Review: Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest
I don’t envy Zindagi Games. Having created Sports Champions, the game that showcased exactly what Sony’s little wand could do, they were faced with quite the daunting task, improving on that formula. Most developers would have just crafted an expansion pack disguised as a sequel and stuck a “reloaded” or “season 2” on the box, but these guys wanted to try something different, and they should at least be applauded for that. It unfortunately doesn’t change the fact that Medieval Moves simply wasn’t a very good idea, transposing the mechanics of several isolated experiences into one overcomplicated adventure.
Your quest starts out simply enough, with the play assuming the role of Prince Edmund, who has the voice of an American child. He is assisted by his father, who has the voice of a large Scottish man. He might be adopted and doesn’t know it yet. The plot is fairly standard really, an evil skeleton man here, a mystical amulet there, some lava, some snow, and you have yourself a fantasy adventure. The plot is the very definition of window dressing, an excuse to shepherd the player towards various encounters of size and difficulty. There’s a decent amount of locations to visit and enemies to vanquish, but it seems your enemies like to swarm you with overwhelming numbers.
It’s here where Medieval Moves starts to unravel. It goes without saying that Move is used for every possible action in the game, but this is to some severe detriment when things get hectic. When you’re trying to reach for an arrow and pull out a throwing star, it’s frustrating. When you’re doing that same action while being fired upon by skeletons in flying machines, it’s downright infuriating. I found myself turning down the difficulty in an attempt to get through the game with my sanity intact, and eventually I ended up playing through the game with just one move wand, as it turned out it was so much more precise with regards to aiming and defence.
Of course, even if the controls worked like a charm for the entirety of Deadmund’s Quest, it wouldn’t distract from the fact that his journey falls flat at every possible moment. It looks decent and animates well, but the moment to moment gameplay isn’t exciting enough to sustain the game for the 3 or so hours it took me to soldier through its campaign. There are some multiplayer survival modes, but those play out in much the same way as the main quest, only with more clearly defined objectives. Deadmund is on rails for the entirety of the single player game, and the objective is either “sword that thing hitting you” or ” shoot an arrow at that other thing to get through”. there’s very little in the way of variety, as even the optional coin collecting minigames do little to change the pace. It’s dull throughout, and the final boss turned out to be easier than previous bosses in the game, primarily due to the fact that there were less quick time events to deal with.
Medieval Moves is an attempt to capitalise on Zindangi’s experience with the controller, but it doesn’t do a good enough job of making the game interesting enough to sustain your attention. Pile on top of that the pressure of performing precise movements on demand, and you have yourself a recipe for frustration in a neat skeletal package. There’s the occasional glimpse of something better when you get a few good arrow shots in, but then you accidentally throw a ninja star and it all comes crashing down again like plywood scenery.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Competent graphics and sound.
- The core mechanics work well, and provide a showcase for how precise the controller is.
What I Dislike:
- The game itself isn't particularly interesting.
- What story the game tries to put forward falls flat.