The First Templar Updated Impressions - New Quests and Rescuing Marie

This action adventure game will chronicle the decline of the Knights Templar in ancient Europe. We take an updated look.

The ancient legend of the Knights Templar touches on such themes as honor, sacrifice, betrayal, and really bad bank loans. Haemimont's The First Templar will take on these themes in a cooperative action adventure game that, impressively enough, is being built on the same technology that powered the studio's recent tropical-themed strategy game Tropico 3. However, this time around, there aren't any pina coladas or getting caught in the rain; nor is there any magic or high fantasy. Instead, The First Templar is a game in which you'll play as a Templar knight embroiled in a conspiracy that eventually leads to the order's downfall.

Our demonstration began with a quick run-through of the game's first area, the landing docks on Cyprus, which is the Templars' base of operations. This sunny Mediterranean island acts as the game's early tutorial and is generously narrated with cutscenes that set up the story of your character and his first companion--a sturdy knight who brings his sword and shield to bear on part of your quest.

You meet the grand master templar who is deep in prayer and then learn how to fight in melee combat. You'll perform quick swings of the sword, block incoming attacks with your shield (properly timed shield defenses briefly stun the attacker), and use a power attack ability to shatter your enemies' shields. In this area, we received a story-related quest to rescue one of the king's missing messengers, though we also quickly picked up a side quest to free local farmers from the scourge of curiously organized bandits equipped with knights' armor and weapons.

These pesky warriors fell quickly in the face of our aggressive swordplay and were knocked flat on their backs so that they could be finished off with a coup de grace attack (without which they would once again recover and attack us). In most cases throughout the game's 10 expansive levels, you'll have a primary story quest and an extra side quest or two that will yield bonus rewards. These include extra experience points that will count toward your adventuring group's development along the game's four-pronged skill tree, which includes specializations in combat power, speed, and toughness.

The First Templar will have a melee combat system that will let you cleave a man's shield in twain.

We then skipped ahead to a later mission to rescue Marie, the game's other playable companion--a feisty female freedom fighter. Marie wields dual daggers in close combat but also, later in the game, wields a crossbow to attack from a distance. This mission started off in an abbey run by the dreaded Inquisition (whom, sadly, no one expects). In this mission, our two stout knights appeared to spring the mistakenly imprisoned young lady from captivity but were told by the abbot that there was no mistake (the Inquisition doesn't make those) and that the woman was not to be released.

At this point, we took a stealth-based approach and quietly walked behind the abbot to eavesdrop on his conversations with various members of the clergy (while taking special care to keep a healthy distance so we weren't detected). We eventually discovered that the abbot held audience with an evil brigand who had led powerful enemies against us in a previous mission and that the young lady we sought to rescue had been rousing the rabble in the prisons below. The cold-hearted cleric gave the brigand clearance to murder all prisoners to avoid a full-on uprising, which was our cue to scramble down a nearby secret passage into the dank dungeons to engage in some stealth gameplay.

The First Templar's stealth gameplay doesn't seem amazingly complicated and gives you the option to use a simple, context-sensitive command to switch from your usual manly gait to a stealth mode. When you and your companion enter stealth mode, enemies appear on the game's minimap with cones of vision to indicate their field of view--the area you must avoid to prevent your capture. At some points, while sneaking through the dungeon, we snuck behind some giant barrels and used them as cover with a single button press to hide behind them.

Someone order a stealth kill? Coming right up.

After sneaking past a few groups of guards patrolling the donjon's secret entrance, we made our way into the prison proper and past groups of wretched captives who reached out to us from behind bars toward Marie's cell. Because there were a few more scattered guards in the area, we had an opportunity to try out the game's stealth kills, which you can perform automatically from a stealth position if you sneak up on an oblivious enemy and press a button to perform a context-sensitive attack. In this case, we performed a gruesome throat slitting. We then released the sharp-tongued Marie, who joined us in battle with her dual daggers. On this rare occasion, all three characters were onscreen at once, though during most of the game, you'll control a single character joined by a companion (a la Resident Evil 5) and have the ability to freely switch control between the two characters in single-player. Or you can play cooperatively with a friend via shared console or online with a no-strings-attached, drop-in, drop-out system. The First Templar will be released in early 2011.

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138 comments
crow33100
crow33100

An ARMY of TWO Medieval Version lol

JFH_PSfanboy
JFH_PSfanboy

This actually sounds quite cool and doesn't remind of AC.

lindallison
lindallison

Weird that 'Creed, at least among the commentators below, has somehow trademarked the crusades. AC had a moronic interpretation of a very interesting time period so...I'd say that slice of historical inspiration is ripe for the plucking.

ompongjj
ompongjj

Templar will be killed by an assassin next time around ^_^

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

I wouldn't look forward this game, but then, I saw this: "However, this time around, there aren't any pina coladas or getting caught in the rain; nor is there any magic or high fantasy." Now it have my interest; an original medieval game; and I liked the idea of switching control between two characters, it delivers a tactical sense, that is missing in the nowadays games.

d3a7hr0w
d3a7hr0w

this game is developed by Abstergo ;) I'll follow it with great interest it seems awesome

PERVERTOR
PERVERTOR

it all makes sense now, the assassin order influentiates ubisoft to create a game to tell the world the truth about the templars, and now the templars, in an attempt to deceive the world about their true plans, create a game to antagonize AC, or Ubisoft's staff is composed only of assassins and Haemimont/Kalypso only of Templars.

