checking out”

By Gus Bode

“Sony’s ‘Mark’ one worth checking out”

When you think about a game featuring gore, stealth and intense combat, one doesn’t picture a quirky, animated game. The juxtaposition of violence and cel-shaded graphics provides a strange atmosphere that draws you into the mysterious world in “Mark of Kri”.

You play as a medieval warrior on a mission. You hunger for adventure and posses a strong desire to aid your friends and honor your heritage. The townspeople, who all convene at a bar, have a host of problems and need you to rid the land of bandits. Some missions are fairly easy, others very difficult; the key is using your warrior’s skills.

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Naturally, our experienced fighter uses a sword. This is the base weapon for the entire game. You quickly receive a bow for strategic, one-hit kills but frequently come back to the trusty sword. Careful though:using it near wood or stone is not advised.

Your bird can scout ahead and allow you to see through his eyes. This is very useful for planning quick, effective attacks. At first you may choose to ignore the stealth aspect of the game but will learn that rushing into confrontations leads to a quick demise.

Learning the intricacies of battle is crucial to survival. Many opponents wear heavy armor and will not go down without a fight. Simply smashing on one attack button repeatedly will not guarantee a victory. You must choose your targets carefully in “Kri,” for killing the wrong savage could alert another, and he could signal for reinforcements.

Hidden in each mission are various tasks you can complete. Performing certain combos or finding ancient writings (which slowly reveal a deep, mythological plot) unlocks special features. Some features found this way are barely worth the effort, such as different costumes.

Controlling your fierce warrior is a bit of a chore. Running around seems slow and sometimes unresponsive. He tends to get stuck on tight areas, often leading to accidental damage during a melee.

Unlike other platforming games, in “Kri” you don’t jump. At first this sounds restrictive, but eliminating tricky jumps (a genre staple) keeps the emphasis on fighting and not on luck.

The most important thing about “Kri” is that it’s fun. Even after fighting with the camera and dying several times, I always came back for more. The ability to save anywhere mid-mission was extremely helpful too. Saving right before a massive battle lets you try multiple strategies until you find one that works.

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If you are in need of a little mindless action, “Kri” is for you. The presentation is great and the battles, when they go your way, make you feel like a seasoned warrior yourself. Just stay away from the bleeping wood and you’ll be fine.

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