The Mark of Kri

The Mark of Kri Box Art

 

Overview

Kri is an action-adventure game featuring a strong, silent, hero protagonist named Rau who seems inspired by films like Conan the Barbarian and The Beast Master. In fact, one of his allies is his spirit guide Kuzo, a black bird that acts as his scout and is a very direct reference. The look and style of this game is one of its trade-marks, providing well detailed animation cut scenes and story telling very much like a Disney film- only this one seems to come from some dark forgotten studio vault at Disney Studios. The reason being that this is isn't a kids game and contains some very up-front and brutal fatalities and death moves that players can perform.

Speaking of death moves, at the time of this games release - 2002 (U.S.) and 2003 (World) by SCE San Diego, Sony's in-house American studio- the game was marketed for its unique combat system. This system allowed players to "mark" their intended victims, allowing Rau to perform button mashing combos and quick reverse strikes seemingly at will. The goal of which was to provide a mechanism that didn't involve the player having to constantly be moving and adjusting their avatar's position to get a strike on target. In this system, as long as an enemy is marked, Rau will turn and strike depending on his orientation at the press of button.

This game isn't all hack and slash though. There is a nice mixture and balance of stealth and sneak killing combined with straight out brawling and long range attacks. While the game has only one playable character, as it progresses players can get new weapons that allow Rau to mark even more enemies at once and produce wildly big combos and kills at once.

The main story of Kri is a little on the short side, only 6 levels in the story mode, the game does offer some unlockable items and very challenging arenas. The arenas become unlocked if players complete a series of unique level challenges during the story. In the arena, players may do either a time trial mode or body count mode, both are pretty self explanatory. And once again, there are a series of challenges that players can do to unlock content such as art work and player costumes.

Plot

The story centers around a young man named Rau, a young, brave, and impetuous warrior who has grown up under the tutelage of his adopted father, Baumusu (pronounced Bow-ooh-moo-sue). Being young and seeking adventure, Rau accepts a request to help his local tavern keeper by ridding the local forest of some bandits that have begun appearing in the country side. With his sprit guide Kuzo, Rau sets off and quickly begins to grow his name and reputation as a great warrior, the last part in thanks to his sister who never fails to recount his heroics to any that would listen. All is well until one day Rau is contracted by a mysterious old man to perform a task for him. Despite his uneasiness, Rau accepts and soon learns that this decision would lead him to his ultimate destiny and put the lives of those he cares about at great risk.
 

Platforms: 
PlayStation 2
Genres: 
Action Adventure
Developer: 
Sony Computer Entertainment America

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