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Dead Crusade Is Medieval Co-op Meets The Black Death

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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Nathan Grayson

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