L-Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiie-nheart: Cursed Crusade

By Alec Meer on November 5th, 2010 at 7:00 pm.

chop chop splat splat thank you yes

Question: how do you feel about chopping men up with swords?

a) Fruity
b) Disgusted with yourself
c) Will there be Achievements?

If a or c, you’ll probably like Cursed Crusade.

Much has been made of the fact it comes from the same publisher Atlus, who distributed masochistic PS3 hack’n’slasher Demon’s Souls, but as this comes from a different dev, don’t look too closely for similarities. Though it’s hard not to see them, in a way…

It’s due a PC release alongside the console-toys next Summer, and as you might have gathered is set in the Middle Ages, a period famous for its 130+ weapons and 90 combo attacks. And did you know that the Crusades spanned exactly 40 missions? Now you do.

The developer is, in fact, KKylotonn – a French outfit probably best known for well-intentioned oddities Bet On Soldier and Iron Storm. And also for the Blood Bowl remake, but they’d probably rather you didn’t talk about that.

Whaddaya think of the game? Suitably grim-dark-mcSplatty for ya?

Official-like Details:

Set against the backdrop of the Old World, two adventurers–both seasoned warriors–will quest across a Western Europe ablaze with the turmoil of a newly begun Fourth Crusade. Denz, a holy Templar, and Esteban, a roguish mercenary, may have different origins, but their motivations are the same: amidst the danger and despair of a new Crusade, to find the means to deliver themselves from a terrible curse that threatens to consume their immortal souls.

Key Features
– The Old World Burns–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.
– A Templar Cursed–Transform the world around you into a flaming red vision of Hell, increasing your strength and your ability to perceive hidden things, all at the expense of your humanity.
– Brotherhood of Steel–Split-screen or online, recruit a friend to assume control of the thief, Esteban, to join in the excitement of shared adventure.
– Intense, visceral 3rd-person action–Easy to grasp yet deep in its execution, a weapon-based combat engine features over 90 combos, 130+ weapons, and a timing-based counter system.

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64 Comments »

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  1. Nemon says:

    Nice to see it has the same patient enemies waiting in line to die as Assassins Creed has. You don’t see chivalry like that these days.

    • patricij says:

      yes, they keep running away nowadays…The bastards.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Guns were invented to shoot cowards running away. This plan backfired when we found out cowards could shoot at us from the distance they ran away to.

    • CreepingDeath says:

      Get a few friends together with wooden swords, have one of you defend while the rest all rush in at the same time to attack, then come back and tell me who ends up getting hit more? The defender, or your friends to the left and right?

    • D says:

      You yourself should try placing one of the friends behind you, while the other two or three attack from the front. See how long you can actively fight them without getting skewered in the back. This is what the OP talking about, not of some strange desire to have four guys hack each other up trying to reach you.

  2. Jason Moyer says:

    Blood Bowl? Do you mean Speedball? Or is this a project that’s somehow evaded Wikipedia…

  3. HexagonalBolts says:

    ‘as you might have gathered is set in the Middle Ages, a period famous for its 130+ weapons and 90 combo attacks. ‘

    haha, fantastic

  4. Teronfel says:

    The trailer looks nice but is it an rpg or you just hit guys with your sword?

  5. MadMatty says:

    wrong discussion i know, but check this out:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-november-4-2010/you-re-welcome—violent-video-games?xrs=synd_facebook

    today on the daily show…remember the RPS post on the “Game Gun” yesterday?

  6. Brian Manahan says:

    Do you get hats?

  7. noobnob says:

    I can see that Miyamoto Musashi taught that crusader how to dual-wield swords.

    It does look like a rather solid man-hacking and slashing game, but this one looks more promising to be honest.

    • D says:

      Not enough footwork. Games with swords are always missing the footwork. It’s hard though, I’ll give em that.

    • TheSarafanPriest says:

      Ah screw that,M&B is the best :3

  8. Jimbo says:

    This sounds a lot like The First Templar, which I think is being developed by the Tropico guys (?!?!?). Not sure if it’s been covered on RPS before.

  9. Lord Kanington says:

    Dissapointed…I don’t see dismembered enemies in the trailer. I miss Blade The Edge of Darkness…

    • Martin Kingsley says:

      BLADE. Fuck. That was such a good game. Such heft in the animations and the physics. Such difficulty! And if you died, it was probably your fault for being such a tosser as to think charging bold-faced into battle was going to end well. And gore aplenty. In every way, as close to a true successor to Die By The Sword (Carmageddon for the historical re-enactment set? Discuss!) as we could ever hope to get.

      In other news, Iron Storm? As in, “bloody bizarre alternate history post-WW1 shooter that shows distinctly Metro 2033-styled ambitions but about one sixteenth of the dev capacity” Iron Storm?! Yeesh. It’s been a long time since I heard that name spoken aloud. Crikey, as my countrymen are famed to say in times of excitement and/or desolation.

    • Hmm says:

      I had to google the title, because at first I had no idea what game you were talking about. It turns out you had Severance:Blade of Darkness in mind. AWESOME game, I even have it installed right now.
      We need more such games on PC.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Out of any game I’ve played, Severance still has the best lighting model.

    • nil says:

      One of the earliest proper stencil shadow implementations I can remember. Also, Zoroastrian backstory!

    • Oozo says:

      What about “Die by The Sword”? THAT was some quality swordy slashing. VSIM for the win! Monty Python and the Holy Grail-inspiredness to the front!

    • John says:

      Yes, Severance: Blade of Darkness had a fantastic melee combat model. It was basically a matter of memorising enemy animations, but it took about the whole game to do that, so it was always a challenge to the end.

      I actually prefer the combat in Severance to Demon’s Souls. In Severance you rarely fought more than 2 enemies at once, and so combat was very intimate and each fight was challenging and satisfying. In combination with the brutal sound effects and music, it was really something else. Demon Souls sometimes throws a lot of enemies at once at you, so it’s a little more hack-and-slashy than the close combat of Severance.

      Plus, in Severance you could cut off an enemy’s arm and beat him to death with it.

    • bill says:

      There was indeed something awesome about Severance. The lighting and shadows just made everything seem so SOLID and REAL. Maybe if i went back to it it wouldn’t be impressive by today’s standards, but in my memory it did indeed have the best lighting ever.
      It also nailed the way it used fog to give a sense of scale and distance.

      I really shouldn’t love it – it had no story, no characters, and a very generic setting – it was just combat and nothing else. But the combat, lighting and levels were just pretty awesome.

      I remember reading an old PC gamer preview of DBTS vs Severance – back when severance was planned to be much more ambitious with lots of physics puzzles and emergent gameplay – but DBTS was disappointing, and Severance was delayed horribly and then had it’s scope much reduced.

      Still great game though. DBTS not so much.

    • Martin Kingsley says:

      I’m so pleased a Severance-based love-in has now taken place. Gorgeous, brutal, and yet somehow graceful, also. (It also had great water FX, for which I do believe it did not deploy a pixel shader [2001, good lord, how time flies)

      Check it, unbelievers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztFbrd9DcDM

  10. W Main says:

    It’s the answer is A should I seek help?

  11. Premium User Badge

    mcnostril says:

    Bahahahaha.
    I remember seeing an early build of this last year when I visited their studio.

    Kind of weird seeing it now, all polished up and nice.

  12. Danarchist says:

    I see the prefunctory dual weapons is in place hehe. As a guy that’s done allot of actual sword swinging (exhibition, SCA, and even a horrible B movie scene!) I can tell you a guy with two swords is like a drunk girl at a bar in a short skirt. Every guy that has any clue what they are doin bee lines for em.

    (to the tune of timewarp)

    Its just a smash to the left…and then a chop to the riiiiight

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Well, obviously. Any guy who can handle two swords is going to be popular.

      Oh, wait, did you say you were an expert sword-handler? Sorry. :P

  13. KilgoreTrout XL says:

    Is this where I get to say “I played demo souls” and revel in the mystique that goes alogn with it? Because I did! And then I stopped. Still, not too bad. However, for all the comments about how hard it is, all it has is a save system identical to dead rising 2.

    Sheesh, Shadow-of-the-Beast-difficult it is most definitely not.

    p.s. this hack and slashy game looks sort of lovely. Ok, off to the bar.

    • Zyrxil says:

      What? No it didn’t. Dead Rising 2 has bathrooms all over the place, so you can save in the middle of missions. Dead Rising 2 also has fairly weak common enemies, whereas 50% of the enemies in Demon’s Souls were major threats.

  14. Tuco says:

    What about giving us Demon’s Souls, instead?

    • Premium User Badge

      mcnostril says:

      My fingers are crossed so hard for this to happen that they are ripping the fabric of time and space.
      Also, they hurt.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Yes. Demon Souls.

      Or at least a PC game like Demon Souls (but better, i mean more PC)

    • anduin1 says:

      its one of those times that Im happy I have a PS3 even though Im a PC gamer through and through. But Atlus never puts theirs console games on PC

    • ErikM says:

      I thought I was gonna like Demon’s Souls. Because I get that grinding self-loathing kind of gameplay that you get in games like that and like, Monster Hunter.

      But the constant dying got to me eventually. And there was only so many times I could run past the same enemies, kill them in the same way and dodge the same stones before I got bored of it.

    • Dominic White says:

      If you’re ever dying repeatedly in the same way in DS, you’re doing something wrong. Death is meant to teach you NOT to repeat that. Identify what got you killed, and avoid doing it again.

    • ErikM says:

      @Dominic

      I wasn’t saying I was dying at the same encounters, I was saying that I was dying. The game basically revolves around you dying on traps and hard encounters. Then you learn and adapt. But you still die, a lot. Which means that you will be running through the same corridors over and over again till you find that lever or whatever that lets you take a short-cut.

