What is Korgan?
Korgan is an episodic dungeon crawler action game that puts you in the role of three heroes. The prologue is free to try on the marketplace (see link at the bottom of this page). Currently only chapter one, The Shadow Legion, is available to purchase for $19.99. The player can switch between three main characters, each with their own attacks and skills. The prologue is broken down into smaller chapters that contain mandatory and secondary objectives. Killing enemies and completing objectives earns XP which is used to unlock perks that strengthen your characters. Objectives are typically quite simple, some examples are: kill a number of enemies, collect a number of items or open a set number of chests. There is a handy arrow marker on your mini-map which points you in the right direction, which was appreciated.
The three types of characters are: Warrior, Hunter and Mage. The Warrior is a dwarf who specializes in melee attacks. The Hunter is an archer who uses her bow and arrows to take down enemies from a distance. Lastly, the Mage wields both fire and ice attacks which can freeze enemies in their tracks. Throughout your adventure you will encounter enemies who are immune to certain attacks, which will change your fighting strategy. Each character can use their regular attack, a special attack that is tied to a mana bar and a super attack that appears every so often. As you defeat enemies they drop items such as crystals, weapons, potions and other items that can be equipped or sold. These have easy to decipher stats that make equipping the best stuff simple to understand. Everything else can be sold at a shop in Chapter 1 for coins. Level up your character to unlock perks, equip the best gear/weapons and seeing where the story takes you are the basic elements of Korgan. There are also multiplayer elements which include: local PvP, co-op and survival modes.
What I liked about Korgan…
I give the developer Codestalkers a lot of credit for releasing a free prologue with full 1000 gamerscore. Anyone who is slightly interested in playing the game has no excuse not to try it out. While Korgan certainly won’t be the next addiction for hardcore fans of Diablo, it makes for an accessible dungeon crawler that doesn’t make you think too hard. The controls worked fine, the level layout was easy to navigate and had more variety than I was expecting. When you die, the game restarts you at the beginning of the level but you don’t lose any of your progress. Enemies will respawn, but I just looked at them as opportunities for more XP. I loved not being forced to complete an entire level in one sitting, I could save and return at any point without losing progress. The boss fights were enjoyable but not overly frustrating.
What I didn’t like about Korgan…
The objectives in the prologue and Chapter 1 really lack variety. As I mentioned in the intro, you will be killing certain types of enemies, opening a set number of chests and basically running around the map doing other trivial things. The soundtrack in the game is quite enjoyable except it loops far too frequently. When a level can take around 30 minutes to complete, that is a long time to hear the same song on repeat. Sadly, there are no achievement points tied to chapter 1 currently; although the developer told me that will be changing in time. With no cost to play and earn 1,000 gamerscore, there is much less incentive for players to buy DLC.
What are the achievements like?
Korgan is an achievement hunter’s dream; there are 11 achievements which can all be earned in the free prologue. They range from killing bosses, collecting crystals, disarming traps and dying a certain number of times. I estimate a typical completion time at approximately 2 hours. If achievements are added to the DLC chapters, this length of completion and difficulty will obviously change.
Korgan is a unique game to review for a hand full of reasons. Xbox One players can simply download the prologue and decide for themselves to invest in DLC. While it is not the most polished game, it does have some charm and simple appeal for fans of the genre. I was even more impressed when I heard the game was basically developed by one man! I genuinely hope that Chapter 1 and every following DLC gets achievements, making them more enticing to purchase. I would suggest keeping your expectations low and your mind open when trying out Korgan. You might like it more than you would expect.