jollybest1
jollybest1

how doe's this look like assassin's creed i don't know......did you play as an templar in assassin creed?, is this game stealth based? (it has stealth but not that good), ac had Ogres or whatever was that thing????, in ac did you had a companion??? .........ac one thing this game another thing

tokicsek
tokicsek

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

tippiify
tippiify

I didn't see the game "in motion".This is a prerendered vid nothing else

Uhagi
Uhagi

Some time period as AC, but a whole different take of the region. At this point the game does not look as good, but it may be fun to rent it for a few days.

xGlenn11x
xGlenn11x

@ Majkic666 Before you think you know someone, don't comment. What I said, was this game LOOKS like something similar to Assassin's Creed. Gameplay, setting, etc.. Obviously it has nothing to do with Assassin's Creed. I never said that if you learned to read the comment I actually posted. By Assassin's Creed 0, we mean a really bad game that looks similar to the Assassin's Creed games.

OultawVR
OultawVR

looks like a complete rip off of AC

Majkic666
Majkic666

@xGlenn11x It looks like you are one of those that does not know much about gaming and games.... This game has nothing to do with assassins creed, it has something to with Knights of the Temple and Knights of the Temple got released much earlier then assassins creed

jpkustra
jpkustra

Is that Shatner's voice in the trailer?

SunSpot
SunSpot

freakin religious games like this just piss me off.

xGlenn11x
xGlenn11x

It's story does look good, though until I look into it some more I am a bit skeptical. Like raimunds said, this looks like Assassin's Creed 0, basically, a wannabe. Hopefully it will be good, but only time will tell.

Majkic666
Majkic666

Cant wait for this game :) looks like it is going to have a great story :D

MasterOfSprites
MasterOfSprites

This game looks like it plays nothing like Assassins Creed. And the leap of faith has been a part of the crusaders legend WAY BEFORE AC, not to mention you don't even know that's what he was doing. I am so SICK of this "rip off" BULL****!

Dragonblade01
Dragonblade01

*sigh* and now it seems that any game that utters the word "templar" will inevitably be compared to AC.

OdinssonThor
OdinssonThor

dragoonera go play Knights Of The Temple...very good Crusaders game...first 3d action game my ass

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

@Marasca2: Watch the final boss battle be Altair.

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

I can see how this could be a very fun game to play (with a friend at least) but the game mechanics themselves aren't anything new and they don't seem to be trying to improve upon older methods.

FiddleJohnny
FiddleJohnny

That jump at the end a bit too similar to the Leap of Faith, don't you think? Nevertheless, this looks like a promising game. The Crusades are always a good (interesting at least) time to visit.

dragoonera
dragoonera

Amazing!The first action 3-rd person game for the crusaders! This look a bit like The Witcher graphic & a bit from AC - good days commin' for PC lovers!

DeathSoul96
DeathSoul96

i don't care that is an ac ripoff or not... i just want to play as the templars :D P.S.and kill trolls ("Fake and Gay *player cuts troll's head off*)

Marasca2
Marasca2

well, i always wanted to play as the AC templars maybe this is my chance

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

wow, astrocious voicework. might be cool, might not be, but he needs some latin lessons, and some advice on speaking old english too. damn. i doubt it's an AC rip off, it doesn't even look like a free running game.

SXTC
SXTC

Listen to yourself CoolMB101. I'm glad you are not in controll of what happens in the gameworld because from the sound of it, you'd make swimming, shooting, talking, etc.. illigal just because it's allready present in another game... I don't see how a dive cannot be used in diffirent games as it is a normal action in RL aswell.

CoolMB101
CoolMB101

Well if it's an AC rip off, then it should be a fun game, but I'm sure there is no way it can top the AC Saga.....also the gameplay and graphics look kind of weird.

Zandan
Zandan

AC ripoff. Enough said.

Hm1911
Hm1911

@Soggy2002 how did you know it was a leap of faith? maybe he was just.....committing suicide

MrGoodKill
MrGoodKill

Best part of this article was the Monty Python references.

Chickenesta
Chickenesta

@Soggy2002 right, the term leap of faith didnt exist before AC...

reka10
reka10

looks like crap... wtf is an ogre doing in there anyway? and i agree with soggy this looks like assassin's creed but with a dog took a dump all over it.

Soggy2002
Soggy2002

It looks like a rubbish templar version of Assassin's Creed. I mean he just did a leap of faith, come on...stealing ideas much?

mdboomer
mdboomer

Halo'd be thy name? I thought it was hallowed. Maybe he's praying to the Master Chief!

greygaurdianx
greygaurdianx

This could be a great game. Others seem to doubt it, but I will reserve judgment until I play it.

AceBalls
AceBalls

Looks "promising".. but also looks like very early stages.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

Remember guys - this is Kalypso. Their track record is less than stellar.

srdjan311
srdjan311

gunna keep a close eye on this one

FLiPMaSTa1
FLiPMaSTa1

This actually looks quite interesting. I'll be checking this out Im sure.

the-wayward
the-wayward

there was an old game called " knights of the temple " I thinks this one looks too much like it ...... by the way ....sneaking in a platemail .....FAIL !!!!

caspapin
caspapin

pretty sure he just said Halo'd be thy name, not hallowed, HALO'D

the-wayward
the-wayward

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]