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The Cursed Crusade Review

The Cursed Crusade Review

The Crusades are a part of history that people often know about, but don't like to speak about. A lot of bad stuff happened during the time, all in the name of religion. But when Assassin's Creed arrived, it tackled the subject in a way that appealed to the masses and thrust this narrative back into the limelight. Since then, we've seen other games take on this beast, the latest of which is The Cursed Crusade. It looks at it in a slightly different light, but it's just an ironic shame that quite a lot of the crusades is glossed over due to some weird design choices in almost every area.

At first, the game shows some promise. It focuses on two characters, Denz de Bayle and Esteban Noviembre, who both share a curse. It causes them to become fiery horned demons who are constantly chased by death, but they aren't the only ones afflicted. The promise stops there though, as it then turns into a complete blur. You'll often encounter characters who are as unmemorable as their names. There's also an issue with the cutscenes. With some games, it's obvious that less is more, but The Cursed Crusade apparently didn't get that memo and instead decided to shove in a ton of random scenes that could quite easily be skipped. Some of them really drag on and you'd like to think they actually explain stuff, but they really don't.

With the story being so odd, you'd hope that perhaps the gameplay would be The Cursed Crusade's saving grace. That hope is unfortunately misplaced, despite there being an upgrade system with a decent amount of depth.

At the end of each mission, you're given a grade based on various factors. You'll earn yourself some 'Victory Points', which you can use to upgrade your combos and you can also upgrade stats such as 'Weapons Mastery'. It might look as though it's a decent system, but these upgrades don't really work in practice because quite a lot of it is superficial.

When fighting, all your really need to do is block, parry, and then button mash. Your opponent gives you all you need to no by flashing either blue (he's going to attack you), yellow (he's going to guard break you), or red (he's ready for some slicing and dicing). Attempting to even try and use the combos requires too much effort as your opponent will always guard after getting hit in the face a couple of times. When they start guarding, your only option is to break them out of their guard, but even that isn't always successful. For example, when fighting enemies wielding two swords, you'll find that each of your moves will lead to an awkward standstill with the both of you guarding, but unable to attack.

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