Portal Knights Impressions – Xbox One
Portal Knights is a wonderful cross between Minecraft crafting and a somewhat deep RPG game. With a number of classes to choose from, tons of ways to upgrade your characters stats and abilities, and the chance to create wonderful buildings and worlds, Portal Knights is more than just a Minecraft clone: it is a more in depth, and personally a much more fun experience – yes, I said it!
Don’t get me wrong, Minecraft is a ton of fun, but I’ve never been drawn into that building and crafting game like I have with Portal Knights. Everything about this game intrigues me, and the possibilities for future expansions are something I’m pretty excited about. Seeing as the main page has a DLC tab, I assume we are at least getting something!
When you first launch Portal Knights and begin a game, you will get the option to pick from one of three classes: warriors, archers, or mages. The warrior class is probably the easiest to understand and master, so it is a good option for those playing for the first time. The archer and mage take a bit more knowledge to fully comprehend and take advantage of, but are – at times – more rewarding than playing as a warrior.
Portal Knights is pretty straight forward: there are 47 worlds to unlock and explore. Moving through the worlds is as easy as finding the portal and completing the portal using various colored blocks. From time to time, a boss level will appear, and these portals are much harder to complete. However, once you do get to these boss worlds, a satisfying and rewarding battle looms.
Each world has a specific biome, with plants, minerals, and enemies exclusive to that world. As you progress through these biomes, you encounter more difficult enemies and portals that will take more time to find and finish. Enemies in the first world are Level 1, in the second world, Level 2, and so on. You earn experience by completing a variety of tasks, including resource collection, defeating enemies, and performing quests for various NPC’s scattered around each level.
The progression is pretty smooth, and I never felt I had to grind to move from one world to the next. That being said, grinding isn’t the only in-game mechanic that could sideline you from the main story line. Crafting – whether necessarily for better weapons and armour, or whether for fun, to create a home – is something that will take up the majority of your time in Portal Knights. While you only begin with a basic workbench that allows you to craft basic wooden weapons, you can slowly level your bench up to open new and unique crafting abilities. Once you have the anvil and forge, for example, you can begin smelting various metals into ingots, which can then be used to create metal weapons and armour.
It’s the aesthetical crafting that gets me really excited about Portal Knights, however. By the time I entered world 4, I knew that I wanted to build a house to store my overflowing bag of goodies. Between the seeds I had collected – which can be used to plant crops for future harvesting – the blocks I had gathered, and the furniture I had pillaged, my pack was too full for more goods. I returned to the first world and began building my own home.
I’ve already sunk hours into designing and building a house, and I’m nowhere near complete. I’ve got a kitchen, work room, bedroom, and balconies and porches, all of which have been meticulously planned and expertly built. I’ve saved resources and time by taking everything I possibly could when looting dungeons, including lights, shelves, wardrobes, beds, and yes, even doors. But I quickly realized that this wasn’t even the most fun I would have playing Portal Knights. There was something I hadn’t tried yet that would top it all: multiplayer.
Bringing in a friend to help create and fight in your own world is outstanding, and the game rewards those who help friends out. While the items you craft and place in a world are not transferrable – unless put back into your inventory – anything you collect – including experience and money – will transfer back to your friends game when they leave. This makes helping with a hard boss rewarding for everyone. It might propel you to the next world, while giving your friend some much needed funds and experience.
With Minecraft launching on the Nintendo Switch this past month, that game has received loads of attention once again. I really hope that Portal Knights doesn’t get lost in all of that, because it’s a fantastic, and frankly better – in my opinion – experience that is accessible to all video game players. Check it out and let us know what you think!