By Colin Malone / April 21st, 2015
Izle is a unique Kickstarter game that’s currently in development. There’s currently a free Alpha demo of the game out, though, so I thought I’d give a spin and tell you guys what I thought of it. So, is Izle a game worth backing, or are you better off committing your money elsewhere?
The game begins with a nifty interactive cutscene detailing the game’s backstory. Basically, it sums up to: at first there was only darkness, light appeared and created stars, planets and people, and, then, the darkness tried to destroy it all and pretty much succeeded. Now, you’re one a few survivors who escaped your planet being destroyed by the darkness and you’re searching the universe for a new home. It’s not unlike the backstory of Xenoblade Chronicles X, actually.
After following a magic light, you find an island with a lighthouse floating in the middle of space. After landing there, you begin a series of tutorial quests to get a small taste of how the game will play. It’s main feature is the ability to create new islands as the game progresses, each of which serves as a new level for you to explore. Each one comes with different enemies, challenges and treasures. You can then terraform these islands in a Minecraft-like fashion using a pickaxe to dig and placing “voxels” to create structures, such as stairs or bridges, in order to find hidden treasure or bypass mazes. By doing this you can craft better weapons to hold off the darkness from invading your new home.
Any time you die, you’re transformed into a powerful shadow warrior. You’re stronger now, but you also have to worry about invading shadow monsters who rain down and corrupt parts of your island, even possibly destroying them. You can use Shards of Light to dive them away, but this reverts you to your weaker form and prevents you from using that Shard for crafting. This becomes an interesting tradeoff as you decide how you want to use your Shards and your priorities in protecting your new home.
Combat-wise, the game plays like an action RPG as you run around exploring the islands you’ve created and fighting enemies on them. Also borrowed from Minecraft is a crafting system where you can create your own gear and weapons to suit your fighting style. The tutorial starts you off with a wooden sword, but you can create bows and arrows, as well, if you prefer a more ranged style.
Movement is a little awkward, since it uses the arrow keys to move rather than the WASD keys, so it’s difficult to move and use keyboard shortcuts at the same time. Likewise, combat is a little awkward, as there’s no way to actually aim at the enemy you want to hit. For me it mostly involved running up to the enemy and swinging my sword at them until they died; there was very little skill or strategy involved. The enemies themselves, though, are actually fairly interesting. There are ogres, skeletons (some armed with swords, others with bows), a frost giant (which I fought in a lava maze for some reason), a stone giant and the darkness monsters, which would invade the islands every time I died and attack me, the ogres and the sheep.
From what I can see, with its terraforming and crafting systems, Izle looks like a fascinating game with a lot of potential. While the game does have some issues, it’s still in Alpha, so they’ll probably be worked out before release. I’ll definitely be backing this one on Kickstarter, and I think you should, too. If it gets funded, it’s set to come out for PC, Wii U, PSN and XBLA. Try out the demo if you’re skeptical, but, either way, this game is definitely worth a look.