The Cursed Crusade, developed by KT Games, is set during the Fourth Crusade. It is a troubled time where tens of thousands of people would join this army of God for all sorts of reasons. You will follow two people on their horrifying quests, one is named Denz De Bayle a young Templar, the other, Esteban, who is a Spanish thief, who somehow gets mixed up in all of this and is my favourite character. As you start playing through the game you start to find out why Denz De Bayle is on this Crusade, to find his Father, you also find out that Denz is inflicted with a mysterious curse.
Gameplay itself is very much what I would expect from a 3rd person action-adventure. You begin your journey in a medieval setting and as you go along, the game will drop in some training showing you how to defend and attack. The game is very much based on button bashing, there are so many different combos you can do within this game, it’s amazing. As you go through the game you will be marked at the end of every mission and this will grant you victory points, which you can spend on more finishing moves, and there are a lot let me tell you! You do have the chance to get more by finding more secret objects, like chests, which are placed randomly in each level, some are easy to find and others and hidden very well. There are also other options to gain bonus points such as ‘Purifying the dead’, to do this you need to enter your demon mode, with the press of a button you switch to the demon side of your character, which is what the curse gives you. You have a great mixture of weapons in the game, axes, maces, long swords, shields and much more, including crossbows and the such. Weapons also break. Luckily the enemies you fight against drop theirs as well. Many times I have charged into battle wielding two swords, swung them and they have both smashed! You also acquire points for your demon side which will help your character. You can add points to things such as health, the more points you add the more health you get, and there are many more options you can add to.
The gameplay is very much guided by cut scenes and in The Cursed Crusade there are a lot of cut scenes. They’re all in the in-game engine however, sometimes there can be just too many which can be annoying when you get killed as the cut scene for that mission will start playing again. You can skip them, but it would would have been nice to have the game restart that mission. To me the game is mainly meant for co-op and I found myself enjoying more when a second person was involved because the game style changes. You can then start setting up attacks and also doing combos together in finishing moves which is a great touch. It’s also the banter you can have while you’re playing, setting up attacks and switching gear to complement each other.
Graphics in The Cursed Crusade are not that bad, the look and feel that KT Games have gone for, to me, is spot on. The way the castles and buildings look really make you think that they are real, but what really stands out for me is the characters and the armour they wear. They look amazing and I was astounded at the detail, the weapons look really good but also feel like they have weight to them. There really are some nice moments in the game when you stop and look at something and go ‘wow that’s really nice’, but then you have a few bugs that creep in and really mess it up for you such as people just disappearing when you looking at them in a cut-scene. Also cameras getting stuck on walls which can sometimes make small rooms very hard to play in, so if you’re being attacked then you have just keep on smashing those buttons regardless.
Overall The cursed crusade is not a bad game. It just has some rough edges that need to be smoothed out. The story they are telling is a good one, one of redemption and that’s never a bad thing. However, for me there are a few too many rough edges, the constant barrage of cut-scenes wore heavy on me after a while, as did the button bashing. There is a vast array of combat manoeuvres you can get with your victory points, which is great but all I needed to get through the game was to bash X and Y really. But, if you can put up with that then The Cursed Crusade tells a great story which I actually very much enjoyed.
Reviewed on Xbox 360