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The First Berserker: Khazan is a brutal hack-and-slash about an exiled general

Asura's Wrath vibes

Two characters clashing in The First Berserker
Image credit: NEXON

Nexon and Neople have announced The First Berserker: Khazan, a single-player action RPG from the Dungeon & Fighter universe. I’m not familiar with DNF, but going by The First Berserker’s trailer, it’s all about exceedingly grimdark blokes beating the paste out of each other. In this instalment, you play a once-proud general of the Pell Los Empire, who has been falsely accused of treason and sent into exile. He’s pretty miffed about this! Berserk, even.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe First Berserker: Khazan - World Premiere Trailer | The Game Awards 2023

The game’s press release makes it seem fairly generic - do combos, kill bosses, get equipment, unlock moves – but I like the looks of the footage. You get a range of weapons, from spears to dual axeblades, and the animations are swish. What's more, you’ll get to perform "brutal yet stylish" takedowns, such as picking a bro up by his ankle and smashing him into the floor repeatedly, which is also my method of getting the last bit of sauce out of a ketchup bottle.

The combat looks like it'll place more emphasis on dodging and precision parrying than blocking, which sounds thrilling from afar, but will doubtless upset and depress me when I actually play and struggle to beat the tutorial boss.

The aesthetic looks brown and gritty when you're zoomed out – the main character is a mass of scars and muscles, with flowing white hair - but zoom in and you get flat-shaded anime faces. The ranginess of certain characters makes me think a little of Bloodborne, but then, I’m over-eager to compare games like this to Bloodborne. The cragginess of the lead also reminds me of Asura's Wrath, though there sure ain't many QTEs on show in this one.

The First Berserker doesn't have a release date yet, but it does have a Steam page.

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Edwin Evans-Thirlwell avatar

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

News Editor

Clapped-out Soul Reaver enthusiast with dubious academic backstory who obsesses over dropped diary pages in horror games. Games journalist since 2008. From Yorkshire originally but sounds like he's from Rivendell.