Adventures are more fun with a friend. The Last Oricru PAX demo first hand impressions

It was positive to see a lot of focus on shared gaming experiences on the PAX East show floor this year. Different multiplayer party games t...

It was positive to see a lot of focus on shared gaming experiences on the PAX East show floor this year. Different multiplayer party games through vast co-op experiences and bringing couch co-op as well as online experiences often seamless integrated. I grew up when Arcades were the place to get most of your gaming time in and it was always a social experience and even with consoles becoming common place we had tons of fun when friends would come over and play with you. Yes I love a deep single player adventure, but playing together just feels so special and if you can get a deep co-op campaign it is just chefs kiss.

One of the games that caught our eye was "The last Oricru", an action RPG that bring a strong emphasis on dynamic  story telling and is build with a single player as well as a co-op experience from the start.The game looks like a medieval fantasy setting, but do not be fooled as it is actually very much a sci-fi story. You find yourself on the alien planet of Wardenia where your spaceship has crashed landed .To complicate matters, this planet is in the middle of an ongoing 3 way civil war for control of the planet between the Naboru, Ratkin and the Brokin.  It is your task to navigate the physical and political dangers of this place while getting a way off the planet. This will not be an easy task, after all you are the last of the Original Crew, the last Ori Cru. Along your way you can use your might with skill based combat and your wits to have the local factions help you. But be careful who you make your friends and who you make your enemies as you try to influence the course of the war and find your way out.

We got to try our hand on a coop session that took place in a harbor area. Under the guidance of Tobi from Prime matter who took control of the main character I controlled the co-op partner which in this game is a hologram who can still pack a punch and take out any enemy. Because the main story belongs to the main player and the game is drop in /drop out the other player gets to adjust their stats at a whim in order to adjust playstyles when they want. Inventory is shared between the players and the characters can share items in order to make the best powered co-op duo for each session. 

Combat in the Last Oricru feels deliberate and impactful and plays much like a souls type game. Pacing yourself, planning your approach and knowing when to block or dodge is important for every encounter.  As a duo in co-op you can chain-link each other to create a electronic beam of sorts that can trap and seriously hurt your opponent when player one uses his special attack

It is an interesting mechanic but it takes some time to get used to and I messed up my helpful tour guide Tobi a few times and ending up going down quick. Perhaps I was a little too aggressive or I was not reading his intentions well enough and zigged when I should have zagged. Why you are downed you can be revived by your partner as long as you do not fall off a cliff or into the water. If you do, or they cannot get to you , you can respawn but you will be put at the start of the level and it can be a bit of a trek to get back to the action. Since you play a hologram I am a bit confused why I do not spawn right with my partner, but that is perhaps a question that gets answered in the story, I do not know. Certain abilities like spell casting are using a mana bar. This bar does not just recharge, you have to use a special tool or weapon to fight with in order to pull this from your enemy and recharge your mana/stamina bar.

The narrative portion of the game influences the gameplay in different ways but most prominently in the way of enemies, pathways to go etc. In the demo we played once cozied up with one faction to then start the same level again being besties with the other faction. Both were in the same area, with the same end goal but they led through different paths and the quest giver in one was not a boss to fight in another. Each of your choices and actions have consequences to your story. This of course will allow for multiple playthroughs to experience the other side of the narrative and approach levels in new ways. 

The couch coop is planned to be included at release and they team is working also hard on creating an online experience, but they are deciding on the best way to approach it and still have a strong communication piece added to the gameplay without the need to rely on discord or sitting next to each other. Their goal is to have a fun game where you can strategize and have fun together by talking about what you are going to do in real-time and they want to preserve that feel of local coop in the online portion. 

The Last Oricru is build on the unreal 4 engine and will see a release later this year ( 2022) on PC and Consoles and you can download a demo on steam right now.

Game: The Last Oricru
Publisher: Prime matter
Developer : Goldknights
In development for: PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC


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