The Cursed Crusade is a soon to be released action-adventure game that appears to be cashing in on the surprising popularity of the brutally tough Demon’s Souls. Set in the same sort of medieval environment, the demo for The Cursed Crusade gave me a glimpse of its dark setting, plot, and gameplay.
The demo for The Cursed Crusade had me playing as a mercenary in a group of soldiers preparing to storm a castle. The leader of this bunch was giving a speech in the first cutscene and quelling the fears of some of the soldiers. It was hard to take them seriously however as the voice acting was really awful; their tone didn’t match the scene because their lines were given halfheartedly. The commander got them going regardless, thanks to my character and a Spaniard.
The castle we stormed was filled with archers so to approach it the soldiers had to advance behind two-person shields. When a storm of arrows rained from the sky, I had to stop and take cover. Once the Spaniard and I were close enough, we had to throw an explosive to break open the door. Before I could do that, I had to take out some nearby archers with my crossbow. This section was varied, but it wasn’t that entertaining. Maybe the dialogue between the mercenary and the Spaniard was supposed to be a prominent feature here, but the audio mixing made it hard to listen without the aid of subtitles.
Once we breached the castle there were a few open areas and it was very easy to take control… just kidding. These areas were full of foot soldiers and it was time to whip out my trusty blade and cut some fools down. The combat was really sluggish; I’d press an attack button and my character would swing his sword in a drawn out animation cycle. I couldn’t halt the animation once it had started and trying to get multiple swings in a row was tough to do. Couple that with unclear indications on if I should be timing my attacks a certain way and I walked away from the combat less than satisfied.
The demo ended with a boss fight that seemed to indicate there’s much more to The Cursed Crusade than what’s apparent on the surface. As I was duking it out with the head honcho of the castle, he turned into a demon! Then the mercenary and the Spaniard turned into demons! The mercenary seemed to know what was happening, but the Spaniard thought he was having a nightmare, and he was right. The demo ended there and left me wondering how this crusade would link to supernatural and religious matters.
The Cursed Crusade wasn’t a pretty game to look at. The graphics were dated, looking like an early Xbox 360 or PS3 game, and the general design wasn’t my thing, primarily the dark colors and ugly environments. I didn’t enjoy the combat much either. I could pick up the weapons my fallen foes would drop, which was cool, but the actual combat between enemies didn’t seem fine-tuned. Having not played Demon’s Souls I can’t say with certainty, but The Cursed Crusade seems like an attempt to cash in on its surprising popularity, more so considering this game is being published by Atlus, like Demon’s Souls. There wasn’t anything I found appealing about The Cursed Crusade and I won’t be picking it up when it releases October 25, 2011. It was developed by the French developer Kylotonn Games and will be published by Atlus for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.