505 Games and veteran developer Keen Games have something cool cooking up that’s going to probably be pretty hot soon. Portal Knights is headed to PC via Steam Early Access on February 25 and based on the trailer and screens, should make fans of games like Minecraft and Fight the Dragon quite giddy.
Confession time: other than watching a few friends play and taking over for one when he had to take a phone call (I got to beat up on some Creepers and do a bit of building for maybe half an hour), I haven’t really played enough of Minecraft to have a decent impression of what it’s all about (whaaaaat?!). But I’ve sunk too many hours into many of Fight the Dragon’s short user-created maps and appreciate much of what that game has brought to the table in terms of customization and how easy it is to get into while being incredibly challenging and rewarding.
Portal Knights looks like a ton of fun based on the trailer alone that shows it’s got a bit of backstory to it. The art style is slicker and more appealing than the two aforementioned games, but as usual, graphics are subjective and gameplay is absolute. So it’s in the “What happens when I pick up a controller or mouse and keyboard” stuff where my main interest lies. An adjustable camera view is hopefully in the options mix, as the trailer’s combat sequences are a tad too close in for my tastes. Okay, I hate getting jumped by off screen enemies or not knowing how much room I have to run away screaming when trouble gets too close. Your mileage may vary, as usual.
Mining and crafting aside, if the fantasy elements of the game can grab players from the outset and keep them hooked in for the long haul while getting regular content updates and fixes, Portal Knights could be a contender to the throne. We’ll see soon enough, though.