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Legend of Korra
Legend of Korra

PlayStation 3 | PlayStation 4 | Xbox 360 | Xbox One
Genre: Action
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Activision Classification: M15+
Release Date:
October 2014
The Legend of Korra Review
Review By @ 01:42pm 27/10/14
While Nintendo fans lose their minds over the phenomenal Bayonetta 2, Xbox and PlayStation owners will find only a little consolation from Platinum’s other new game. Seeing the legendary action developers releasing a game under the watch of Activision, who have been synonymous with terrible licensed releases for a while now, is a bit odd. And while The Legend of Korra is far from terrible – in fact, I sort of suspect that Platinum is incapable of making something genuinely awful – it’s easily their least interesting game.

The Legend of Korra feels like an attempt to make a kid-friendly twist on the action style that Platinum mastered with Bayonetta. It succeeds in paring back its action to a few core fundamentals: there’s a light attack, a heavy attack, counters, blocks, dodges, and four different elemental powers to unlock and switch between. There is, in fact, massive potential in the combat system. There are moments where The Legend of Korra feels spot-on, as you level up your abilities and rip through hordes of bad guys with masterfully composed combos. The underlying ambition shines through in these moments, although fans of the show will be disappointed – the plot is paper-thin, and callbacks for fans are all but non-existent.

But the whole time, you’re aware that you’re playing a rushed product. Visually, The Legend of Korra is a mess. While the cel-shading works and the animations are uniformly solid, the environments are terribly low-detailed and enemy models repeat over and over. It looks very sharp on the PS4, but it also feels like a lot of the textures are placeholders that the team never got to polish. There’s very little in the way of enemy or gameplay variety either. The same basic handful of enemies appears over and over (despite Platinum’s usual penchant for mixing things up), so by the midway point of the game you’re already a bit bored.

It’s still clear that there were people on the development team who threw their hearts into this project, though, even if they only had a few months in which to do so. The different elemental powers all feel unique, and switching back and forth between them in combat is great fun, even if battles occasionally more or less demand specific powers be used over and over and over again. Many of the boss fights are total grinds, repeating over and over throughout the game with little variation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all dull. While the game does get dull before the end of its four-odd hour runtime, most new enemies are fight to fight the first two or three times they pop up. On normal difficulty there’s a bit of challenge to proceedings, and although some will argue that the timing required on counter moves is a little too strict I enjoyed working out the different patterns for each enemy’s attack.

Each level has plenty to find if you explore and revisit them, with later powers giving you access to new areas, but there’s very little incentive to play through the levels more than once when the whole game is already pretty repetitive. There are also a handful of Temple Run-styled levels and an air-bending battle mini-game that unlocks after you complete the story, both which are fun but feel largely pointless. Korra lacks the heart and extravagance of Platinum’s best work, but it is, at the very least, a step above the absolute dross Activision often releases for licensed properties. It’s faint praise, and this isn’t a game that I can actively recommend, but it’s not a total train-wreck either. It won’t set your world alight, nor will it ruin your day – it’s a game that you can’t help but sit on the fence for. It’s certainly not the game fans of the developer or the series wanted it to be, though.
What we liked
  • Combat is well animated
  • It has the feel, when it’s flowing well, of a Platinum game
  • Battles can occasionally be quite fun, especially once you unlock a lot of abilities
What we didn't like
  • Flat, boring environments
  • Very little for fans
  • Extremely repetitive combat
We gave it: