E3 2011: The Cursed Crusade First Look Hands-On Preview

We enter the curse in our first hands-on experience with this upcoming action adventure game set during the late 12th century.


Developer Kylotonn is mining the holy wars of medieval Europe for its upcoming action adventure The Cursed Crusade. We stopped by publisher Atlus' booth at E3 and got our first hands-on experience with it.

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What It Looks Like: Most of the time, The Cursed Crusade looks like a violent, bloody third-person action game set in authentic medieval environments. The tone of the visuals is somber, which seemed appropriate for the game's subject matter.

What You Do: You play as Denz, a cursed Templar, who seeks a way to break the curse. Denz is joined by a partner, the mercenary Esteban, who can either be controlled by AI or by a second player via local or online cooperative play. The curse Denz bears may be a burden on his immortal soul, but it also comes in handy on your adventure. When your curse gauge is full, you can "enter the curse." This not only makes Denz more powerful for a period of time, but it also changes the look of the game. The environment changes into a fiery hellscape, and enemies appear as skeletal demons. It's a dramatic effect.

How It Plays: The controls immediately felt typical of third-person action games, making the game easy to pick up and play. There were a variety of swords and maces for us to pick up from fallen enemies, and because weapons degraded with use, it was in our best interest to pick up new ones from time to time. (A visual indication of a weapon's quality made it easy to quickly determine whether that weapon was better than our current one.) You have total freedom to configure the weapons you wield. You can equip yourself with a sword and a shield, a sword and a mace, two maces, or any other combination of weapons you find. Different configurations allow for different attacks. One of our favorite moves had Denz impale a foe on his sword and take advantage of this by whacking the impaled enemy with his mace a few times.

The combat had a satisfying weight to it, and in those situations where we were facing several foes at once, enemies didn't shy away from attacking us from behind while we were busy fighting someone else. This encouraged us to play defensively and keep an eye on our surroundings. We also equipped a crossbow for some long-range attacks, which switched the camera to an over-the-shoulder view. And we had a few opportunities to use the environment to our advantage. For instance, at one point, we grabbed ashes from a flaming brazier and used them to blind an enemy. Elsewhere, we kicked an opponent backward into a well.

What They Say: "Embark on a contentious quest for retribution spanning five chapters and 40 missions that promises to bring fire, death, and destruction to the great cities of medieval Europe. Easy to grasp yet deep in its execution, a weapon-based combat engine features over 90 combos, 130-plus weapons, and a timing-based counter system."

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What We Say: The Cursed Crusade has the potential to be a satisfying action adventure that makes good use of a tumultuous time in history. It's scheduled for release this fall for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. We'll bring you more on the game as its release approaches.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Emperor_Melvin

The price was lowered due to the fact that the game was pushed back a few times and Atlus cares about us gamers enough to drop the price for this small inconvenience.

Avatar image for simon1812

hmm...how odd, whats the deal with such a low price? game looks interesting BTW.

Avatar image for green_abobo

..the best news..we dont have to pay top dollar to enjoy a bloody good time. sounds and looks awesome, throw in some historical references/ lore and how could you possibly go wrong? im thinking about pre ordering as soon as possible. hopefully there'll be some perks for that too. any word of a demo in the works?

Avatar image for sirkarl1

looks awesome, finally a good co op game

Avatar image for WiteLite

i didnt know it was coming for pc. bye bye ps3 pre-order....hello pc awesomness!!

Avatar image for shaks101

Definitely getting this to play during the September period. Hopefully it will last me until Dark Souls or Battlefield 3.

Avatar image for timisdeath

CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for El_Esbirro

damn...money is starting to become a factor....

Avatar image for ReaverGod666

So many games, so little time. And even less money.

Avatar image for sina1374


Avatar image for Gothic_symphony

over 90 combos, 130-plus weapons, and a timing-based counter system." I've heard all that before and when the game releases,.... HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Just hope this is not messed up. The story looks interesting and who does'nt like slicing ppl up.

Avatar image for BombsAway16

"When your curse gauge is full you can enter curse mode." Girls beware - It must be that time of the month or if not you can overload your opponents ears with foul language. Game developers must hire special geeks who come up with these preposterous ideas whilst smoking wacky baccy. It looks like Assassins Creed with big choppers, visually pleasing but sterile.

Avatar image for magdoo1


Avatar image for ThexSilentxOne

What i say: Definitelty better then then that Awuful "Templar" game that came out earlier this year! I also say: VERY INTERESTING!! Might buy it, might rent it!! ATLUS makes some interesting games if you think about it. Just like NIS of America. Demon Souls, Catherine, Persona, just to name a few.

Avatar image for clever_inks


Avatar image for Mehdi-Y

Cursed crusade, check!

Avatar image for derek_brown

@shaks101 Amen to that bro

Avatar image for shaks101

@derek_brown Lol my fellow gamer ;) I feel your pain, I have a lot of games I want to. Best advice I can give is...as most games are coming after September +, use June/July/August to save up for them ;)

Avatar image for hulk2646

i wait for this game

Avatar image for shincorno

looks interesting

Avatar image for stonhengehill

i love this game

Avatar image for Razvan5000

Nice game!

Avatar image for derek_brown

ahhhhhhhhhh........i want the game so bad...looks extremely great......stop it....snap out of it..............i cant........i have to buy so many games........my game list is growing and growing!!!!!!!!!!! somebody help......

Avatar image for kian681

This game looks very promising and I definitely plan to pick this up on the release date .

Avatar image for syler4815162342

Looking good :D

Avatar image for darkanimne

totally agree shaks101 this game is on my list after getting NG3, battlefield 3, and MW3

Avatar image for AM8

This is one of the games i most wantedat this year!

Avatar image for denolitions

Looking forward to this one

Avatar image for Jackc8

Not too sure about that whole "enter the curse" thing. Is there some cinematic that you'll end up watching 250 times whenever that happens?

Avatar image for Blaiyan

I hope the timing based counter system isn't ridiculously quick. There's something so annoying about pressing a button to counter an attack just for it not to register.

Avatar image for June-GS

@Bubsy: Yeah, reminded me of The First Templar too.

Avatar image for shaks101

Looks like a game to get after FF13 - 2 and Skyrim. Definitely on my list.

Avatar image for bubsy6087

Looks like the First Templar with dropped balls.

Avatar image for Solamon

I'm really liking this game right about now. I'm particularly pleased with the fact that it has local co-op. Let's hope the PC version will have it too since it seems like so many developers disable that feature for some reason.

Avatar image for Lirsumis

Not to sound like a total psycho, but I hope this game features some meaty dismemberment. Much as I love the macho fantasy of hacking into a foe with a mighty axe, it kinda takes me out of it when I cleave straight through his neck and he just falls over bleeding from the chest. I'm not saying every hit should result in limbs flyin', it's just nice every once in a while.

Avatar image for zymbo

Looks pretty awesome. Pretty sure this game won't disappoint.

Avatar image for kennythomas26

I think this game is going to be awesome.

Avatar image for uglypinkmoose

if this is good I'll probably love it....would like a game like this to come out thats more realistic though....no rolling/hack n slashin n stuff.... just straight up bashing and clanking weapons trying to overcome the enemy ;)

Avatar image for devrindare

Its looks awesome like Assassin's creed, I hope it perform well also

Avatar image for blueboykc

@BravoOneActual atlus is quite awesome..

Avatar image for Craze_Maniac

This might be a great game. It has a lots of potential.

Avatar image for BravoOneActual

Something about this one has my attention. Of course being a devout member of the Atlus Faithful certainly doesn't hurt.