Hack, slash, repeat...
In 2004, a more dynamic approach to the Kingdom Under Fire series made KUF: Crusaders one of the most exciting titles on the Xbox. However, in ditching the games gentle strategic elements and concocting it into a button-bashing dungeon crawler, the developers have tragically lost sight of what fans liked most about the game.
Although the adventure follows a familiar template, the action does nothing to develop the formula and comes across as a bog-standard brawler: the missions are crushingly repetitive, forcing players to lumber through an endless series of boring crypts and hitting the same buttons to off an army of undead monstrosities; the games story elements unfold in bizarre dream sequences that are cut off from the main quest, making it easy to lose sight of why youre killing a battalion of zombies and making the experience cruelly shallow; the level design is often too cramped for the outrageous action, leading to irksome moments where youre surrounded by dozens of monsters and unable to escape their cheap attacks; and the ridiculous in-game camera seemingly has a mind of its own, and will often snap to useless perspectives when youre trying to fend off a team of marauding skeletons.
The online co-operative mode and imaginative monsters go some way to giving habitual hack n slashers an adventure to cherish, but even those with permanently blistered fingers will be disappointed by the linear levels and dim-witted enemies.