Dead Crusade Is Medieval Co-op Meets The Black Death

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Wait! I have suddenly decided I abhor violence and would rather talk this over

Dead Crusade is a game that aims to make two great tastes go great together. I mean, crusades have historically ended well, and who could forget all the wonderful times that were had in spite of the Black Death ravaging the European countryside and taking an estimated 75-200 million people? Now, while Dead Crusade uses that insidious murder plague as a backdrop for co-op first-or-third-person hack ‘n’ slashing, I actually think the Black Death would make for a perfect videogame main character. Finally, a story-justified reason for taking more lives than there are grains of sand in the sky or stars on a beach. Trailer for not that (but still an interesting-ish looking game) below.

The combat and animations look janky as all get-out, but Dead Crusade is still extremely early, with a planned released set for December 2015.

It’s currently on Kickstarter, ravaging wallets to the tune of $250,000. Or at least, attempting to. Despite being full of horrible disease, the game hasn’t exactly gone viral. After about a week of picking pockets, it’s only made a little over $7000. Here’s what it’s all about:

“A refreshing take on the Zombie Apocalypse. Dead Crusade is a medieval survival horror RPG that will take you to Medieval Europe in a time of great upheaval and strife as an unstoppable plague tears the world apart. Travel through the cities, countryside, and cemeteries of Medieval Europe across multiple expansive campaigns as you battle hordes of the undead, and avoid becoming infected with the plague yourself.”

It does look quite nice, though. Almost a little Witcher-y in places, with a few scraps of Dark Souls tossed in for good measure. The combat, however, seems a bit slashier than either of those – at least, so far. The less-than-methodical pace strikes me as a bit at-odds with Dead Crusade’s claim of being a “survival-horror RPG,” but it still has a lot of room to grow. On the upside, you’ll apparently have total control of the swing and direction of your blade, so the aim is to be less Devil May Cry and more Mount and Blade.

The Black Death, meanwhile, will apparently manifest both as the game’s main enemy (The Plagued, aka various undead creepy crawlies) and a series of stat and movement debuffs that can afflict you if enemies get their cruddy teeth all over your favorite skin suit. One plague strain will even kill you within a few hours of infection. Sounds more like a hassle than a Super Innovative Feature, but we’ll see. Done well and tied smartly into other systems, disease can definitely shift a game’s core dynamic into interesting places (see: Far Cry 2).

There will also be multiple classes, a dynamic objective system, and a “commitment to historical accuracy” despite the presence of zombies of three-headed rat monsters. Yeah, the shadow of a Giant Enemy Crab looms heavy, but the setting/time period could sprout an interesting growth or two from its disease spores. Think you’ll back it?

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26 Comments »

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  1. Stupoider says:

    It looks nothing like Dark Souls

  2. Premium User Badge

    Rizlar says:

    I actually think the Black Death would make for a perfect videogame main character. Finally, a story-justified reason for taking more lives than there are grains of sand in the sky or stars on a beach.

    Like that ‘Death inc.’ game that was on kickstarter but got cancelled? Was a shame, it looked delightful.

    • The Random One says:

      I remember that one. The devs were like “We were going to make a zombie game but then we remembered everyone hates zombies and they are totes played out, so we’re making a game about infected people instead!” Then they didn’t get the money they needed. Then a year later DayZ came out and made all the money in the universe.

      I’d love an RTS where you are the zombies. I really liked the necromancer campaign in Battle for Wesnoth but I’m too shit and couldn’t play a lot of it.

      • SillyWizard says:

        That’s a game. I’ll edit this and link to it if I can find it. Pretty sure it’s on Greenlight now. You control a floating brain and give orders to zombies.

        EDIT — Ere it is.

        • The Random One says:

          Hey, thanks – it actually seems to be right up my alley. ‘The enemy is your resource’ is exactly what I’d say I find so alluring about the concept.

    • Monkeh says:

      One of the few projects I backed through Kickstarter. They even sent out a nice little prototype at the time and I was already enjoying it. Really sad they had to shut down and refund.. :(

      Honestly don’t really understand why one of the indie publishers didn’t pick it up. Alas, not everything that deserves a chance will get one.

  3. ElvisNeedsBoats says:

    As an aside, if you have interest in the Black Death, you may enjoy this recent theory:
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/29/black-death-not-spread-rat-fleas-london-plague

    • bstard says:

      I’m interested into the great mortality, and in specific game devs.

      Btw wtf lol is Dead Crusade? Hello Random Name Generator.

  4. Dogsbody says:

    There’s no way I’d give money to a guy wearing that t-shirt.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Yeah…they might have benefited from having a more charismatic spokesperson, here.

      Also, the way he kept saying “we” while there was no evidence that anybody else was around gave me the distinct impression that he’s doing all this on his own.

  5. not-the-beez says:

    Looks a bit shit. Still, the Zombie-Kebab at the start made me chuckle, so there’s that…

    • not-the-beez says:

      Needed some sort of veg on there though, or he’s gunna be looking at some serious bowel cancer issues down-the-line.

    • hypercrisis says:

      Agreed.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      He wields a sword like Brian from Accounts

  6. Keyrock says:

    “A refreshing take on the Zombie Apocalypse.

    SYNTAX ERROR

    Anything and everything to do with zombies is the polar opposite of refreshing.

    • DanMan says:

      Yeah. “Kill medieval zombies” does not make innovative game concept.

  7. Shooop says:

    The sword swinging animations make it look like he’s on another planet with less gravity and has had his elbow joints locked in place somehow.

    • Premium User Badge

      Clavus says:

      The animations in general seem to be far behind the rest of the visuals. I imagine either their animator didn’t have a lot of time, or he has a lot to learn.

  8. Loyal_Viggo says:

    The game pitch is lacking something… something like… Nazi Zombies!

    Yes! A healthy dose of NZ would really make this unique and would secure my backing.

  9. Unclepauly says:

    NEEDS MOAR ZOMEBIES AND APOCOLYSPIES

  10. tnzk says:

    I came because the developers called themselves “Aesthetic Games”.

    Kinda-sorta-a-bit disappointed the team isn’t full of pretentious Bauhaus-inspired graphic designers.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Physicians advise those affected by the walking deceased to remove the head or the brain. Then, salt the inside of the skull, replace the brain and the top of the skull. If this does not work, try prayer or bleeding the patient.

  12. Spacewalk says:

    Sounds like episode 3 of Daikatana all over again.

  13. Fattox says:

    AWARE.

  14. bill says:

    Not sure that a melee vs hordes of zombies game would be that fun. Then again, I’ve managed to avoid every zombie game, so what do I know.

  15. mwaha says:

    This looks awesome! The sword swinging looks kinda interesting, it doesn’t look like its just mouse 1 to swing sword, I would like to know more about this game.