Rise of the Kasai
Continuing after the Mark of Kri, Rise of the Kasai picks up with the unexpected death of the hero Rau. If you're not familiar with the plot, it's the story of an evil spell created to destroy humanity. That spell was broken apart before it could be used however with the pieces being placed on six specific people. The strength of the spell kept it from being totally destroyed and could potentially be reassembled if the descendants of the original six could be found bearing the same genetic tattoo. Rise of the Kasai picks up with the Kasai, a group bent on putting the spell back together, getting close to accomplishing their goal and with the untimely death of Rau. So untimely was his apparent death that Rau's spirit guide was sent back in time to discover what went wrong. Ultimately Rise of the Kasai has a strong likeness to Mark of Kri, but is there enough different to make it worth while?
Unfortunately, that's not a definite yes. Rise of the Kasai is extremely similar to Mark of Kri including gameplay and graphics. The control system is almost identical with the main difference being the different characters you can now control. The problem is that although the characters have various weapons at their disposal, they're used almost the exact same way. Basically you face an enemy with the analog stick and select the button that appears over their heads to start attacking. Frankly after playing God of War, I had a difficult time getting used to the system as it felt more cumbersome and often I didn't have the patience to select a target before attacking. As long as the enemy was in front that was fine, but frequently I was attacking in the wrong direction (which did improve over time). I was also disappointed with the AI as well, with many brainless acts being committed such as charging an enemy when waiting is appropriate or the opposite.
The story was told in a clever manner however with well designed cutscenes and a plot that keeps the game moving even when the gameplay doesn't. In addition, I would have preferred to see more detail graphically in general but specifically in the environments to create a richer experience.
Rise of the Kasai frankly didn't it impress me. The controls seemed chunky, the gameplay wasn't diverse, and the graphics were average. It is held together with an interesting plot however and if you were a fan of Mark of Kri, you'll be satisfied with Rise of the Kasai. Otherwise rent it. Most will complete it in 10-12 hours anyway.