LifeisXbox’s Kao the Kangaroo preview | With the sudden increase of old-school 3D platformers like Crash & Spyro returning to the modern era of videogames, there was no doubt that the gloved kangaroo, Kao, would return for a new adventure as well! We got to try out the newly released demo for Kao the Kangaroo for Steam Fest, which features an almost fully playable level! The full game is currently set to release in the Summer of 2022 and is being developed by Tate Multimedia.
ℹ️ Previewed on PC | Preview code provided by PR/publisher, this preview is the personal opinion from the writer and is based on an unfinished game.
What the demo has to offer so far
When I first saw the game’s visuals, I immediately thought of Toys for Bob’s art style, which (obviously) reminded me of Crash 4 and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and this is what initially got me interested in the game! And I will be honest when I say this; the graphics do in some ways look better than the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, but that’s just my opinion on this one level!
Now, the collectables! You’ve got runes, coins, scrolls, letters that spell “KAO”, hearts and gems. At this point in time, it isn’t really clear as to what purpose some of these have, but I did find them to be quite fun to find. The hearts will most likely give you extra health, allowing you to sustain an extra hit, but I was only able to find 3 out of the 4 pieces in this level, so I can’t really confirm this yet. There was also a hint towards the use of runes – these will apparently unlock new levels, according to some of the game’s dialogue.
Kao and his trusty gloves
Usually, platformers don’t really have a combat system in them, flaming a Gnorc in Spyro, jumping on a Koopa in Mario, doing a spin on an enemy in Yooka-Laylee or Crash, are usually instant kills. Kao the Kangaroo, however, is a little more focused on combat. The combat feels pretty good, but maybe there’s a little bit too much spamming involved? It would perhaps be quite engaging if there was some kind of combo involved in it, to force people to spam less – the higher the combo, the more coins that could be rewarded. There’s also a gauge that fills as you fight, allowing you to do a powerful move that hits enemies that are surrounding you at that moment.
A few minor issues
I played through the demo twice, once with a controller, and once with a keyboard. While the controller felt very nice, the keyboard did have one small issue. Well, not specifically the keyboard, but rather the mouse; the camera felt a little odd to use. It kinda felt as if I was using a block of ice instead of an actual mouse. Due to issues with the camera, I didn’t look around a lot, because of how clunky it felt. Again, the controller was completely fine with everything; the button’s positions felt logical, and the camera felt natural, and I found myself looking around a lot more.
Besides the gameplay sections, there are also a few cutscenes every now and then, and these feel kinda rough, to be honest. The biggest issue in cutscenes, for now, is the lack of sound effects. The game itself has a decent amount of sound effects, but it feels as if the cutscenes barely have any, making them kinda boring. The animations during these cutscenes look okay, but it would be nice if they were a little more lively.
The game looks incredible and the collectables are satisfying to collect! The combat feels like a very nice addition to a platformer, but it would be nice if it were a little more challenging! While the controls feel pretty decent, the camera for mouse & keyboard users can use some improvement. I’m really looking forward to this game’s release when it comes out this summer!
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