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Knights Contract

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: Feb. 22, 2011 (US), Feb. 25, 2011 (EU)


PS3/X360 Preview - 'Knights Contract'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on June 25, 2010 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

Knights Contract re-creates the era of swordsmen and magic with astonishing visual appeal while keeping players at the edge of their seats with stylized over-the-top action.

Namco's single-player games seem to be on a kick of having an AI partner this year, and Knights Contract explores this concept in another distinct direction. With its gothic feel and unusual premise, the game could be a unique tale, though questions arise about how it will hold up against competition that Namco itself is providing in the form of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

Knights Contract casts the player as the immortal Heinrich, with a partner, Gretchen the witch. This world is not friendly to witches, and Heinrich was an executioner who killed Gretchen. With her dying breath, she cursed him with immortality. Then she came back, and he was contracted to help her against his master, a man known only as Dr. Faust, and the mysterious monsters that have been cropping up.

The gameplay appears to be very God of War-like, with the twist that Heinrich has no life bar — only Gretchen does, though she can take quite a few hits.  Fortunately, Gretchen is far from the distressed damsel type, and she uses her magic to explosive effect in battle ... and the occasional puzzle.

The game's appearance is done in a 17th-century European gothic style, an era during which the panic of witches was all too real. The look is beautiful, if gritty, with some very satisfying effects for Gretchen's magic. The sound remained unclear due to booth conditions.

We're unsure how Knights Contract will turn out. Only a short amount of content was demoed, and Heinrich's maneuvers weren't quite as smooth as one would expect, particularly in comparison toNamco's other upcoming releases. However, they have plenty of time to polish the game for its planned 2011 release.

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