The Legend of Korra is one of my favorite shows of all time (even though it doesn’t match my love for The Last Airbender), and while video games of the Avatar universe have been made, none of them managed to make a positive impression. So when the new Legend of Korra game was announced, I was immediately skeptical.
There is so much potential that surrounds the thought of an Avatar game, including the mythology and thick backgrounds that really transform the show into a story filled with complexities. Properly translating this into a game would be amazing!
Mitch Dyer and Jose Otero of IGN had the chance to try out the game, and they responded with positive notes.
“The Legend of Korra nails the show’s aesthetic without resorting to cheap fan service, at least in what we’ve seen so far. Hand-painted backgrounds look pretty similar to the show, and give the cel-shaded characters the opportunity to really pop off screen,” Dyer stated. “Also, you get to ride Naga, the polar bear dog. I’d be more interested if that were a combat tactic, honestly, because the Temple Run-style mini-game, while cute, seems more like a necessary reprieve from beating bad guys stupid than something actually substantial.”
Otero added, “As a person who gets excited for games in the action genre, but also someone who doesn’t know the first thing about air bending, I couldn’t help but appreciate the balanced approach to combat taken by developer Platinum Games in The Legend of Korra. The system has some surprisingly deep aspects that complemented the tastefully re-created animations for the TV show.”
He continued, “Eventually, players can quickly shift between air, water, fire, and earth bending. Perhaps the most jolting aspect for hardcore Korra fans is that she doesn’t have the ability to bend elements right from the start. But I’d argue that idea works for non-fans like me, and it doesn’t mean she’s completely vulnerable either. During these opening moments, standard attacks felt deceptively simple, but combat still has some satisfying aspects. The counter system immediately stands out as one of these hallmarks.
“Similar to a counter-attack Platinum used in previous games like Bayonetta or Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, players are rewarded with a powerful follow up strike if they can pull off a block at just the last second. Once I factored in some of the title heroine’s elemental-bending abilities, combat opened up with some potentially devastating attack combinations.
“We got a chance to see a level 10 Korra and, expectedly, she tore through groups of triad foes with relative ease. But Platinum Games assured us they’d have additional difficulty modes for hardcore action genre fans. They also mentioned that the final boss will be a huge highlight for the studio– the main villain for this game was designed in collaboration with series creators but sounds like a worthy adversary expected from this development group.
“So far, it has all the depth I’d expect to see from this developer bundled with a faithful artistic interpretation that fans (and non-fans, like me) can both enjoy.”
So while this game will most likely not be satisfying enough to someone like me (who automatically turns any kind of Avatar game into something impossibly epic), it’s comforting to know that there are at least some aspects that will be enjoyed. Hopefully more will be revealed soon!