PS3 Review – Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest

The PlayStation Move hasn’t had much in the way of new and exciting games for a while now, mostly showing up as a side option to a few big blockbuster shooters.  Developer Zindagi Games, the team behind one of PlayStation Move’s launch titles (and best titles), Sports Champions, hopes to change that with their latest effort, Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest.

In Medieval Moves, you play as the young Prince Edmund, an aspiring knight who is out for his normal training one day when things go awry, leaving the young Prince as his people’s only hope against the dark necromancer Morgrimm. During the takeover, everything and everyone is turned into walking, talking, sets of bones. Now, as Deadmund, you must take up arms and try to retrieve the lost pieces of your amulet, and thus stop Morgrimm from his evil doing.

Medieval Moves is an on-rails slasher where players are left to wait until a wave of enemies encroach upon your position. Then, you can choose to dispatch them with your trusty sword, pulling out the old bow and arrow, or blocking with your shield. The lack of character movement is a poor design choice, especially due to the way enemies attack. Often a larger, more powerful enemy will attack head-on, all while weaker enemies flank you or attack from a distance – making it impossible to successfully block and attack.

The motion controls are flawed – at times the game will having you tossing a throwing star when you were trying to shoot an arrow, which makes no sense as the motions are not even remotely close to each other. Using a second motion controller seems to help, but not much. Due to the precise motion needed to pull out each weapon and constant need to switch rapidly between bow and sword, it will cause a lot of fatigue and frustration, and ultimately leads to an uncomfortable experience. When it does work, it works well, especially the bow and arrow combo.

Medieval Moves is extremely repetitive. In short stints it’s not too bad, but play more than a level at a time and things really start to drag.  It’s clear that this is a game that is meant for a child, as there is no depth or variety behind the gameplay; aside from motion-bashing waves of enemies through bland levels and basic switch-and-lever interactions, there’s not much else to do. Each level offers extra incentive with collectible diamonds and scrolls, but the on-rails nature of the game kills that entirely. You only get one chance to break barrels as the rails push you onward through the level. Some levels do feature multiple different paths, but due to the repetitive gameplay, no path feels much different from the other.

There are about six to ten different enemy types you will encounter in the game – from your basic up-close combat skeletons to long-distance archers, to your big bruisers and enemies with shields. Another runs at you with crates of dynamite, kamikaze style.  All are extremely one-dimensional, where after even one encounter, you can anticipate their exact move set for the entirety of the game. None of this helps the repetitive gameplay.  There are a few bosses thrown in the mix, but again these are rinse-and-repeat bosses. No trial-and-error necessary.

The game does feature an online and offline multiplayer mode with a couple of options. Although the offering is thin, it can be a lot of fun. The multiplayer takes you off the rails, which feels very liberating after playing through the main game. It’s not perfect, but works well enough to wonder why the main game isn’t done this way. Since there isn’t much depth here either, it gets old fast.

The one glimmer of hope is the decent cast of voice actors that portray their characters and the humor of the story well, all without crossing that line of being annoying.  Sadly, the audio will quickly ruin that, as the music can get on your nerves. Visually, the game isn’t stunning, but its animation and design does fit the story and atmosphere well.

Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest is a repetitive game lacking depth and variety. The motion controls are mediocre, especially when compared to Sports Champions or other Move titles. The on-rails nature of the title limits exploration and restricts any movement, leading to a frustrating experience. What little fun there is to be had, starts to fade quickly thanks to difficulty spikes. Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest is definitely not the PlayStation Move game you’ve been waiting for.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+/- Motion controls are precise when they work.

– Gameplay gets old fast, and there’s little replay value.

– Being on-rails prevents variety and exploration.

4 out of 10