Preview of King Arthur: Knight’s Tale. Shadow over Camelot

On January 26th, the tactical role-playing game King Arthur: Knight’s Tale by F95Zone Games, which may be familiar to a wide audience from  The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing  and  Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr, launched on Steam Early Access . We have mastered the content available in the game and are in a hurry to tell – is it worth joining the world of myths and legends about King Arthur right now, or is it better to wait for the release of the full version.

Modern culture, referring to the folklore heritage of the past, often smoothes the corners, turning the harsh legends of antiquity into cute fairy tales for the whole family. And meanwhile, it is sometimes worth looking into the original source – take at least Russian epics, even Celtic legends – all the time bloody murders, treacherous betrayals, monstrous torture, adultery and incest. It is clear that not every studio will dare to transfer this, say, to a movie screen. The risks are too great. Exceptions, however, do occur, especially among low-budget projects. The developers from NeocoreGames tried to embody a rather gloomy version of the legends about King Arthur in their tactical RPG King Arthur: Knight’s Tale , which is also a continuation of the King Arthur dilogy –The Role-playing Wargame . At first, the new product seems extremely promising. By the end of the annoyingly short campaign from early access, it becomes clear that, in the main, promises are still limited.

It is worth clarifying that the plot of Knight’s Talein relation to the canonical Arturian, it is strictly apocryphal. The game takes place after the decisive battle for Britain and the death of King Arthur. The player is invited to take on the role of his traitor, murderer and illegitimate son Mordred, who rose from the dead at the behest of the powerful Lady of the Lake. Shortly before his death, Sir Mordred released some dark forces that filled the surrounding lands with undead and monsters. And at the head of the outrageous army of darkness, apparently, is none other than the king who has risen from the grave – or at least what is left of him. Now Mordred needs to find his father and finish what he started. And on the way – to re-gather the knights of the Round Table and restore Camelot, becoming, depending on the actions of the player, his savior or a formidable tyrant. 

Knight’s Tale’s gameplay scheme is easiest to compare to Darkest Dungeon… Most of the game is occupied by the exploration and cleaning of individual locations of the mission, which either move the plot forward, or simply allow you to pump up and collect useful resources. At the same time, during the passage of the quest, the player’s possibilities are strictly limited: it is impossible to save, it is impossible to change the equipment and the composition of the party, and to distribute the earned characteristic points too. That is why no less important part of each mission than the actual campaign itself is preparation for it, coupled with the rebuilding of the operational base in [pii_email_aef67573025b785e8ee2]. On the ruins of an ancient castle, for a more or less reasonable price, you can build all the buildings necessary for the knightly fraternity – a trading store with weapons and armor, a hospital for healing especially severe wounds, a temple for receiving useful blessings and a number of other buildings that are to be completed in early access. did not have time.

And there is something to dig into – the skill tree of each class provides good variability. Say, melee fighters who are not burdened with a shield and specialize in dealing damage, which in Knight’s Talecalled “champions”, can be turned into mobile units, cleverly running behind the backs of opponents, but because of this they are often open to enemy attacks. Or you can focus on pumping a prepared strike and end up with a fighter capable of defending the front line of battle a little worse than a tank that absorbs damage. An archer, with the proper skill, can become an almost invulnerable sniper, receiving a bunch of protective bonuses in cover. And if you take the development of your ranger in the other direction, he will get hold of an impressive supply of action points and will rush around the perimeter of the battle like a bullet, choosing the most convenient positions for a well-aimed shot. Each path will have its own pros and cons. 

The same can be said about individual perks – for example, one of them can significantly increase the effectiveness of an active combat skill, but then it will require even more valuable action points. The developers are clearly not afraid to give the player the freedom to make decisions and be responsible for them. Diversity is also added by the fact that there are no identical heroes in Knight’s Tale (at least for now) at all. The skills available for study by two different fighters, even within the same class, will, albeit insignificantly, differ.

Conclusion:

Another interesting mechanic that can be indirectly attributed to pumping is the worldview system. Depending on the decisions made in the course of the plot, the protagonist’s moral compass will shift along two independent axes – political views (from tyranny to justice) and religious preferences (from Christianity to paganism). Given that each of these dichotomies can be neutral, this adds up to nine possible alignments for the player to choose from (hello difficult person test!). In addition to influencing the development of the plot, this system has two more practical functions. First, by consistently defending a certain position, the hero will eventually unlock unique bonuses that are inaccessible to other alignments. Among them are new combat abilities, and access to unique recruits, and the ability to issue a decree, say, severely restricting the growth of prices in local stores (Mordred, after all, is the acting king). Secondly, every party member has his own views on the world. And in the event that your worldviews coincide, the subordinate will receive advantages to combat characteristics. In the opposite case, the effectiveness of a warrior who disagrees with the decisions of the commander in battle will deteriorate, and at some point he may completely leave you forever.

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