Overall, could have been better. A lot of things feel loose, or just half-hearted.

User Rating: 4.9 | Knights of the Temple II PC
With no review from Gamespot on this game (I only really trust this site), I lingered on whether or not this would be a decent game to get. Since I love those medieval-era action/adventure games, I decided to go for it.

It isn't necessarily a horrible game, but that doesn't really mean it's a decent one either. I'll just start from how the game treats you from when you actually start the game, and when you are playing.

When I get to a title screen, I usually goto the video settings first thing. Going to the menu, I find only three options that directly adjust the quality (the others are brightness, gamma, etc.). The filter method seems to have no effect whatsoever. Other than the resolution, and generic "Graphic Level" you have no control over how the game will look. If you have a slower card, you can't turn off shadows or shader effects.

But that doesn't even mean the game has good graphics. From a distance it looks very dark, and grungy. With nice shadows and a very depressed drab look (in a good way). Up-close, it's all bland and un-detailed. The NPCs are used over and over, and for no predictable reason you'll come across one that says one phrase that does absolutely nothing for the story (such as, '*Cough* *Cough*'). Which makes you wonder, why even make a sound clip for the NPC (which you'll find countless others saying the same one) if it doesn't really do anything?

Then you get to the tutorial. Basically that means you run around a ( for the most part) un-related level while very vague (and sometimes inaccurate) pop-ups are thrown at you telling you how some of the mechanics work. For example, when it first tells you about the special abilities menu, it tells you to try to use "Curatio" (which is the game's name for heal), bad thing is it doesn't give you points into the option which in turn means you cannot use it. Although sometimes special abilities won't work (in the main quest) for no obvious reason. The tutorial, as a whole, just leaves you guessing about some things, and you go into the game not fully knowing how most of the things work.

When you finally go for the singleplayer campaign, you'll be treated to the traditional introduction movie that tries to sum up the last game and set the story in motion. Although the graphics engine isn't fantastic, it does do a competent job at rendering "scenes". But it's the NPCs that set everything off. The character's heads are bland, with no detailed features. When they talk, nothing moves on their faces. The basics of the faces in this game is usually a blurry blob with barely distinquishable eyes and maybe a mouth. Not to mention their limbs are very "diamond"-like. In which, they taper off at joints such as the elbow. And last time I checked, most people don't run around with an elbow about the size of 4 inches. But keep in mind, this does not afflict the main character (although the face, and voice parts do), and his armor shines, and has decent sized biceps.

But for the most part, the NPCs are usually wearing robes and/or are hunched over so you don't notice the above as much.

The story element of the game is very cookie-cutter. It doesn't really try to throw a curve at you, or keep you guessing. What you see is what you get. For every main level of the game, you run around trying to fiqure out the mini-quests that help you get to the bigger quest. Although this "adventure-mode" is poorly implemented, and once again it's due to the NPCs.

Now with that out of the way, lets talk about the combat. This is probably the most disappointing feature, and made worse by the fact that it's an action game. The actual combo-system is pretty competent, as far as combo-systems go. But then again, you can't really mess up that seeing as how many people and games have set the example. Though, it does seem a little hard to pull of a desired combo in the heat of combat. Probably because you get hit before you can finish it, your opponent is blocking it, or one of your other opponents hits you in the back while trying to do it. The main problem is that the combot features a lock-on system. Which puts your back to your two or three other enemies, leaving you open to a royal ass-whipping.

The actual fighting, is less fighting, and more hoping you can hit your opponent before he spams his shield, or another one pricks you in the spinal cord.

Without discussing every detail of this very-lacking game, it's needless to say that it is a disappointing let-down. You should look elsewhere for your medieval-action needs.