The Cursed Crusade

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The Cursed Crusade
The Cursed Crusade Cover Art.png
Developer(s) Kylotonn
Publisher(s) EU dtp entertainment AG
NA Atlus
JP Ubisoft
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) EU 20111007October 7, 2011
NA 20111025October 25, 2011
JP February 9, 2012 (PS3 only)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer (Third-person view)
Distribution Blu-ray Disc
DVD-ROM

The Cursed Crusade is an action-adventure game developed by Kylotonn and published by dtp entertainment AG for Europe, Atlus for North America and Ubisoft for Japan.

Gameplay[edit]

The game is set during the Fourth Crusade and stars two crusaders. The player controls Denz de Bayle, a cursed Templar, who is searching for his lost father to break the curse. He is joined by a partner, the Spanish mercenary, Esteban Noviembre, who can either be controlled by AI or by a second player via online or local co-op.[1] The game allows for various cooperative moves, such as grapple executions, team healing, and level progression.

The player controls their character in a third-person perspective, and can rotate the camera 360 degrees, for a full view of their surroundings. The game takes place in a linear adventure across Europe, including locations such as France, Croatia, Constantinople, and Syria. During the game, the player can pick up and wield up to four weapons, including swords, maces, axes, shields, and spears. All of the weapons will break, forcing the player to either conserve their weapons, or find more.

The characters have an ability to use the 'Curse.' An ability that lets them walk between the divide of Earth and Hell, giving them supernatural powers. The curse will grant the player stronger moves, faster movement speed, and an ability to see collectibles previously hidden. The curse will drain their meter as long as it's in use, and eventually, will kill the player.

Story[edit]

The Cursed Crusade follows the story of Denz de Bayle. Denz is a strong templar knight, with a cursed bloodline. He searches for his father, who never returned from Syria during the Third Crusade. Once he finds his father, he believes that he will be able to reclaim his family castle from his treacherous uncle, and also remove the curse.

The game begins in Syria, during the Third Crusade. The protagonist's father, Jean de Bayle, is defending the Krak des Chevaliers from the invading Saracen forces. His close friend, Martin Algaïs, approaches him with a chest, as Jean kills the last of the Saracens. Jean orders Martin to flee to France and protect the chest, which he does with Hesitation. The game then switches to his son's, Denz de Bayle, perspective. Denz, a wandering mercenary, enters a looted French town. He stumbles upon a dying peasant, who blames God for the raid, and promptly dies. Moments later, mercenaries working for Boniface de Mountferrat, and Boudouin de Flandre. Denz kills the band of mercenaries easily. The world around him is then sent ablaze, and he has taken the form of a demon. He turns to see the personification of Death walking towards him, telling that he has come for his soul. Denz flees into the local church, as everything returns to normal. Meanwhile, the Spanish thief, Esteban Noviembre, is caught by his former gang, who he had stole from. While confronting them, he takes the shape of a demon and the land around him also catches on fire. When Esteban sees Death walking towards him, he believes it is merely a nightmare and also flees inside a local church.

A few months later, Denz and Esteban are recruited into Boudouin de Flandre's mercenary army, to siege the Château de Biron. After Denz and Esteban break down the gate, the army swarms into the castle, pillaging and killing mercilessly. Eventually, Denz and Esteban reach the top of the castle, where the lord, Martin Algaïs, awaits them. After wounding Martin, he compliments their fighting prowess, before he summons the curse. The curse drags them back to the fiery landscapes from before, with Esteban believing it is another nightmare. Martin is surprised to see that Denz and Esteban take the demon forms required from a bearer of the curse. Denz quickly snaps Esteban out of his fear, and together they defeat Martin. As he lies dying, Martin asks who the two men are. As Denz explains who he is, Martin realizes that he is the son of his old friend Jean de Bayle. Just as Denz is about to ask more about his lost father, Boniface de Mountferrat and Boudouin de Flandre appear, and quickly dismiss the two men. As Denz and Esteban return to camp, Boniface demands to know where Martin had hid the chest. Martin simply gives him a riddle, before dying of his injuries.

After returning to France, Denz is determined to leave Esteban, and join a local jousting tournament for the privilege of joining the army of the Fourth Crusade, but Esteban will not leave Denz. After realizing that the tournament is for teams of two, Denz reluctantly allows Esteban to follow him. After easily winning the first four rounds, the two go against Boudouin de Flandre in the tournament. De Flandre has rigged the fight by providing Denz and Esteban broken swords. Despite this, he is easily defeated by the pair. Humiliated, he sends assassins to kill the two later in the evening. When they arrive at the crusaders' camp, one of the leaders, Boudouin de Flandre, is infuriated that they still live, and challenge them to fight once more. After the fight is interrupted, they head to their tents and rest. Denz and Esteban awaken in Hell, where Death taunts them with nightmares. After waking, Esteban demands to know why they frequently end up in a fiery inferno as demons. Denz explains that this is the Curse, where their families have committed such a grievous sin, they are destined for Hell when they die. Death will always seek those with the curse, considering damned souls to be a delicacy.

