Knights Contract Game Review
PS3/ Xbox 360
by Game Republic
Release: February 22, 2011
The glass cannon and meat shield are two of gaming’s most reliable archetypes. Together, they are an excellent combination – one distracts enemies close range while the other gets them from a distance. In Knights Contract, Game Republic has brought that classic gameplay dynamic and spun a whole game around it.
Players take control of Heinrich, an immortal executioner equipped with a monolithic spring-loaded scythe. His partner is Gretchen, a resurrected witch. Both take in a vendetta against Dr. Faust, who’s poisoned medieval Europe having supernatural creatures of his own design. Heinrich’s association to Faust is especially tense; Faust wiped him out at one point.
Heinrich is unbeatable, which liberates players from being forced to be overly worried about health. Being a hack-and-slash game in the vein of Bullet Witch or Ninja Gaiden, Heinrich can let loose flurries of scythe-based combinations and different physical attacks. Gretohen is not impenetrable from harm, however, so players must make certain that she’s secure at all times. Occasionally that entails running over to her side and killing any freak that happens to be chewing on her face. Some times Heinrich needs to pick her up and physically move her to a more secure spot.
Just because she is not indestructible does not imply that Gretchen is a liability on the battleground. She’s able to whip up a diversity of spells, like summoning thorn-covered vines from below the ground, which hurl enemies into the air. At that moment, Heinrich can lash at them while they’re momentarily off balance. She can also do elemental attacks like ice. Knights Contract’s boss enemies are monstrous. One animal is a beefy salamander-looking freak having two muscular arms and one leg. After a chase over a burning village, players must pin that lone limb down to the ground then hack at its multiple eyes. Being invincible in these moments is very much appreciated.
Dungeon Siege III Game Review
PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360/ PC
1 or 2-Player Action
By Obsidian Entertainment
Release: June 21, 2011
Throw away everything you recognize about Dungeon Siege. This console installment — designed by seasoned RPG studio Obsidian Entertainment has more
in common with Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance than it has with the Dungeon Siege that bred from franchise maker Gas Powered Games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
What we have seen of Dungeon Siege III so far evokes it’s the kind of story-driven co-op fantasy dungeon crawler that hasn’t seen action on console in a few years. The distant third-person camera affords easy tracking of the high-flying, explosive powers players let loose versus numerous enemies at a time. Characters can switch between stances on the fly, walloping out a two-handed weapon to drive out herding foes using sweeping arcs and alternating to a sword-and-board setup to take care their leader after the minions are plucked.
Building up your character is a matter of personal taste, as each of the various playable classes could level up through different paths. Obsidian isn’t sharing details on the advancement, but the developers promise that the options will be significant.
A Mass Effect-like cinematic camera work and conversation wheel present storytelling interactions far beyond what action/RPGs usually offer. Obsidian has established that it can do astonishing things in this domain (take a look at Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II), and Dungeon Siege III has a firm technical groundwork on which to build.
The developers happily exhibited off the game’s two-player drop-in/drop-out local co-op play, but remained silent when asked about online co-op or the fact that Dungeon Siege has constantly boasted four-character parties.