      That mode of gameplay wasn’t appealing to me, though I still understand the beauty of it.

  15. pupsikaso says:

    Demon’s Souls didn’t have any enemies just waiting around you in a polite circle for you to get to them in your own time.

  16. Severian says:

    This video gave me such a boner.

    Can I say “boner” on the internet?

    P.S. Facetious.

  17. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    The fourth crusade was the one where the crusaders couldn’t be bothered to sail all the way to Egypt, so they sacked the christian Constantinople instead.

    It’s a weird setting for a game, but I think this might work if they play the cursed-angle right. “Demonic forces compelled the crusaders to strike against a fortress of Christianity” or something like that.

    • Deccan says:

      It wasn’t so much that they couldn’t be bothered, just that, since they had no transport of their own, they had to hire boats from Venice. The Venetians played them like the rubes they were, the crusaders ended up in debt up to their eyeballs; so when they got to Constantinople, some bright spark said, “Ya know, there’s a lot of sweet loot *right here*” and the rest is history.
      Many pieces of looted Byzantine statuary and suchlike can still be seen in Venice today.

    • Bhazor says:

      Yeah I do hope the developers realise that the crusaders were the bad guys.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I want to play a game where you’re a warrior for the Byzantine Empire for once. Or maybe you could be one from Trebizond just after Constantinople falls? With a chase scene on a dromon!

      History nerd, I am.

  18. A-Scale says:

    Can we officially call this type of game “Man-cuts”?

  19. Handsome Dead says:

    Project Dark is coming out.

    Talk about that instead, not some Lord of The Rings: Return of the King reskin.

  20. Hmm says:

    Namco Bandai is publishing Project Dark from the creators of Demon’s Souls, but they have announced it for consoles only… Sad. :( Even more sad considering Namco are publishing The Witcher 2.

    I’m mentioning it here because it looks like Cursed Crusade will be a simple hack and slash devoid of RPG elements. Not that is a bad thing, but it’d be awesome to have an RPG-ish kind of experience set during one of the Crusades.

  21. malkav11 says:

    I was really hoping this was going to be about an addon for that new Crusades game from Neocore that involved, I dunno, witchcraft and other fantasy type stuff.

    I mean, besides the ghost of Joan of Arc and whatever other ludicrous nonsense was in the preorder DLC pack that apparently can’t be obtained anymore. :(

  22. Quintin Smith says:

    “Recruit a friend to assume control of the thief, Esteban,” is probably my new world-favourite bullet-point feature.

    I may be drunk.

  23. ZIGS says:

    Atlus publishing games for the PC? Surely there must be some kind of mistake. PC gaming is dying, why would companies start publishing titles for it now?!

    • Haplo says:

      I think this is Atlus taking a risk. Yeah, you were being sarcastic but there is actual weight to this statement.

      Firstly, Atlus USA being the, well, USA branch of Atlus (a Japanese company, which is owned by someone else who are supremely unimportant to me) are generally big on the consoles because, well, that’s just about all the company makes.

      Demon’s Souls was from From Software, as well, was published and localised by Atlus USA. Atlus USA’s had a whole string of successes in America recently, with Persona 3 and 4 (and Trauma Center, which is hilarious) being surprisingly well received, allowing them to throw out old remakes of their older games and, yes, publish Demon’s Souls, their most successful game to date.

      Successful enough that they sent out emails to their Faithful, praising them and giving them lots of thanks for their support in making Demon’s Souls so well-received. It was pretty sweet.

      Anyway. Now that they have had a string of successes on their traditional platforms (PS consoles), this looks like they’re willing to put it on the line and take a gamble on a platform they’re not altogether familiar with.

    • Bhazor says:

      A Shin Megami Tensai game? On the PC? Why that’s impossible!
      http://megaten.aeriagames.com/info/features

    • devlocke says:

      @Bhazor:

      Is that any good at all? I love the SMT universe, and would be thrilled at the prospect of a PC game but it looks like an MMO, and I assume it’s Asian, and no one ever says anything good about Asian MMOs, especially free-to-play ones. Is it grind and microtransaction hell? Does it capture the SMT vibe well enough to be worth playing anyway?

  24. Bhazor says:

    If buying this man stabber will in someway encourage Atlus to release Project Dark and the next Persona game on PC then I will buy five fucking copies.

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  26. adonf says:

    Blood Bowl is made by Cyanide, not Kilotonn.

    Though there may be some kind of private joke that I didn’t get here, because I can’t see why “they’d probably rather you didn’t talk about that.”

  27. K says:

    Anime-fighting in a game about the Crusades, where people are lugging around armours heavier than themselves? Talk about immersion-breaking.

    Similar example: Daoc. Mythic went for “realistic” graphics, and then put in silly combat moves that would make WoW-characters blush.