Crusaders of Might and Magic – Day 3 of Advent 2019

If you’re expecting a turn-based strategy game, you’re in the wrong place.

Crusaders of Might and Magic (a name I’m only going to say once) tells the story of Drake, a man whose town was razed right in front of his own eyes. He spent the next twenty years not doing a great deal, by the looks of things, as the first thing that happens to him is he gets captured by the Big Bad.

Great work, Drake.

You like green valleys and skeleton-shaped baddies? Then there are still better games out there.

So, I played this game for around an hour, maybe a little longer. It didn’t change a bit. What you’re seeing here is all you get from the first hour of gameplay – a valley and some grassy hills, plus a handful of boxy houses to loot from. And this is 1999. Half-Life had already been out a year, Quake II even longer…square architecture like this just isn’t acceptable. Unless you’re Deus Ex, of course.

Anyway, back to Crusaders. It’s a very boring game that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. On the one hand, it’s a third-person action game with swordfighting and…uh…more swordfighting. But on the other, it’s an RPG with quests, loot, and healing potions. Kind of feels like it’s trying to be Hexen, actually.

Apparently, standing on tables is a common pastime around these parts.

Combat is a very basic affair. It seems like it’s going to be quite in-depth; you have combos and a variety of moves, each one triggered by a different key combination. But once you actually get into a scrap, it’s just a case of blocking until the other guy stops attacking. Most of the enemies I fought died in one hit as well, which makes the combat even less exciting.

You get a choice of three weapons, two of which you get about ten minutes in. I honestly can’t tell the difference between the sword, the axe, or the mace. Drake pulls off the same awkwardly-animated moves with each weapon. Yeah, stab with the axe, that’ll do you the world of good. Not even RuneScape lets you do that.

Oh, and just look at the villagers. They are clearly starving. Well, the men are, at any rate. What’s going on here? I’m not one to judge, but there’s something dubious about this person’s proportions.

Outside of that, the game mostly consists of holding the accelerate key – yes, it’s actually called that – as the environments are amazingly sparse. Did I say environments? I meant the one environment that you actually see.

Verdict: about as exciting as eating paper.

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