Most Southeast Asian players may have already heard of Nagas, Kinnarees, or the Garudas. As for the Thai, Himmapan should be a prominent place. For everyone else, however, the side-scrolling hack & slash Krut: The Mythic Wings offers a unique insight into the mythology and legends of Thailand and wider Southeast Asia that we don’t often see in games. In this review, we will check whether the title is a good game in addition to its promising premise.
We slip into the role of the mythical bird creature Veera, better known as the brave warrior of the Krut, to free the fabled city of Ayodhya from the clutches of the evil ogre warlord Zurah. Since every hero needs a special skill, we receive the powers of the title-giving “Mythic Wings,” which should give us the decisive advantage in the fight against numerous henchmen and bosses.
If the many foreign names in these two paragraphs already confused you, you should be prepared to lose the story thread quickly, as technical terms and names are dropped frequently in the game’s numerous VN-style dialogues. Especially if you haven’t seen the Thai animated film Krut – The Himmapan Warriors, which picks up on the classic saga surrounding the legend of Himavanta and serves as a template for the game. So the lore background is not to be scoffed at!
Luckily, you don’t need to know the entire backstory to quickly realize that Krut’s story is a typical hero’s journey, where good must triumph over evil. However, the numerous dialogues and allusions provide a good entry point if you want to delve deeper, especially if Southeast Asian mythology is your thing.
Gameplay-wise, much like its narrative, Krut: The Mythic Wings is as straightforward as it is challenging. In classic genre style, we fight our way through essentially linear levels from a side perspective and thrash all opponents with the help of our powerful double blades. All while we charge a bar by collecting orbs, allowing us to use our wings, unleashing flight mode and powerful shots that will enable us to target our enemies from afar.
Mastering combos, improving our skills with experience points, and sometimes quite crisp boss fights change the action, but the game is still over after almost 3 hours. That’s how long it takes to beat through the handful of levels.
After all, the environments vary, ranging from lush tropical coastal beaches and brown deserts to a visually stunning battlefield on the high seas while an impressive storm rages. Graphically, Krut cuts a good figure despite the limited 2.5D perspective, where the pretty animations of the characters, in particular, know how to shine.
Krut’s feel is okay but still suffers from a few weaknesses. On the one hand, the fights are pretty demanding, which requires clever timing of the combos attacks from light and heavy attacks and long-range attacks. On the other hand, the controls are often too imprecise to use skillfully. Attack chains are not executed correctly or, if so, can’t be canceled. The movement is also too inaccurate, often unintentionally letting us end up in one of the numerous deadly abysses. Nonetheless, we fought to the end and were glad to have successfully mastered the battles.
It’s a shame because the fights are fun, and the level system reinforces the feeling of getting stronger. However, the progression here is a bit too slow, so it takes at least half the game before we begin to feel like the mighty warrior we’re meant to embody.
Krut: The Mythics Wings scores big with its unusual scenario and the pretty graphics but only offers mediocre play. Sadly, since the idea of playing a hybrid of close and long-range combat with melee and flight passages is not bad at all. Overall, the gameplay seems too linear and too down-to-earth to really inspire. Only the soundscape of the game is even worse, which unfortunately has hardly any influence on the events and doesn’t fit the setting very much. We were really annoyed by the repetitive battle sounds, which we quickly switched off.
Fans of the movie can certainly have fun with Krut: The Mythic Wings and those looking for a challenging sidescroller won’t be too disappointed. For everyone else, a playthrough is only recommended if you are willing to forgive its weaknesses and are still interested in diving into a new, Southeast Asian setting.