Something I’ve been fascinated with since my youth was the concept of “portals”. Colorful shimmering gates of energy that could lead a person to other worlds was always an interesting concept to me. The game “Portal” nearly scratched that itch, but sadly the portals could only be used to solve puzzles. You couldn’t jump into another dimension, reality, world, you could only portal-hop to other parts of the room.
One game that really captured what it was like to enter a portal and venture into a strange world was the game “Portal Knights”. This game is rather interesting, as it plays very similarly to Minecraft. The game used “voxel” graphics, giving everything a cube-like shape. You mine, search for new materials and items, and vanquish monsters and bosses. All of these are things you would normally do in Minecraft.
However, Portal Knight sets itself apart in various ways. For example, Portal Knights has strong Role-Playing Game elements. PK features quests, leveling up, gaining new equipment, using skills, assigning stat points, and being able to select special traits. It’s not something super in-depth, but it’s enough to distance itself from the much more popular Minecraft.
Another way this game sets itself apart is the use of portals. In Minecraft, you could leap through a few portals to get to special specific areas, but these weren’t the main draw of the game. You usually only went into other areas in order to obtain rare special items, or fight unique bosses.
In Portal Knights, entering portals is the name of the game. Each portal houses a unique world that’s independent from all the others. Each world is distinct, with its own NPCs and diverse assortment of enemies and items. Some worlds may even have a forest, multiple dungeons, or a giant fort situated in the middle of them. On top of this, special events sometimes happen in these worlds.
For example, a magical thunderstorm could ravage an area, forcing you to destroy three crystals in order to stop. Another event involves a treasure chest appearing underneath a waterfall, requiring you to search for it and uncover the treasures inside. It’s stuff like this that gives these worlds more diversity and flare to them.
These are all well and great, but how does the game itself play? It plays alright. Combat is pretty basic, requiring you to dodge and attack in order to properly beat opponents. Playing as a warrior with health regeneration abilities often made the game too easy, at least in my opinion. I often found it easier to attack repeatedly with my sword, rather than dodge the attacks of my enemies.
Just mashing attack appeared to be a more adequate strategy than dodging, as my health would usually regenerate pretty quickly after taking damage. That’s not to say the game is easy, because it certainly isn’t. Sometimes, dodging is necessary for certain enemies, mostly bosses. It’s just that I found the early portions of the game to require way too little strategy.
Let’s move on to the game’s presentation, which is surprisingly good. The game takes the voxel graphics of Minecraft, but gives them a High-Definition paint-job. The worlds look amazing, the characters well-detailed, and is truly an all-around beautiful game. The soundtrack is really solid, with a lot of the worlds have really distinctive tracks. Overall, the presentation is top-notch!
The last thing I’d like to touch on is the game’s story. It’s very simple, revolving around you travelling to fractured worlds and restoring the portals. The game’s characters have some rather flavorful and entertaining dialogue, which makes it stand out from the competition. The characters mix charming and cute, with occasional dark undertones.
I think my favorite is the guild-master, who appears just as adorable as everyone else, but is dying of a deadly disease. One of his quests involves you getting him medicine, just to prolong his life a little more. Things like that make this world feel more alive, and gives some added depth to its cutesy cast.
Overall, I’d say Portal Knights is an amazing game. I’ve only spent 5 hours in it thus far, but I’m already enthralled with the world it presents. Portal Knights feels like an action RPG that combines the best elements of action games, crafting games, and MMORPGs together. It creates a world that feels unique and ever-changing, and gives you the tools to play the way you want to. Better yet, you can get the game for just 8 dollars Canadian on Steam right now! In my opinion, that’s one sweet deal.