XI
you are not logged in
Review

Review: Knight's Contract

Should've read the small print, son

From the same team developed last year’s Majin & The Forsaken Kingdom, Game Republic, comes Knight’s Contract, an action adventure title set in Medieval Europe. Though it bears the same “it takes two” duality style of gameplay, Knight’s Contract is structured in such a poor way that only the most persistent of gamers will even make it to the half-way line without causing themselves harm.

Info:
  • Launched on February 25th
  • Developed by Game Republic, best known for Folklore and Majin
The game is set within a network of settlements and towns once guarded diligently by a sisterhood of witches. For years they would cure illness and bestow good fortune among the human inhabitants, though the emergence of the Black Death changed everything. Upon the spread of the epidemic, Doctor Faust accuses the witches of creating the plague, and it isn’t long before his crusade sees each one die at the hand of his executioner, Heinrich. Upon the final killing however, the axeman is cursed with immortality, and it isn’t until almost a hundred years later that he realises the error of his ways after coming face to face with Gretchen, the witch who laid the hex upon him.

Having been resurrected by her apprentice, Minukelsus the alchemist, Gretchen returns in search of his killer, warning him that they too have been resurrected, but now seek revenge on those who condemned the sisterhood. Heinrich agrees to help the young with in her quest under one condition: that her spell of immortality will break when it’s all over.

Though it sets itself up nicely, there is very little going for the story in Knight’s Contract. Events unfold sporadically, soon stamping out any sparks of plot innovation or creativity. Minor characters have no sense of depth about them whatsoever; neither Gretchen or Heinrich have any likability about them either. If not for the grim setting which at times feel similar to that of smash hit RPG, Demons’ Souls, there would be little to keep the player engaged.

a complete slog from start to finish

Knight’s Contract follows a linear, episodic design. The game is broken into chapters and once beaten, these can be revisited to scoop up any collectibles or to improve your level score. In terms of the gameplay, if you have played Devil May Cry, or more recently, Darksiders, you will know what to expect. For the larger part of the game players will take control of Heinrich, a number of brutal combos available. With Gretchen at your side, you will also have access to a panel of magic of attacks which can be upgraded over time, though they need to recharge upon use.

The only unique gameplay aspect in Knight’s Contract is Heinrich’s immortality. No matter how much damage he takes, Heinrich can always piece himself back together and jump into battle once more. The way this is translated into gameplay however is appalling; after being hacked to pieces the axeman will simply lay there whilst you hit buttons for a good twenty seconds to resurrect him. Gretchen on the other hand is not so tough and you will find yourself protecting her throughout the entire game. It wouldn’t be such a chore if her friendly AI wasn’t so inefficient; instead of dodging attacks she wanders straight into them. At times Gretchen will simply walk into lava or other hazards, prompting a restart from the last checkpoint.

a test of your patience more than anything else

Without puzzles or any other form of diversions, the game feels like a complete slog from start to finish. One of the final stages lasts at least an hour, forcing the player to engage in battle after battle. It’s a total grind, and what’s worse is the spiking difficulty level; one second Heinrich can be slicing through enemies like butter before you suddenly hit an unyielding brick wall. Chokepoints are clustered together so tightly, especially during the end sequence, that Knight’s Contract is a test of your patience more than anything else.

Another gripe many will have with the game is its visuals. Despite the leading characters having a creative flair about them, the rest are fairly generic, with only twelve or so enemy models in the entire game. Textures are embarrassingly poor as well the sturdy animations; even the cutscenes are below-par.

As a port of a Japanese-developed game, the poor voice acting should come as no surprise. The script is needlessly melodramatic and even nonsensical in parts. With that said, the audio presentation of Knight’s Contract is somewhat rescued by its soundtrack; an epic yet chilling chorus of tracks which bring flavour to the medieval setting.

Pros:

  • Interesting plot to begin with
  • Soundtrack is fitting

Cons:

  • Sub-par graphics throughout, sturdy animations
  • Sporadic plot development
  • Stagnant, progressive-less combat
  • Repetitive mission design, unfair boss battles
  • Shameful friendly AI, and spiking difficulty level

With such a diabolical amalgamation of defunct mechanics and monotonous mission design, it will take half an hour tops to tire of Knight’s Contract and shelve it for good. Compared to the magnificent Majin & The Forsaken Kingdom, Game Republic’s latest adventure is a complete let down, and is easily one of the worst games we have seen this year.

Score: 2/10

 

Read more: #
27 Comments
  1. Gamoc
    Member
    Since: Forever

    Ooh, ouch.

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:01.
  2. djhsecondnature
    Since: Forever

    Oh dear.

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:02.
  3. SpikeyMikey23
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Must have been a chore to review that Jim. At least using the sexy chick as the icon will get people in to read it eh? ;)

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:07.
    • Jim H [Teabags]
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      It’s the only game I’ve played in which I’ve become so frustrated that I almost gave up on finishing/reviewing it. A total pain in ass.

      Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 19:19.
  4. Aquastyle
    Member
    Since: Jul 2010

    Ouch, a 2.
    Read the review, sounds extremely boring…

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:08.
  5. Sympozium
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    NOOOO NOOOOOOOOO!!!!……

    I was really hoping that this would be a good game to buy…

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:09.
    • moshi
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      not even a rental for me now, shame.

      Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:14.
    • Lal
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Just finished playing it. It’s o.k. nothing special. would recommend that if you are going to play it, best buy it secondhand or rent it.

      Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:16.
      • Samiro05
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        Easy platinum I guess?

        Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 19:03.
      • Lal
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        No not really,need to play through twice at least to platinum. (once was enough for me. ha ha)

        Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 19:50.
  6. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Ooooo, thats bad….

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:17.
  7. HDNdk
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    only clicked in because of the chick xD

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:23.
  8. philbert8
    The Frankie Boyle Of TSA
    Since: Sep 2010

    I only saw the trailer, which I thought was rather good, and no game footage. Which is usually a sign of a shit game coming.

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 17:46.
  9. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    I have never heard of this game untill i read the review. I can see why you chose that picture of that chick. In fact it sounds like that picture is better then the game. now if you excuse me, i will go back to staring at that chick.:P

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 18:09.
  10. Kovacs
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    Some sites are already selling it for about €20. Amazing how the price of a game can go down so quick.

    Note to self: give The Last Guardian 1/10
    ;)

    Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 18:31.
    • MadBoJangles
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Lol!
      I very nearly bought this last week in Grainger Games, sooooo glad I didn’t now.

      Comment posted on 11/03/2011 at 18:46.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Comments