Has Neocore been able to pull the sword from the stone with this title? Not quite, yet. The game is still in very early access. With that in mind, lets talk about it a little bit.
King Arthur: Knight’s Tale is a unique hybrid between turn-based tactical games and traditional, character-centric RPGs. Knight’s Tale is a modern retelling of a classic Arthurian mythology story filtered through the dark fantasy tropes, a twist on the traditional tales of chivalry. You are Sir Mordred, the nemesis of King Arthur, the former black knight of the grim tales. You killed King Arthur, but with his dying breath, he struck you down. You both died and yet, you both live. The Lady of the Lake, the ruler of the mystical island of Avalon brought you back to end a true nightmare. She wants you to go on a knightly quest. She wants you to finish what you have begun. Kill King Arthur, or whatever he has become after she took his dying vessel to Avalon.
Fans of the X-com series will feel familiar King Arthur: Knight’s Tale base building and hero management. You are able to build and upgrade your Castle to provide different bonuses and perks. Teams of Heroes and soldiers are sent out on missions where they gain experience. Your faithful knights and soldiers may also be killed or injured in combat, leading to a long recovery time. This system can lead to some imbalances in the game, as it may take between two and four missions for a grievously wounded member of your team to completely heal. At which point they may no longer be a viable team member for your missions. Hence every battle takes on an added level of difficulty in trying to balance clearing objectives and keeping your team from being injured.
Combat is divided into turns, with each side acting on its on turn. Each individual character is allotted a number of action points that are used to either move, or perform an action. A character may also choose to reserve action points for a later turn, or may go into an “overwatch” stance which allows them to attack any enemy which moves into attack range on the enemies turn.
Visually I found this title to be very appealing. The dark, gritty atmosphere lends itself well to the story being told as well as the source material being utilized. I did run into some very poorly optimized visuals which resulted in significant frame rate drops. Despite that issue I continue to have hope that it is something that Neocore is able to deal with as development continues towards a full release.
With more than 30 heros to choose from and a slew of different moral paths, replay value is expected to be high. At the moment, I would suggest waiting for more large patches and updates to roll out before putting any money down for this title.
This article will continue to be updated as updates are released over the coming months.