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Bringing Balance to Crusade Reviews
on 18 November 2011
First of all I should point out that I have been playing games on a number of hardware formats since the days of the ZX81 and Spectrum for those of us who can recall that far back. I have had most modern consuls and enjoy a huge range of games and have completed almost every game I have bought.
Cursed Crusade takes you back to the 13th century during the times of much disquiet and religious ignorance (read personal ambitions and human greed) and where battles with sword, shield and mace were commonplace.
The action gives you a third person perspective of a knight with a strange infliction of 'the damned', a demon like curse that haunts you for the bloody deeds of your forefathers. You battle your way through various 13th century castle landscapes taking on armoured foes with a variety of weaponry.
Using a weapon causes it to sustain a certain amount of wear and damage and before long you need to replace the weapon for a newer one, which is normally sourced from your latest victim you have just bludgeoned or slashed to death. The combat consists of just the X,Y and B keys used in combinations to perform various moves in a similar fashion to DMC4. I have to say the explicit nature of the combat and the way you stab victims with your sword in various body parts, chop into their torso with an axe or smash their head in with a mace never fails to disappoint even after many hours of play. Despite the criticism, the combat is actually excellent as you need to time your moves carefully, parry, block and counter attack to avoid taking a pummelling yourself. For those who think the combat is mundane, crank up the difficulty level and have a play through again!
Yes admittedly the graphics contain the odd glitch here and there and the voice dubbing is not the best we have seen, but again, no more so in my opinion than the graphical glitches in the reportedly brilliant Dark Souls where the duff camera angles and intruding scenery frequently and infuriatingly blocked your view of the action causing multiple needless deaths. What reviewers haven't said to date is that whilst the voice-graphics dubbing isn't perfectly timed, the quality of the voice acting itself is very good and the expressions of voice and the body posturing of the characters is a damn sight better and realistic than a lot of other recent AAA games I've played.
The game occasionally has a light hearted look at things but this does not detract from the atmosphere at all. I've read that the lack of 1000's of on-screen foes in a so called crusade spoils the game and that the half dozen or so enemies taking you on at any one time hardly constitutes a battle zone. Come off it guys, it would be nay on impossible to cater for 1000's of foes at any one time and other games such as COD etc. don't try to recreate that level of foes either. If you allow yourself to play the game without any preconceived ideas, the background clashes and constant burble of people fighting or rioting in the distance does create a welcome bit of atmosphere inferring a wider war is underway somewhere very near you.
The game does not deserve the biased and overly critical reviews it has attracted. Yes, there are some weak points, but every game has those. The combat technique is reliable (unlike Dark Souls), the graphics are generally excellent in creating the right atmosphere and the game is just good fun to play. I might not have paid £49.99 for it, but now its reduced to closer to £20, it's certainly value for money and worth a go.