I’m crazy about Arthurian legends. Anything involving King Arthur, Camelot, Avalon, and the Knights of the Round Table, I’m sold on. So imagine my surprise when I found out that King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale existed.
Sporting a unique twist to the story, you’ll take on the role of Sir Mordred on his quest to assassinate King Arthur after the events that unfold throughout the legend. The preview begins with a beautiful cutscene depicting everything that transpired before the events of the game, including the final battle between Sir Mordred and King Arthur as they both face off. The Lady of the Lake recounts that after King Arthur was slain and his lifeless corpse dragged to Avalon, he appeared as a specter-like creature who raised the dead, wreaking havoc in his wake. In a desperate attempt to stop King Arthur’s reign of terror, the Lady of the Lake decides to trust fate again and raises Sir Mordred from the grave in hopes that he would fulfill his destiny: to kill King Arthur.
An interesting premise that immediately hooked me, if only for the gorgeous cutscene, presentation, and music that played throughout the title screen. This is when Sir Mordred wakes up and you are now able to control him.
The tutorial is quick and easy, although the game could definitely use a few more tutorials to explain the more in-depth combat mechanics, including the watch and rest systems present in the game which both use up some of your points. ‘action. While the combat isn’t complex by strategy game standards, King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale has systems that I deeply enjoyed that allow for deeper combat mechanics, which will surely help in difficult difficulties.
The tutorial sequence is simple, which will also introduce another round table knight trapped in the basement of the castle, as this also serves as a tutorial on how you – as a player – can interact with the many knights present throughout the game and choose what type of person Sir Modred becomes. While I wish throughout the previous stages Sir Mordred would act less like an all-powerful villain who acts the way he does just to annoy people, the ability to play a nicer or meaner version of the character was a sincere addition welcome which I did not expect.
When you select dialogue options, Sir Mordred’s morality changes accordingly. The two polar opposites of the vertical line are the moralities of the Just and the Tyrant, which are dictated by the righteousness or tyranny with which he acts as king. As for the horizontal line, there are the beliefs of the old religion and of Christianity, which are dictated by your allowing Sir Mordred to follow the new faith that King Arthur tried to set up for Camelot, or follow the paths of the past. It’s not just for show either, as leaning too far on certain sides will increase and decrease the loyalty of certain knights, while unlocking unique characters depending on which one you’re following; on the other side of the old religion, you unlock Morgan le Fay!
When it comes to combat, the game features turn-based strategic combat where players will control multiple knights and command them across the entire battlefield. Since this is an era of medieval times and magic, the number of weapons (and therefore classes) present throughout the game is wide, including mages, archers, porters two-handed heavyweights, dual carriers, and sword and shield carriers. The game features a dual HP bar mechanic where each character can take damage to their “armor” which can be healed while resting at a campsite, or to their “vitality” which requires it to be left to heal at the infirmary; if a knight perishes in battle, they are gone forever (this does not apply to easy mode). With backstabs, resistances, armor that prevents damage points, and status effects, there will always be plenty to focus on per battle streak.
One combat system mechanic that I wasn’t quite sure what to think about was how moves and attacks work. Instead of having a separate action point to ensure each character can attack throughout their turn, each action drains your total action points, which are used for movement, buff, and overwatch . This mechanic made me constantly choose between using all my action points to advance towards the enemy or advancing and saving the rest for later. Every unit on the battlefield moves slowly and heavily – you can’t move two characters at the same time, which means you’ll have to wait for them to finish moving before you can mobilize another. This also applies to the enemy; however, their turn can be sped up by holding down the spacebar: a handy feature to ensure I can take a close look whenever needed without having to dive into settings.
King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale has a lot of potential within it. There’s no denying that some of the knights (namely Sir Mordred) earlier had a one-dimensional personality, though selecting how he reacts and what he does solved that problem. If the developers continue on this path, it is certain that King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale will be successful, especially with the continued support promised.
King Arthur: A Knight’s Tale will be released on March 29 on PC, with Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions at a later date.