March 9, 2015 6:00 AM | Joel Couture
It's no secret that I love speculative fiction, but as I get older, I see that the scope of the stuff I've read and played has been narrowed to mainly North American stories. That's a shame, because, as I've seen over the years with Japanese RPGs and some of the amazing games I've played from around Europe, unique cultures and beliefs bring so much to speculative tales. To truly travel worlds you've never seen before, you have to look beyond the viewpoints of the cities and countries you grew up in. That's a big part of why I'm excited for Aurion, legacy of the Kori-Odan, an action RPG made in Cameroon, Africa that tells a fantasy tale of betrayal and spiritual power informed by unique African myths, stories, and traditions. Well, that and the gorgeous combat.
Inspired by manga and fighting games, Aurion, legacy of the Kori-Odan is the story of Enzo Kori-Odan, prince of Zama, and wife Erine Evou. Exiled by a treacherous brother-in-law, Enzo and Erine have to unite the warring tribes of their homeland and fight back. Doing so means using Aurionic power, which combines elemental abilities in up to 21 combinations of your choosing to create devastating effects. The trailer shows some Dragonball Z-level fireballs, blasts, and glacial attacks, so expect some powerful payoff to the combinations you concoct. Beyond that, its hand-to-hand combat draws a lot from fighting games, with the prince and his wife executing some acrobatic, mid-air combos and multi-hit strikes against their enemies. Fluid and filled with visual effects, this looks like one solid brawler.
Behind it all is a story that is unique to the culture that created it. Developer Kiro'o Games is sticking to an important design philosophy, what they refer to as a spiritual vision, that draws inspiration from African stories and folklore to create something the world hasn't seen before. While not trying to reinvent the wheel with gameplay, they are trying to bring the cultural wealth of their country to genres that have not seen much of it. It's a wonderful idea that's created some nice background for their game's story and world, creating an experience I'm excited to try now that the game has successfully passed through Steam Greenlight.