Title: Arthurís Knights: Chapter 2: The Secret of Merlin
Strap: Once again Excalibur is left firmly in the stone.
Here is a large, red brick wall. Here is my head. Watch as I beat the latter soundly and repeatedly against the former. Until I bleed. What do I have to do? Do I have to actually travel to Cryo, and draw them step-by-step colour diagrams of how to stop making the exact same mistakes in every single adventure game they ever release? Because if so, Iím prepared to do this for you.
Arthurís Knights 2 is the sequel to the completely unnoticed original. You wonít be reprising the role of Bradwen, Knight of the Round Table, because you never played the first game, and you wonít be interested to discover what happened after he was crowned King of Atrebates by King Arthur himself. In fact, there are two approaches to not being interested, as AK2 lets you play the game as a Paladin or a Celtic. However, no explanation of the implications or reasons for making the choice are given at any stage, making it the first of many bemusing questions.
These questions continue neatly into the head-in-your-hands-asking-Ďwhy?í style, as you realise the unchangeable controls require three hands. Three - one for the space bar, one for the cursors, and a third for the mouse - making controlling affairs a feat akin to juggling with masonry.
An incredible amount of effort has gone into researching the British 6th century, which is compiled into reams of text available for the wading through. But no matter how much back-story and homework you have done, burying it beneath something as truly appalling as the disease of an engine that infects this thing, is never going to let you care. Microscopic precision of position is required to open a door. You will scream at your monitor.
Plus of course all the usual Cryo idiosyncrasies are present, rubbing garlic in the wounds Ė random things are in French, the voice acting is abysmal (neighbours in Athurian Britain with almost Scottish and nowhere-near Welsh accentsÖ), and more than anything else, itís just so incredibly dull. Really, really boring.
I canít sing. I donít. Cryo, you canít make adventure games. Donít.