PS3 Previews: Knights Contract Preview

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Knights Contract Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Spring 2011

Publisher:

Namco Bandai

Developer:

Game Republic

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

We haven’t yet talked about one of the more promising games that showed up at the Tokyo Game Show: Namco Bandai’s Knights Contract. A third-person, hack ‘n slash action extravaganza featuring two main characters that work in tandem to defeat the denizens of evil, it impressed TGS attendees with its visual realism and potential. Although other similar games received more press during the event – the new Devil May Cry and Asura’s Wrath from Capcom leap readily to mind – we at PSXE feel that Namco’s project could surprise everyone next year. Two things cause us to have faith: the first is the new trailer that debuted at the show, which you can view below. The second is the first smattering of details that could indicate an elite next-gen experience, provided all the pieces fall into place. But first, let’s deal with that video; the level of graphical accomplishment is appreciated…if unexpected.

Granted, the most impressive aspects of the trailer are the cut-scenes, but the gameplay looks fast, furious and quite detailed, and some of the non-CGI scenes are drop-dead gorgeous. It’s difficult to imagine that a virtually unknown game called Knights Contract threw down the visual gauntlet at TGS 2010 but that may indeed be the case. Other titles, like the aforementioned Capcom projects and Mikami/Suda 51’s game, Shadows of the Damned, looked like fun, but didn’t have this kind of graphical quality. In fact, perhaps the only game that topped this one in terms of visuals might have been Team ICO’s The Last Guardian. Beyond the graphics, we get a glimpse of the story, which consists of Heinrich, the big main guy, and Gretchen, the resurrected witch at his side. Apparently, Heinrich can’t die – what is this, NeverDead? – and he has to protect Gretchen, who is unsurprisingly skilled in the magical arts. FYI, you only have direct control over the huge dude with the scythe.

The two embark on a mission to stop the evil Dr. Faust, who is wreaking havoc in a fictional representation of medieval Germany. Heinrich will clearly utilize a vast array of melee skills and combo attacks, which appear to have the speed of a Ninja Gaiden and the fiery flash of a God of War. We’re not yet sure if he’ll be able to utilize other weapons, or if that massive scythe can be used in other ways; i.e., if it can be upgraded to become more powerful and perhaps even ranged (throw that sucker!). Of course, he’s not entirely alone: although his job is to protect Gretchen, he can still ask her to help by casting various spells, and that implies the two should be able to team up against significantly difficult foes. A few reared their ugly heads in that trailer, as well as the short demo shown to the press at the show. In the demo, there was some sort of intimidating flaming horse and chariot that posed some definite problems.

Now, here’s the only part that has us concerned: you can’t let Gretchen die. Heinrich has signed a contract to protect her so if she goes down, you’ll see that dreaded Game Over screen. Personally, I’m not a big fan of babysitting in my video games, and it seems rare that developers get this just right. Two of the best examples of paired heroes so far this generation have been Chris and Sheva in Resident Evil 5, and the Prince and Elika in Prince of Persia, but there have been many other instances of partner failure. So we’re leery of the escorting in Knights Contract. However, perhaps it’s not a big deal…see, if Heinrich can’t die, maybe we don’t have to worry about ourselves, and we simply have to keep an eye on Gretchen’s health. That seems weird, but who knows? Namco said the guy is invincible, so…

Anyway, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. It’s slated to arrive in the spring for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

9/21/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (20 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:42:35 PM
Reply

This looks like an absolute must purchase!

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:47:26 PM

For you, games like GOW just aren't my cup of tea anymore. I will certainly rent it though if it gets good reviews. The babysitting worries me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:50:47 PM

Hey man, toss me a scythe, a period atmosphere and a classic work of literature and I'm game! I don't like a lot of babysitting either, but hopefully this game will pull it off.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:52:49 PM

LV, it's the scythe that got World. He loves Dante's Inferno. ;)

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:55:35 PM

Good point Ben. I still remember his lengthy comments regarding getting a Platinum in Dante's Inferno.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:12:32 PM

Hrm? I never got the plat, just said I'd go for it. But I keep missing that last Judas coin. I was thinking of doing a totally biased literature-based review though.

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:14:12 PM

::giggle::

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Vitron
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:16:35 PM

Hey world, I think you just found a new avatar!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:18:07 PM

Well, I'm not huge on that guy's character design and I don't know his story so I'll stick with Dante for now.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 2:11:58 AM

That's the first time I think I've ever read you claiming that, World. It's almost always, "It's a bargain bin game."

I think the game looks cool. Nice CG, the game itself looks a little cheaply made. Not GoW caliber in the production department for sure-but what is? Hopefully, there's multiple weapons to master and enemies that won't stand around like vegetables waiting to be chopped up.

I just hope some of these games cool it with the boobs and stuff cause I sometimes play these in front of my kids.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/22/2010 2:12:40 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:28:21 PM

You gotta follow me more closely my friend, my spidey sense always picks out the must buys and this will be one of em.

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Condemnedsoul23
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:49:26 PM
Reply

Yeah that did look pretty aweosme. Voice acting not that impressive but the gameplay looks like it more than makes up for it. I am intrigued I will admit. I need a review first. Game trailers are like movie trailers. They show all the best stuff to suck you in. Makes me think of Dante's Inferno and thats far from a bad thing.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 9:53:15 PM

I've mentioned that before...voice acting seems to be a problem for Japanese games this generation.

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Kangasfwa
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:42:47 PM
Reply

Thanks for showing us this game Ben. I'll definitely keep an eye on it now.

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sunspider13
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 2:02:19 AM
Reply

Hey now that looked nice. Will keep an eye open for this one.

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___________
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 3:41:56 AM
Reply

you had me at action adventure!

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JackC8
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 8:06:08 AM
Reply

Those cutscenes are absolutely fabulous! Gameplay doesn't look bad either. Too bad about the embarrassingly cornball voice acting, but I guess it's Japanese, and it's impossible for them to hire a native English speaker to give them any insight on that aspect of it. A German guy might sound a bit more genuine if he at least had a German accent.

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one though.

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ChloeAngelCat
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:31:04 PM
Reply

Knight contract looks very interesting

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Teddie9
Sunday, October 03, 2010 @ 8:04:32 PM
Reply

I hope this is good...

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Knightblade72
Friday, February 25, 2011 @ 11:31:15 AM
Reply

I am halfway in the game and it is ok, but the baby sitting is awful, sometimes she slows you down get in the way and really messes up finishing moves sometimes. The game has a lot of potential hopefully I will like the ending.

Last edited by Knightblade72 on 2/25/2011 11:31:44 AM

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