The Cursed Crusade – E3 Preview

June 8, 2011 Written by Cameron Teague

When The Cursed Crusade was announced last year by Atlus, many people out there dubbed it as an Assassin’s Creed/Demon’s Souls mix due to its setting and gameplay style. We sat down with Atlus at E3 to try out the title and came away impressed with the potential of what the game holds.

The Cursed Crusade is a medieval third-person action game developed by Kylotonn Games that puts players in the roles of Denz de Bayle and Esteban Noviembre as they traverse through the Crusade and bear the Templar’s Curse. The story was very interesting and from what we saw and seemed to do a great job of setting up the gameplay.

Jumping right into the combat, gamers will notice that while you might think this looks like Demon’s Souls, it really is the farthest from it. First off, the game is much more accessible to a wide audience with a combat system that is a bit less constricted and a hundred times easier – which is not to say the game is not challenging, because it is. You must learn the patterns of enemies and use the appropriate weapons to combat them, such as stunning enemies with shields to get in close and take out their armor. You can freely switch at anytime during the game to dual wielding maces, swords, shields, or a crossbow to take out ranged enemies. Each weapon brings new combo’s to the table and with those new combos comes finishing moves that are epic and fun to pull off.

The game also features RPG elements to it with the ability to upgrade and level up your weapons, armor, and health to power up your character. As you upgrade your weapons and such, you will also be able to unlock new moves and combos to add to your arsenal. The system isn’t incredibly deep but it fits the game well and adds just the right amount of added depth to the game.

In The Cursed Crusade, the entire game can be played through single player or with a friend in offline/online co-op. Sadly the demo unit we played did not have co-op available but we did get to see the game with an A.I. teammate and, while your computer sidekick was not overly impressive, he did a serviceable job setting up combo attacks for you and holding his own while not completely taking over the fight. There are various sections in the game where you will need him to move carts out of your way or boost you onto a higher ledge.

Easily the coolest part of my time with the game was when we activated the Templar’s Curse and opened up hell. When we did this, we could attack with all sorts of power to dominate our opponents, but we had to watch our gauge and exit the mode before we fell to Death and our life ended. Where this also comes into play is that when you die, you actually must fight off Death until your A.I. teammate can make his way to you and bring you back to life, a rather interesting take on player death.

The Cursed Crusade does not reinvent the action adventure formula, but it is fresh enough to call for a look from gamers out there in need of a fun co-op crusade. The setting and scenery were impressive to look at, while the combat flowed like the salmon of Capistrano. Look forward to more coverage on this game in the coming months and when it releases this fall.