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KING ARTHUR: A KNIGHT'S TALE
This is an adventure set in and around the search for the Holy Grail.

This review is based on an Early Access edition.

 

I started off controlling the angry, young'ish, Knight of Camelot and the Round Table, Sir Mordred. He is soon joined by Sir Kay, who I managed to kill off pretty quickly in my first major battle - the combat is unforgiving especially when the opposing side have 2-3 archers on their side. In straight hand-to-hand, strike and receive/block, melée the Noble Knights generally come off best, though injured and against odds of 2 or 3 to 1 much of the time.

 

The graphics, the backgrounds and the characters are extremely well detailed, and the animation is similar to the many other games in this style. As new players come to enjoy the Steam media so games like Diablo and Path to Exile are pushed into the memories of us older players and the genre is continued by newer games such as this one.

Billed as a unique blend of Turn based action adventure and a Roleplaying game (in my opinion as a role-player from the 70s this is nothing like an actual RPG) this is supposedly the retelling of the classic mythology of Britain's favourite legendary ruler. Apart from the mention of the Grail, the names of the Noble Knights, and some of the places on the map, this is not the myth or chivalric history I grew up reading about.

 

Traditionally Mordred is the bad guy, but here he is the main character tasked with bringing together the Knights of the Round Table and saving Avalon from various groups and factions determined on its destruction. If Mordred dies your game is over. There is another Knight, Sir Balan,who joins you early on, who also must be kept alive. The best character to join your group in the early days of playing is Lady Dindraine, who is prolific with her bow and arrows. Keep her out of the H-t-H combat by choosing a formation that allows her protection from rear attacks but allows you to move her if necessary to gain line of sight. Without her you will not get far.

Moving the characters during the exploration phases is by WASD, the Arrow keys or point and click. I found using W and A or D allowed for a more straight journey, W on its own tends to walk you into things if you blink away for a second or two. In this manner I walked Mordred into a small stone wall in a village and couldn't get him unstuck, this only happened to me once and was little more than a slight hindrance.

 

Being Turn based combat means that each character has a number of APs (Action Points) and each Action costs APs. Once you have used your APs for the Turn you click the [End Turn] button and the opposition has its Turn. It's probably a mental illusion but it always seems that opposing characters get to do more than player characters. For example, if I move Lady Dindraine one or two steps then have her fire an arrow she cannot take a second shot - not enough APs - the opposing archers seem able to move sideways or backwards, farther than my Lady, and then get off two shots.

In Melée though it is the opposite, my Knights are able to get off 2 strikes to one of their opponent, unless he's a Leader type, these being stronger, have more life points, and usually are better armed; they are also generally a little taller and larger, easily recognisable amongst the masses. Speaking of masses, enemy camps often have two or three times as many men as their are in your group.

 

King Arthur, a Knight's Tale is an okay game. It's a mite slow and cumbersome in places and after a while the combat becomes samey although very well presented. I didn't get any feel of the Arthurian Legends and the character advancement - character sheets, Inventory pages, Skill learning, etc. etc. are all 'lifted' from virtually every other game of this ilk.

If you haven't played this type of game before it is a fair game to cut your teeth on. If you aren't new to this genre I doubt you'll discover anything you haven't encountered before, but you'll still enjoy it.

At £27.79 this is not an inexpensive Steam game. It comes from the prolific Neocore Games who you can discover much more about on YouTube 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015