Platinum Games and Nickelodeon may be a match made in heaven.

SDCC 14: First look at The Legend of Korra

By Robert Workman, Jul 27, 2014 5:00pm PDT

Platinum Games works on some of the wildest action games on the planet. No, really, check through its line-up and you’ll find efforts like Bayonetta 2, Anarchy Reigns and Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. However, slotting right in with those action classics is…The Legend of Korra? Yep, Activision and Nickelodeon have teamed up with the developer to produce a new action-packed game based on the hit animated show. I was recently invited to check it out during a weekend event at San Diego Comic-Con.

The game focuses on Korra as she comes into contact with renegade warriors, who, like her, brandish some form of elemental powers. Luckily, Korra has all four to choose from, ranging between Earth, Wind, Fire and Air. Each one allows her to strike with both basic and strong attacks, which she can combine together to form devastating combo attacks. For example, with Earth, she can begin with basic strikes, but soon transform the ground around her into large blocks, which end up sending foes flying. The same goes for water, as huge waves crash around those who would dare challenge her.

What makes this cool is the Platinum approach, which allows you to switch between elemental powers on the fly with a press of the shoulder button. You can begin with a fire combo and, if you’re quick enough, wrap up with a water technique that can leave your enemy frozen for several hits. This is especially useful against boss enemies, including a large, electrically charged robot that we faced at the conclusion of the demo. He put up a fight, but thanks to Korra’s special capabilities, we left him lying with a devastating finishing move.

Finishing moves are actually designated to their own button, and while some may think it simplifies the game, it actually adds flourish to it. Once an enemy has a circle or B logo above his head, you can initiate the move, which launches Korra into some sort of fancy animation, having her knock away her opponent with utmost style. It’s really quite something, and fits right in with the Platinum mold.

Another sequence in the game has Korra riding her faithful steed Naga through city streets, while utilizing her special powers to keep from crashing. Naga is capable of cornering with ease and sliding under doorways, while Korra can help it clear large gaps with the help of an Earth-pushing double jump. She can also shoot fireballs at incoming objects, or activate a temporary shield in which protects the both of them against a one-time collision. It’s a fun little sequence, and a good part of the experience altogether.

Activision worked closely not only with Platinum, but with Nickelodeon, with writers from the show scripting the in-game events and various voice talents also taking part to bring the game to life. We only heard bits and pieces from the demo, but it was reasonably close in tone to the show itself. Also, the cel-shaded art style was nothing short of fantastic, with fluid battle animations and plenty of décor to take in. Granted, it was only one small part of the game, and Activision promised more recognizable locales that fans will love.

The Legend of Korra has something to offer for everyone. Fans will love the look and sound of the game, while hardcore action fans will dig what Platinum Games has done with the combat system. We’ll see how it shapes up when it makes its way out later this fall for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Steam/PC.

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