A Stab At It: The First Templar

By Jim Rossignol on March 24th, 2011 at 9:12 am.

Dudes totally get stabbed, you know
Wandering the streets of San Francisco the other week I happened to stumble on a hotel where Kalypso Media were showing off The First Templar. Lucky for me, I thought, because I’d actually been meaning to find out a bit about the game. Turns out it’s a ferocious co-op melee game, with elements of Tomb Raider. As Kalypso themselves admitted, they aren’t really taking on the Assassin’s Creeds of this world in terms of visuals or feature set, but the game nevertheless has some appealling elements: customisation of your character’s combat skills, some co-op puzzles (which you solve by swapping between the characters in single-player) and some large scale brawls across medieval environs. The game is looking suitably violent, and I think it could do well if it comes out at a lower price point. It’s coming out on May 10th, and I’ve posted the trailer which accompanies that announcement below.

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16 Comments »

  1. luckystriker says:

    What’s the price point?

    Also, Dynasty Double Dragon Warriors Hoo

    • Dominic White says:

      On a tangent on that comment (and something that almost every single major games site has overlooked) a free online Dynasty Warriors game was released quite recently, and it’s pretty great. It’s basically a persistent online version of Dynasty Warriors 4 (considered by many to be the best in the series) with prettier graphics:

      http://dynastywarriors.aeriagames.com/

    • Baines says:

      Dynasty Warriors Online isn’t bad, but I found myself tiring of it faster than an actual Dynasty Warriors release.

      One problem is that DW combat is completely unsuited for player-vs-player battles. DW characters can chain long combos, have an invulnerable super, and stat differences between players can be huge. This carries into DWO, and in some ways is even worse (as it is typical for you to lose all your flask power-ups when you die, and flask power-ups can build massive boosts). Fighting another human tends to result in a fast death for someone. Depending on your stats, you can kill (or be killed by) another human general in a single combo, or more often two combos.

      The second problem is that DWO battles are honestly rather boring. Battles have one of a few basic objectives: Kill X enemies, Kill X officers, Capture bases, Find treasures (which seem to be random drops from killing enemies?). Nothing special will happen in a stage, other than the possibility of an AI general appearing on the side of a losing team. While such generals are insanely overpowered, they seem to just sit in place.

      You just keep playing the same stuff over and over again, and it doesn’t even feel like a battle. DW games aren’t exactly amazing in innovative battles, but DWO battles are just boring. There isn’t anything to do except go for your winning objective, other than to ignore your win condition in order to hunt for weapons and items.

      There aren’t even troop gates to capture. No troop movement, either. You won’t see your colors flood across a map as you take the advantage in a hard-fought battle, or see your colors whittled down as you approach defeat. No, instead all regular soldiers have fixed locations on a battlefield, will only move a short distance from that location to attack a nearby human, and just respawn in that location some time after they die.

      AI is a joke by even DW standards. The game doesn’t show AI officer contributions in the results screen, most likely because it is trying to hide how blatantly it fakes their results. AI officers get KOs on a timer. (In a Novice match, a full AI team gets ~100 KOs per minute.) I think in Search matches that they find treasures on a timer as well. It takes forever for them to capture a base, and they tend to do nothing in a “kill officers” battle. Generally, any side with fewer humans is facing a disadvantage. (Though power levels and skill can vary enough that you can sometimes see a single human handily beat a side with four human players.)

      The limited crafting system is tied to the “real cash” part of free-to-play, as all crafting requires ore. Ore is a relatively rare item drop, but you can buy it with real money for cheap. If you actually want to succeed, then you need to buy better crafting equipment with real cash as well. The ability to keep more than four weapons is also a “real cash” thing. It is no coincidence that another rack to hold more weapons is also one of the most expensive pieces of furniture. And unlike some other free-to-play games, you cannot trade or sell to other players these items.

  2. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    If its anything like the newest Tomb Raider, Im sold.

  3. SimonHawthorne says:

    Huh, this looks alright. The first part of the trailer definitely screamed Assassin’s Creed, even if the actual gameplay looks nothing like it.

    play.com has the price at £30 (but then it also has the release date as 6th May so may not be reliable).

    Any idea how much of that was actual gameplay? The slowdowns look like they may added for the trailer. If they’re part of the game that could either be awesome or incredibly irritating.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    I liked the warnings of “mild violence” and “blood”…I like to think stabbing right through someone with a sword and having a fountain of blood shoot out of them is “mild”.

    but then I realised it was only “mild language” and “violence” that I’d misread

    • Kdansky says:

      I am also amused that mild cursing needs to be mentioned when you can gut people with blood spraying everywhere. That’s like putting “mind the step” signs in gas chambers, or “hot beverage” signs on coffee machines near active volcanoes. Or rain warnings during a tsunami.

    • Berzee says:

      As I’ve pointed out before, it’s *fake* violence versus *real* swearing. I think this adjusts the severities a bit =)

  5. Premium User Badge Jackablade says:

    I misread the game title as “My First Templar” which strikes me as a potentially interesting concept for a video game.

    • Mr_Initials says:

      Aww you have to pick up his bible and clean up after his little crusades. Err my idea doesn’t sound so hot

  6. omicron1 says:

    I mostly trust Haemimont/Kalypso, as they have a pretty good track record where I’m concerned. This is a bit out of their territory, though, so it might go the same way as Creative Assembly’s “Total Warrior” spinoff… I’ll wait and see, I guess.

  7. Highstorm says:

    Directed by Zack Snyder.

  8. pipman3000 says:

    starring tom cruise

  9. Barman1942 says:

    I guess no-one uses scabbards anymore, weird.

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