Later, they reach Venice, where they quickly run out of money for the trip to Jerusalem. The Venetians offer them a deal; Siege the city of Zara for them, and they will alleviate some of the debt. After they slaughter countless Croatian soldiers, they run into the Captain of the Zara Guard. He warns them to turn back, but Denz and Esteban simply laugh at him. When the Captain summons the curse, they find themselves surrounded by countless damned souls. After defeating the Captain, he tells them of another afflicted with the curse, that seeks to break it. When Denz asks of the man, the Captain simply tells him, 'The one who leads your armies.' As Zara begins to fall, Denz and Esteban are tasked to fight the leader of the city, Ladislaus, and find out where he hid a red chest. Boniface warns Denz that Ladislaus has the curse as well. After wounding Ladislaus, Boniface reveals that he has found the red chest. he opens it and pulls out a piece of wood that he claims to be a relic; a piece of the true cross. Later, Denz and Esteban have another encounter with Death in a nightmare, noting that he was more powerful than before, and that eventually, he will win.

After returning to Venice, they meet Alexius the 4th, the former emperor of Constantinople. He tells them that his uncle had gouged his father, Isaac the 2nd's eyes out, and took the title of emperor. He asks them to remove his uncle, Alexius the 3rd, from Constantinople, and help him reclaim the throne; in exchange, Alexius the 3rd will pay off the crusaders' debts to the Venetians. The crusaders agree, heading towards Constantinople immediately. After arriving, they make no delay in massacring the Byzantine soldiers. They fight hard, eventually reaching Constantinople's golden gates. Boniface, Boudouin, Denz, and Esteban all use the power of the curse to weaken the door enough for the battering ram. They eventually meet the Guardian of Constantinople, Tatikios Lente. Lente is blessed with a heavenly curse, as Denz puts it, proving to be a powerful enemy that counters their curse. After defeating Lente in battle, Varangian guards cover his escape. After days of sieging, Alexius the 3rd flees Constantinople, allowing Alexius the 4th and Isaac the 2nd to reclaim the throne. The crusaders wait in the city for their payment.

The crusaders wait for months, before Alexius the 4th and Isaac the 2nd are murdered by a man named Murtzuphle. Murtzuphle Refuses to pay off their debts. The crusaders become enraged, and renew the siege of Constantinople. After catching Murtzuphle, Denz and Esteban quickly defeat him, and demand to know the location of the relic that Constantinople hides. Murtzuphle tells of two relics hidden in the city; a spear, and a crown made of thorns; the latter of which only Princess Theodora knows the location of. When the two reach the first relic, Boniface de Mountferrat meet them, and demands that they hand over the relic. Denz refuses, and the crusaders attack the two. After dispatching the crusaders, and defeating Boniface, the two begin to leave, before Boniface activates the curse, and gets ready to kill Denz. Right before Denz is killed, him and Esteban become frozen in time, and sent to Death's nightmare. Refusing to run anymore, the two fight Death, weakening him and ensuring that there will be no more nightmares. After gaining strength from the fight, Denz knocks Boniface unconscious using the power of the curse. They take the true cross, and the spear, and attempt to flee the city. As they flee, they are chased by Boniface, who uses the curse to try to kill them. When they become trapped, they use the Column of Theodosius to crush Boniface. Afterwards, they meet Tatikios Lente, the Guardian of Constantinople. They save his life, hoping for help, but he merely leaves them. When they see Byzantine civilians being butchered by crusaders, they begin to save them. As they save civilians, they run into Lente again, about to be killed by Boudouin de Flandre. After defeating Boudouin, Lente accepts their offer of an alliance, and start to head for Princess Theodora. When they reach Theodora, they are surprised to see Boniface alive after being crushed. He holds up a wooden cross, which he reveals holds the remains of the crown of thorns. He uses the cross to kill Lente, and to summon a powerful demon from Hell, which promptly crushes the princess. After killing the demon, Denz and Esteban head towards the Hagia Sophia to confront Boniface once and for all. When they arrive, they are shocked to learn that Boniface has been collecting relics from Biron, Zara, and Constantinople to summon demons from Hell for an army. He uses sacred grounds such as the churches as a conductor for his demonic subjects. Boniface summons three more giant demons in the Basilica, and promptly flees. Once the two kill the demons, they leave the Basilica on horseback, before being chased by another demon. They cross the Bosporus strait and use a ballista to kill the demon, and agree to head to Syria to search for Denz's father.

When they reach the Krak des Chevaliers, they are attacked by undead, cursed crusaders. They slay the monsters, and search the old fortress for any sign of Denz's father. When they reach the courtyard of the fortress, Denz senses an unholy presence coming from the church. Hesitantly checking it out, they are horrified to see an old man impaled on a chandelier, acting as a gateway to hell. They kill the undead warriors around the man, and set the man ablaze in holy fire, cleansing the church and fortress. When Denz senses something is still amiss in the church, he finds a hidden box containing the Shroud of Christ, along with a scroll. The scroll is written by Denz's father, Jean, and pleads for Denz to head for Egypt, where he is hiding from Boniface. A few weeks later, Jean is awaiting his son to meet him in Cairo, when he hears a voice behind him. He turns to see a demonized Boniface de Mountferrat. Jean draws his sword and charges at Boniface, as they both prepare to lock blades.

Reception[edit]

The game received generally unfavourable reviews, with a rating of 55/100 (PC)[2] 45/100 (PS3)[3] and 39/100 (Xbox 360)[4] on Metacritic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Cursed Crusade Tech Info". Gamespot. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Cursed Crusade Microsoft Windows". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Cursed Crusade PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Cursed Crusade Xbox 360". Metacritic. Retrieved 4 November 2011. 

External links[edit]