Kiborg Preview

Kiborg Redeemer

When you think about it, it’s been a while since we’ve gotten a real and honest brawler. In a sea of fast-paced hack-and-slash games and character action titles, it’s hard to think of any grounded games where you just repeatedly punch people.

Thankfully, Kiborg is here to fill that niche while also being a roguelike because that’s what’s cool these days.

Kiborg is a fast-paced melee combat roguelike with a very simple premise: Kill whatever shows up. It’s light on plot, menus, presentation, dialogue, and anything else that could stand between you and caving someone’s skull in.

Kiborg‘s demo gives us access to four missions, which are just a handful of fights in different arenas. The player has access to a few basic combos and can also pick up different weapons that have their own movesets.

Dispatching of the basic grunt enemies is probably the most satisfactory part of the game, as they stagger and give good feedback when being hit, even if the game uses the same cinematic execution every time you kill one of them.

Unfortunately, combat stops being fun as soon as you move on to stronger enemies, which barely react to being hit, making combat feel stiffer than it already is. The lack of moves and how prone you are to being ganged up on also don’t help with making a good first impression.

One of the game’s most interesting ideas is that your character’s limbs can be upgraded with robotic parts. The default main character is a generic bald guy straight from the mid-2000’s era of gaming, but it’s cool that each upgrade changes him more and more into a robot.

The designs for the robot parts are solid, and the robotic transformations are a nice visualization of how far you have gone in a run. For the most part, your robotic appendages don’t give you an immediate gameplay change, aside from the few leg ones that modify your dodge into other moves.

Itemization in general just feels like getting more health or a specific damage effect when doing certain combos. It’s definitely not one of the worst roguelike itemization systems out there, but it’s also not interesting at all.

Kiborg‘s current demo is pretty short and ends in a fight against a cyborg boss with giant metal arms. That boss fight is probably the best part of the demo, as the boss actually feels more responsive and active than most enemies in the game.

There is also an extra boss fight you can unlock that adds another boss to that fight, but I’m definitely not invested enough in Kiborg to bother with it, especially since you seem to only have one shot per save, and I don’t plan on replaying the demo more than needed.

Getting to the end of the demo and not wanting to play again was enough for me to realize that Kiborg isn’t exactly fun as a roguelike. Almost every run feels exactly the same, and despite being able to choose different robotic upgrades, the game doesn’t make them different enough to incentivize trying different builds.

Kiborg is a low-budget brawler straight out of the Xbox Live Arcade era of gaming. It’s not particularly exciting or interesting, and it doesn’t feel any different from shovelware that came out 10 years ago.

The game’s animations may look nice, and the robotic upgrade system is definitely cool on paper, but there’s not much else going on, to the point where even writing this short preview has become an endeavor. There’s simply not much to talk about when it comes to this game.

Sobaka Studio’s other brawler, Redeemer, seems to have been received much better, so there’s a chance they could still turn Kiborg around, although it doesn’t seem likely.

Kiborg is set to release at some point on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows (through Steam).



Fan of skeletons, plays too many video games, MMO addict, soul-like and character action enthusiast.

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