King Arthur: Knight’s Tale – Preview
Follow Genre: RPG, RTS
Developer: NeocoreGames
Publisher: NeocoreGames
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

King Arthur: Knight’s Tale – Preview

Good: Original, Gritty, Promising
Bad: Hardly any content, Steep price for low content
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

NeocoreGames, once almost completely tied to Paradox Interactive, later going its own way with its Van Helsing series, is now doing its own thing more than ever. While having made games that revolve around King Arthur in a long-forgotten past, the developer now takes that same idea and does something original with it by making the titular King Arthur the villain, or at least that’s what the game wants us to believe. You will play as Sir Mordred, originally an evil knight, now tasked to either restore Camelot to its former glory, or rule it with an iron fist.

In terms of story, there is not that much present yet. You have been deemed a traitor to those in Camelot, yet now you find yourself in the position of having to recruit your old enemies to kill King Arthur as he has been resurrected as a ghoulish entity. You, originally having killed Arthur while also being killed by him, have undergone a similar fate, being resurrected. The story isn’t that thick just yet, as you just get a very nice cutscene and a bit of extra information. The current build only allows you to play through the first two story missions and a handful of side-quests.

The sound design of the game has been nicely handled and also enhances the underlying plot. Well, with the sound design we then mean the cinematic soundtrack and the authentic sound effects, as the voice acting has as much emotion in it as a potato. Sometimes you were getting quite into the story, to be smacked in the face by a generic Google assistant voice that sounds as if someone was reading the script on the toilet, clearly preoccupied with more urgent matters. Even though this might be a bit excessive on our part, this is also where the bad remarks will stop.

Even though the game does not have that much on display just yet, it looks quite appealing and detailed. The sceneries are nicely done and details don’t get too muddy when you zoom in. This is already quite impressive for an Early Access title that expects to remain in its EA status for more than half a year. The animations are nicely handled, the movements of the characters look quite fluid and the overall backdrops are nicely composed. We were very pleased with this darker take on the original tale of Camelot.

The actual gameplay isnt too meaty yet and feels a bit like Darkest Dungeon and X-COM had a child that is trying to be edgy and do its own thing. Hence, the combat is grid-based and presented in turn-based fashion, where characters then use their Action Points (AP) to move, attack, use items or even use skills. You can apply strategies such as flanking a target or attacking it from behind. Your characters have armor, some excess life points and their actual vitality points, which will end up wounding them. These excess life points could actually be considered as additional armor, that protects you from permanent wounds. This doesn’t mean that your vitality points cannot be whittled away as well when being severely hit. Losing a character means it’s going six feet under permanently. You can opt to play the game where you can save in-between missions and reload older files, or you can go for a roguelike format where a lost character is gone for good. Wounded characters will need time to recover in the hospice.

Outside of the missions comes the actual management part. You can upgrade Camelot to heal your troops, buy items, and so on. The current EA version is very limited, as you can only unlock a few buildings, play two story missions and a handful of side-quests. Also, the loot you gain from doing those missions is a bit unimpressive, often just resulting in keeping your base gear equipped. Nonetheless, you find a few smaller upgrades along the way and you can also upgrade your underlings with new skills and abilities. You will also get bonuses depending on what your alignment is, as you are sometimes prompted to make a righteous or villainous choice. Those following the light will not enjoy serving under a tyrant and vice versa. That being said, we were barely able to scratch the surface of this morality system in the short demo.

Conclusion

King Arthur: Knight’s Tale may not have that much content just yet but it is a very promising project. We do hope the voice actors are either recast or follow significant schooling and training, but other than that this demo is nearly picture-perfect. While being very steeply-priced for such a short experience, we reckon the finished game will be a very impressive journey. If you’re a fan of games such as X-Com and Darkest Dungeon, we advise keeping this one on your medieval radar.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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King Arthur: Knight’s Tale - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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