Ambitious little game which I recommend to all hack and slash enthusiasts who feel that the seasons lately have been dry
I got this one with not much hope....because while not cheap, but still, in a time when new games from big publishers are crossing 50 bucks a game, 35 is still relatively less.
Anyway, the gameplay, and the whole situation, is quite a lot better than I had hoped.
It's hack and slash with RPG elements thrown in. You kill, you gain XP, you use XP to buy new attacks, power ups combos etc. Plus, you have an AI controlled (or another human player if playing on LAN/Internet player to aid you. In singleplayer mode you can switch between the two characters...there are three in total and each have several unique skills.
The premise was actually what attracted me...a game about the Templars...and I'm a fan. While it's not a historical game, still you get plenty of sword swinging action as a Templar knight.
The story is your run of mill conspiracy movie stuff. Templars...hidden treasure...holy grail etc. Handsome knight and his brother in arms...then comes a uber cleavage chick with daggers and so on. You get the gist.
One thing I did not like however that the story is narrated in a slightly vague manner. The cutscenes take place during gameplay and provide some overview as to what's happening, which is fine, but between levels, the story is updated using simply a voice over....so it kind of seems that we make big leaps and decisions without actually understanding their importance to the tale.
Now to the gameplay, specifically. Well, like I said, there is plenty of sword swinging action. You can chain attacks together to perform combos (once they are unlocked) and depending on what character you choose to play, you have different types of attacks.
There is also some stealth gameplay thrown in, which makes the whole thing a lot more interesting (although the stealth thing is quite shallow mind you....just thrown in for variety...but good a for a change)
As for hit detection and stuff, the siege towers take two hits, so it seems as though the first one goes through..but it actually does not. One thing that is impressive in this game is that aside from the absolutely harmless little glitch I experienced in the beginning with a weird cutscene on the top left corner, this game has been bug and error free.
The levels are linear, and there is no scope of straying off the path. If you want to finish the side quests (which effects little save to XP you gain) you need to keep your eyes open) otherwise you can blaze through the game and still manage to find a lot of hidden stuff, because the game literally throws a lot of secrets in your face. And it's fine, for a first playthrough, unless you are Jygglag and totally need your first game to be perfect.
One thing that I find missing, is that this game lacks a overview map. The different chapters (or levels) are quite large maps and although the way is more or less linear, but still, some sort of overview map would have been helpful in completing the bonus objectives.
Graphics wise the game is OK....Think Divine Divinity - Flames of Vengeance....better than that perhaps, a little. And it works very smoothly on highest settings on an average rig.
The controls are sharp, and a PC player would feel totally at home, and then there is always custom mapping.
The voice acting is decent. Not stellar, but decent.
All in all, a fun little game. If you're a hack and slash enthusiast, this is recommended. That said, if you're short of money and were looking forward to this game with high hopes of accurate historical depictions and realistic combat...well...look for this in the bargain bin and don't buy it now.
Still a really nice little game...
PS : Watch out for the black knights, the elite soldiers of the French king. Rumours are that they can keep on fighting even after losing a leg.