Before we get started I need to point out that Karnage Chronicles is still in early access so you have to keep that in mind. This is a game I first heard about well over a year ago and so far with each update I am getting more and more excited for it to be fully realized. It is a dungeon crawler style game with heavy fantasy elements and it apparently thinks it is as cool as Mortal Kombat with its use of the letter K!
The game is for one to four players and as I write this there are two classes that you can play as. You can play as a Warrior or an Archer and both classes feel very different. The Warrior class as you have probably guessed is all about melee and just kicking as much butt as possible. This is actually my preferred class and when I played this with a friend, I was a Warrior and he an Archer. The Archer is a more ranged type of character with lower attacks, but they can be done from a safer range. Even though the game is in early access both these classes feel great and quite fleshed out if I am being honest. However, two classes are really not enough in a game like this and I am excited for them to add more.
The presentation is fantastic. The first video I saw of this way back in 2018 looked kind of bland and uninspired. The most recent version I played looks great and has a very cool, I kind of want to say cartoony, but I think that is selling it short. It has a dungeons and dragons kind of style but like a cartoon version of it. Like a modern version of the classic 80s animated series, with a bit of Warhammer and Lord of the Rings thrown in for good measure. There is not a ton of variety to the enemies in the game yet, but the orcs and other creatures do look great.
Speaking of creatures, the enemy AI is quite smart. I played as the Archer for a few rounds and I suck at ranged characters! It takes me an age to line up my shot and half the time I am too slow at firing. This was a good thing in Karnage Chronicles as it let me see a cool AI feature. They will actually duck if you try and go for a headshot and take too long to get the shot off. Add to this the way they will try and defend themselves from your attacks and you have a combat system that keeps you on your toes. Like many other modern games of this style. The ferocity of your attacks is measured by how hard you swing; I really like this as it gives the combat some real weight. Parrying at the right time and then smashing a creature in the face is great!
The game is a real loot fest. You can pick up coins and other items and the game actually forces you to reach out and pick them up. I get what they were going for here in terms of making you feel like you are in this world, but I must admit I found this a bit on the annoying side. Hey, to be fair I am sure there will be many who actually like this added element of realism and interactivity. While you can get stuff in the dungeon there is also a shop you can buy items at too. I am sure all of this will be fleshed out as the game moves along its development.
I know it is a hard sell for some people when it comes to a game in early access, but I think that Karnage Chronicles for the Oculus Rift is a ton of fun so far. It is especially great if you are playing with a friend and I am very excited to see what they have in store with the next update.
Both classes feel very different
The enemy AI is quite clever
The dev team seem like they are cool and give frequent updates
I like the magic that the game has too
Melee combat feels very satisfying
Only two classes at the moment
Having to manual pick stuff up is a bit annoying for me