KurtzPel Press Preview
Last Friday, I took a trip into KOG’s latest game KurtzPel, which is entering Early Access today. It’s a far cry away from Elsword, which is more PVE focused, with the addition of PVP for only the bravest. Instead, KurtzPel has a PVP focus, with the PVE being the side-content. I spent some time playing with some of KOG’s GMs, several of which I’m familiar with thanks to covering Elsword over the years. One of the things that I think makes KurtzPel interesting, is that it’s a Monster Hunter-style game! Despite being an Arena PVP MMO, the PVE itself is more like Monster Hunter or Dauntless. Those two Hunter-games are incredible and are doing big things right now in their genre, but KurtzPel is offering something the other two aren’t – skill-based, intense PVP. Farming gear won’t help you in this game. It’s all about how good you are versus how good they are. I also really like the anime style of the characters, and how the armor does not add stats that I saw but was purely cosmetic. I’ve heard there are cosmetics with stats on them, and if you can purchase them with real money, that’s not a good look. So you can focus your look on how you want to be portrayed, then show off all your skill with the awesome Karmas (weapons) you’ve acquired.
However, I will say that if you don’t have a secondary Karma, you shouldn’t enter PVP matches at all. Stick to the PVE until you can unlock your second. What are Karmas? Karmas are what the character classes are called, and they’re based on what weapon you’re wielding. Through the PVE missions, you will reach a point where you can unlock one of three new Karmas, to be your Secondary Karma. This is swapped in and out in combat with your Tab Key, so you can create incredible combos using these. You can spend real money to unlock other Karmas, but it’s important to note that you still have to go into the game and earn the Karma through the PVE quests. So you still have to earn the new powers after you purchase them, which I think is interesting – you just purchase the quest-chain. However, there’s a minor problem here that I hope is addressed: WHAT DO THESE DO?!
There is no way to try out the Karmas, to know what they do in advance unless you go online and research and figure it out for yourself. This should be a feature in the game, being able to see the various Karmas, or to try them against dummy enemies, to figure out what works best for you. Nothing is worse than putting time and effort into unlocking something, and finding you either 1. hate it, or 2. it doesn’t work for your playstyle. It would be even worse if you spent real money on it that cannot be refunded. I got lucky, and the Secondary Karma I unlocked is exactly what I wanted. So I do hope this is a thing that will get implemented into the game. The actual PVP is fast and furious, and it almost felt like I was playing Ultimate Ninja Storm or a fighting game like that.
You can do lots of incredible juggles, so it also felt like an Anime Fighter (but in 3D). Launching is pretty easy though, and it can be performed on some PVE enemies too. With the Greatsword (as that was my main Karma) you just hit three specific attacks and jump at the end of the third (LMB, LMB, RMB, I believe – I honestly forget my inputs), you uppercut them into the air and chase after, so you can keep hitting them. So you the idea is that you combo them into the air, switch to your other Karma (in my case, Fire Magic Staff) and bombard them. It’s a cool system, but you don’t have very much in terms of evasion/avoidance. You have a tactical dodge, but it doesn’t go very far, and it has a pretty long cooldown. I’d like to see this perhaps changed a bit, for both PVE and PVP. I enjoy that all of the Karmas feel different and fun – from the Ice Magic to the Bow & Arrow, but you can absolutely be obliterated by virtually anything in this game.
PVE’s a little different from PVP. It’s the same size arena, but you can (and should) learn the patterns of these monsters. Each enemy has a Break Meter, that once it’s brought to 0, it refills and the monster is stunned. If you break it a second time, they’re knocked down, and you can really lay in the damage. When they have their break meter full, they take significantly less damage, so it’s key to work together with friends, bash that meter down to bits, and hold your big special attacks until they’re lying prone. I enjoy the PVE more personally, but I don’t think it’s going to be an incredibly long story. I do hope they keep adding encounters though. I was sort of hoping the maps would be large and you’d crawl your way through them, but they have a pretty small team, so what they’ve managed to do is still pretty damn impressive. There’s still a lot I have to learn about KurtzPel, such as what the Rebirth System is, and what it does for you, but the actual gameplay was fun, and I think hardcore PVPers who want to show their skill will have something to look forward to in KurtzPel. The only major qualm or concern I have is with monetization. I have a distinct fear that it’s going to feel pay-to-win or predatory, or that at least, players might not trust how it is presently offered. It looks like these things can be found in game, but are locked behind horrific grind-walls.
Two KurtzPel Founder’s Packs will also be available today on Steam. The Founder’s Packs are limited release items and include Steam Exclusive Costume sets, ‘Vanguard Combat Suit Set’ and two DLC’s, Diabolic Witch and Blazing Fist, that will activate the missions needed to unlock weapons, additional content and rewards.
Access was provided for the purpose of this preview.
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