King Arthur Hands-On Impressions

The upcoming summer movie will become an action game this holiday season courtesy of Konami.

King Arthur, an upcoming film based on the mythical leader, will hit theaters this summer, and Konami is readying an action game based on the movie. You'll get to take control of five heroes from the movie: Lancelot, Guinevere, Tristen, Bors, and Arthur himself. We got to take a look at and play a work-in-progress version of the game and found a pretty entertaining combat experience therein.

The crux of King Arthur's gameplay is pure hack-and-slash action. You'll be able to fight enemies by stringing light and heavy melee attacks together, and as you fight without taking damage, your character will begin to glow, denoting that your power has increased. Some enemies can be dispatched with just a few chops, but others we saw that wielded shields required heavy attacks before we could break through their defenses and do some damage. You'll also be able to switch to a ranged weapon at any time--Arthur used a bow, for instance--and you can lock onto faraway enemies to make aiming a much easier affair.

King Arthur will also feature a lot of combat on horseback. The mechanics here are essentially the same as when you're playing on foot, although of course you'll have a tremendous advantage against enemies on the ground. Your mount will provide a couple of extra abilities, though--you can have the horse kick out its hind legs to take out enemies behind you, and you can make it rear up and pound the ground in front of you, which creates a shockwave that stuns enemies briefly.

Overall, King Arthur's combat engine seems to be shaping up nicely. The game's plot and locations will mirror those found in the film, so anyone who enjoys King Arthur when it's released will want to keep an eye on the upcoming game version. Konami says the release of the game will be timed with the film's DVD release this holiday season, so look for more on it in the future.

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