the writings of a mind

Title: Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade
Genre: Action
Big Word: Medievil
Strap: Move along, nothing to see here.

There are some people who just oughtnít bother making games. Knights of the Temple isnít especially appalling. It isnít going to be remembered by any Worst Games of All Time features. It isnít going to be remembered. Itís just a woefully badly made third person action, with no reason for existing.

Thereís no reason to have thought the meagre story needs to be told. A Knight Templar (oh please, just no) is on a quest to find a missing girl (really, please donít) who has the power of manifesting Godís miracles (just stop). An evil bishop appears to have captured her, and you mustÖ hit things with a sword until you find her.

Thereís no reason to have thought the genre needed this addition. Another bluster in the wake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, this is a sub-console hack-n-slash on a par with the recent Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance. It requires you to hammer the two attack buttons, pretty much ignoring the unnecessary Ďblockí key, until all the foes on the screen are gone. Thereís no more to it than this, although it would love you to think there were. Again, like Gladiator, it occasionally announces that youíve access to a new combo move. Incredibly, these so-called combos are nothing more than an encouragement to hammer at the two attack buttons randomly. One is, and we swear this is true, "Q, Q, Q, Q". Thatís not a combo Ė thatís falling asleep on your keyboard.

Thereís no reason to have pretended to include puzzles. Occasionally the bloody death of a foe leaves an object for you to walk over. When you later walk near a flashing object, the game will ask you to confirm combining them, the choice made for you.

And thereís no reason to have released something so poorly constructed. Controls are relative to the position of the camera Ė a camera that swings in endless sweeping arcs throughout. If you run into a room holding down forward, and the camera rotates 180 degrees, youíll run right back out again. Itís quite funny. Itís not something that should ever happen in a game, but it does cause laughter. As such, itís barely controllable, clearly weakly designed for an analogue joypad, but unable to map one to its own key-bindings.

Thereís a semblance of fun to be had in fighting three foes at once, but itís all an illusion. Youíre just hammering the two attack keys, and nothing more. Thereís no threat of danger Ė we never came close to dying in the first three hours of play. In fact, just hitting one button and looking away from the screen can see you safely through most it has to offer.

So the question remains, why did they bother? What drove anyone to invest their creative passions into this broken, uninspired, and unnecessary game?

Margin Note:

For a game so wantonly shallow, it seems only appropriate that the press release should contain, "A unique dynamic skill system helps players develop their heroís skills and prevent statistics and record keeping from interfering with the game play!" It has to be admitted, itís a novel way of explaining how vacuous your game is. And on a different note, a special mention to the most bizarre menu option, "Invert MouseY" (sic), in a game that doesnít actually allow you to move with the mouse.

 Empty, shoddily compiled, and entirely without a raison detre. Thereís no need.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: TDK
Developer: Starbreeze
Price: £20
Minimum System: PIII 600, 192MB RAM, 2GB HD, GeForce 1
Recommended: P4 1.5Ghz 256MB RAM, GeForce 3
Multi-player: Consoles only
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