When I first heard about KurtzPel by KOG Games I thought it was going to be just another PvP (Player-verse-Player) fighter title with its own elements to have a unique combat style. Of course, this meant there would be some PvE (Player-verse-Enemy) options as well, but I wasn’t expecting how much of the story would take a role.
Starting off the game you are introduced to the story through an anime introduction cut scene that plays out like a real anime would on Crunchyroll. It starts mid-action and you quickly find out that KurtzPel is a type of person, or perhaps a super human, that is looked down upon by the majority of the human race. Watching a father die in order to ensure his daughter, supposedly listed as a KurtzPel, to escape with her mother. Then you come to a scene where you can make your own character and once you load into the lobby you find that it is a hide out for fellow KurtzPel to gather and work together in order to save each other. However, there is a bigger picture that isn’t really shown and the story is going to prove to be much more in depth than at first one would presume.
In the story missions, which is where I suggest you start, you will be fighting by yourself. This is a good way to get used to the controls of the game as the tutorial, or more so the lack there of a tutorial, doesn’t explain much about the game. You get the very basics, but much is left for you to learn on your own.
When you are selecting a mission you will be pulled into this overview map scene with all the missions laid out on the board. If it has an actual portrait image, it is part of the story, but if it just has a symbol of a demon face or swords crossing, these are the missions that you play with a fellow player. You can party up before going into a mission if you want to play with a friend, otherwise it will just team you up with a random player that is in your lobby as well. These missions are all labeled with their difficulty and game type, if it is a PvP mode, so that you know what you are going in to face off against.
As for the controls, they use a free roam option. This means that you will be in control of which way your character is facing, even if the camera isn’t always in front of you. This is how you can follow the quick movements of your enemies, be it player or AI, and make sure to land your hit. Each weapon choice will have a different play style, so the free roam will come into affect with which fighting style you choose to go with.
The things that aren’t taught to you in the much needed tutorial are actually pretty essential things to know. It took me playing with the menus and controls to find out that you can actual equip two different weapons and freely change between them mid-battle. So from the four options they give you in the alpha, you can mix the bow wielding attacks with the punch gloves for up close melee action. I personally went with mixing the bow and mage set ups as I like to keep my distance and both offer different attacks as well as super hits. The super hits are just special moves that you can do with your weapons, be it the rapid fire of the bow or a meteor sized fireball sent in the direction of your choosing for the mage. This can be abused slightly as you can use up your super hits on one weapon set, switch to your other set and use those super hits without missing a beat or waiting for the recharge. By the time you finish with the second weapon set of super hits, your first weapon set will be recharged and able to be used again allowing you to just use those the whole match if you wish.
When it comes to the PvP action, there are a few different modes. Capture the flag, Death match, and Capture were the ones I was able to play and they are all pretty self explanatory. Each match lasts five minutes and the team with the highest points at the end of the match wins the game. Simple as that.
After playing through the alpha, I am now expecting a pretty awesome story to see why the KurtzPel have all gathered together, what and where exactly is their hide out, and what is the problem with their existence according to the rest of the world?
There needs to be a much better tutorial that full explains all components of the game. This should include the different set ups, their battle styles, how their weapons work, what combat is like, how customization works, how the AP and other currency systems work, and everything in between. It felt like just being thrown into the game and being told, “There are missions, so just give it a shot and have fun! By the way, you can check out the options in the lobby and play with your customization options.”
More game modes for the PvP options should be available upon the games final release and the option to go through the story mode missions with a friend or solo should be an option. If the game is going to focus on being a 2v2 set up, then the story mode should also include the team of two to face that head on as well.
KurtzPel is a lot of fun and I did enjoy playing it. The free roam style battle with a moderately paced action set up provided a game that is easy to learn and hard to master. Many of the best fighting games are just like that and I look forward to seeing the full production of this title. Simply stating this is a 2v2 PvP game doesn’t do it justice at all because there is so much more to it!