The year is 1998 and a young boy sits on his bed while wearing a knights helmet. His toy sword does not stray afar and lies closely to the boy lap. Gripping tightly to the controller, the boy is so immersed by the odd-looking skeletal knight that awaits his command on the TV screen. Ignoring his mother’s cry to wash the dishes, the boy pushes the forward directional key on his controller sending forth Sir Daniel Fortesque to embark on a journey to bring closure to the cursed land of Gallowmere. That young boy was me.
Medievil instantly became one of my most treasured childhood games. I just loved the horror influenced worlds, the sense of adventure and the cool weapons you unlocked to assist you on your quest. When I caught word that it would be re-released this year, I was quick to send this to my pre-order cart.
Medievil sets you in the shoes of Sir Daniel Fortesque a brave knight that has returned from the grave to save Gallowmere from the evil sorcerer Lord Zarok, who has placed a horrible curse upon its land.
What’s so immediately captivating is how amazing Medievil’s visuals look, the vibrant colours of each reimagined world and its characters, just makes the journey of this game even more appreciative. I really respect how they haven’t changed anything about this title and made it a modern day game of the original title. Everything I remember as a kid is in the exact same place, this may be a problem to some, but for me it’s perfect because it takes me back to a childhood memory that i hold very dearly, and that’s the kind of impression that these remakes should be giving you.
Medievil doesn’t fail to amuse when it comes to its action ‘smash-em-up’ gameplay, which at times can be brutal when you slam zombies to bits with your war hammer, you can even hear the snap of their bones. The inclusion of the Hall of Heroes is one of Medievil’s highlighted aspects and encourages you to do more exploration in the vast worlds that a held within the game. After defeating enemies you will fill up a chalice and if the chalice reaches 100% and you collect it, at the end of the level you are transported to the Hall of Heroes where you can unlock a new weapons to assist you on your quest.
To balance up the gameplay from mashing up hordes of monsters, there is the inclusions of puzzles and riddles, which at times can have you pausing to figure out a solution. If you are unable to complete a level up to 100% due to not having a specific item, the game encourages you to revisit certain levels to acquire the required item, so the sense of adventure is strong. I also enjoyed Medievil’s boss battles which has you strategising your plan of attack to identify the bosses attack patterns, locate their weak spots and bring them down.
I think what plays a major part and really lifts the spirit of the game is the brilliant soundtrack composed by Andrew Barnabas and Paul Arnold. I loved their musical work in Medievil: Resurrection and having them return to assist in the musical aspect of the remake is a bonus. My personal favourites are “Gallowmere Waltz” and “Hilltop Mausoleum”, however the entire soundtrack is unique. So, if you are a fan of orchestral symphony sounds, then the Medievil soundtrack is definitely one to consider having on your playlist.
The only annoying trait about this game is the annoying camera – my god that camera! Goodness knows how many times that camera killed me. Sometimes, the camera has a tendency to have a mind of its own. Tou could be timing your jump to get to the next platform and all of a sudden, the camera shifts and ends up showing you jump off a platform into your death. They do have this thing I like to call “Dan Vision” where it switches to a third person game which helps, but even that’s not available at times. Not to mention if you die, you have to start the entire level again. With Medievil, there is no such thing as a check point. So ‘don’t die’ is my only advice.
Another annoying trait is jumping across to platforms. Majority of the time, the skeletal knight had problems making it to the other side of a platform. The inability to properly successfully jump to another platform is annoying and most lives and healing potions are wasted on this problem. FIX THIS PLEASE!
After all these years, Medievil remake was able to allow me to relive a great childhood memory. It gave me ‘all the feels’ and frustrations I felt as a kid, but it also gave me the enjoyment I had when I first embarked on a journey to save Gallowmere with Sir Daniel Fortesque. For those looking for a humorous yet a different kind of sense of adventure, Medievil is a tale that is packed with challenging riddles, intense zombie killing action and delivers exceptionally well in its sense of adventure and storytelling.
Medievil is out now and is exclusive to Playstation 4.