'The Legend of Korra' Gets A Platinum In Bending

October 27, 2014

Avatar: The Last Airbender will go down in history as one of the most beloved animated series of the 2000s. It's approach to story telling, action sequences, and character development helped move animation forward, both for the genre as a whole, and for the network that it aired on, Nickelodeon. Its sequel, The Legend of Korra kept that tradition alive by telling the story of another bender, the titular character Korra, over the course of four books (seasons). Korra's first video game adventure takes place between books two and three, pitting her against a new foe as she tries to regain her bending abilities, while dealing with the repercussions of opening the spirit portals at the end of season two.

Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Activision

The Legend of Korra is Platinum Games' first, and only, licensed game, with the original property coming from Nickelodeon (which is, full disclosure, also part of the Viacom family). Platinum is typically known for crazy, over-the-top experiences, like MadWorld, Bayonetta, and The Wonderful 101, but Korra is a bit more scaled back of a project for the studio. While there are signature Platinum elements that shine through in this release, it's actually a fairly big departure from a lot of the work that they have done in the past.

At the beginning of the game, Korra is stripped of all of her bending abilities by a mysterious old man. It turns out that the villain, Hundun, has escaped from the spirit world through one of the portals that Korra opened, and now, while in the physical world, he is wreaking chaos. Korra is one of the few benders that can actually stop him, but first she must regain her bending abilities, before searching out Hundun to banish him back to the spirit world.

The game's levels vary as Korra battles through each stage. Much of the game puts players in control of Korra as she punches, kicks, and bends her way past waves of enemies. However, there are challenging segments where she must navigate tight corridors with her trusty sidekick, Naga, ala Temple Run, and other parts where she has to battle some serious bosses. Also, once the game is completed, a pro-bending mode is unlocked, which is reminiscent of the competitive matches from the series.

The Legend of Korra can be found as a digital-only title on PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, and on PCs for $14.99.

Fans of The Legend of Korra will undoubtedly enjoy this supplemental piece of Korra's story, giving a little more insight into what happens to our heroine between seasons, and that's really the best audience for this game. While there are pieces of this release that other players can appreciate (collecting items, upgrading Korra's skills, or trying to best their Naga runs), the whole package might not strike a chord with someone that isn't really a fan of the series. Keeping in mind that it is a moderately priced, digital title, fans of this female bender should walk away pleased with the experience, while everyone else might be better served spending their time elsewhere.