Review by Pikachu1918

"Sir Knight, this game is nothing specail Indeed"

Introduction

Hey gaming fans, after months of being away, this rat is packed with new games to play and reviews to do, so what's up on the to do list today? It's The First Templar by our friends at Haemimont Games. This is a young studio, and it's working with a young publisher and the game shows it.

The main idea behind this game is you're a Knight of the Templar, who thinks he can find the Holy Grail based on his research, which leads to hunting for ancient texts, which will lead where it will lead. In allot of ways this game isn't that original, or impressive, despite the first positive impressions I received from it via videos, and such. Well, such as the case, let's crack it open, and see what this game has to offer.

Plot: 6/10

With some games, you don't need a plot, with an action/adventure game like this; you need a good story to keep the player interested. This game has loads of minimal plot twists, the usual collection of the middle age characters, the babe, the betrayer, the hero. It keeps screaming to me it's a knock off of another well know popular game that's made a very good name for itself in this genera of video games. It's very nice you're hunting for the Holy Grail, and trying to do good deeds as a Templar, but the knock off factor is never really shaken.

As someone who's a history buff, I liked the depth of how historically accurate they made this game, from the Friday the 13th betrayal, to the fact that the main character can't do certain things since he is a templar. The fact that you can unlock a history lesson on the Templar order as you play the game is nice. Bottom line this is window dressing to a mundane story line, with mundane characters, nothing special.

Game play: 3/10

The art of designing games has changed over the years, and it seems whoever designed this game didn't want to keep up with the times. Instead of encountering an open-ended game, with countless paths to one goal, what do I hit? I encounter a game where the user can follow one path, attempting to leave the beaten path does not reward the user; instead it actively punishes the user so that you're discouraged from going off the path the programmers set. The real twist here is that there are incentives if for you to do just that.

As with all games of this type, you have a movement and combat part of it. Everything is more or less disappointing. Regardless of which character you're playing at a given time, you can't jump unless it's over designated obstacles, what happened? Knights can't jump, or women in minimal clothing? The game does encourage stealth, but sadly, the controls (A mouse and keyboard in my case) are too sensitive to make use of this ideal.

Each character does have his/her own tree to talents, but it lacks originality, since if you review the trees, you can see how they share them to one degree or another. It feels cheap, as if the company couldn't invest the time to create unique trees for each character. There are special combo moves you can unlock via these trees, and with one or two exceptions, you don't need them, or they don't work as advertised.

When it comes to the combat system of the game, we have good and a bad side. The good news is they tried to keep it as close as they could base on reality. You're not going to see magic here, but the bad news is that the system is very simple, with the exception of the duels, the usual 3 to 5 bad guys on our heroes are so easy to beat a 5 year old could do it. I am disappointed how any upgrades you get are cosmetic, not actual damage or increasing your own protection.

Graphics: 4/10

I see what I call an oxymoron of graphics here, the video game asks for a decent PC. However, it doesn't measure up in the least, when compared to game with the same requirements. Randomly during combat, the games will slow down the action for a kill of the guy you're fighting. Rather than earn an M rating that I felt would help sell this game, it was kept bloodless, despite it demanding blood.

During the slow motion kills your character makes, you see a sword going thought someone's stomach, the point of a shield being used on someone's throat, and there's no blood from this? As a player, I feel this is cheap. Don't do things like that, if you're not going to include the blood from the action in question. What is weird here is that your character's sword is dripping in the stuff. Someone mind explaining it to me, why it's acceptable in one way, but not another?

It's easy to tell characters apart, the environment is at best generic. I don't feel a group of programmers/animators put this together. I feel someone in their basement with a few hundred hours to spare did the graphics.

Bottom-lining it, this game under delivers in the system requirements, and tried to take a short cut to higher sales with a lower rating, over going with a higher rating, which could've lead to happier customers, and dare I say it, more sales of this title.

Sound: 3/10

Nothing special, this isn't how it should be. You're a knight on an epic quest to try to find the Holy Grail, even by 21st century standards, that's a big quest. Music wise, it's nice, it's classical, it's elevator music, see the problem?

The company couldn't bother making sure you're hitting something to trigger the hit/effort sound effects. Since I have gone swinging, or shield bashing at air, and it sounds like we're hitting nothing. I don't expect games to mimic reality perfectly, but this is something that should've been corrected before the game hit the market.

Multiplayer: 0.5/10

I think this is the first time I've used am 0.5 for a part of the game that's actually there. However, my hand has been forced. There is no way to converse with people you're working with, you have to create another account, from besides the one you use to play the game. The lag is horrible, so bad I'd rate it as unplayable. Even if you get a connection to a game, and the lag doesn't bore you, the fact that you need to work with the combat enhancement tree the other party set will discourage you from trying it. I'd out and out call for this part of the game to be removed, that's how bad it is.

Replay: 1/10

Does this game offer incentive to replay it? In a word no, the only replay value this game offers is finding items you missed on the first pass, and doing achievements. You can do that by replaying older chapters, no need for a new start up of it.

FINAL CALL TIME
Hey gaming fans, this is the end of the line. We all know what time it is, it's FINAL CALL TIME where I say yeah or nah to a title based on its current asking price, and what I've seen on it. Sadly, fans, I have to say. Do Not Buy this game!

The current price is between $35 and $45, there is some spiking into the $50 range and over. It's not worth it for a game that's a knock off of another good game, and a poor knock off at that. It doesn't allow players to explore; there are no maps to help you. While there are no grade A bugs in the game, it does feel cheap, which is why it's hard to justify the price the player is asked to pay.

If this game did something well, I could tell you loyal readers why you might want to buy this game, but it does nothing at the blow me away, super good. Everything in this game is sub-par from Plot to replay with everything in between. Well gaming fans, this is your hardworking reviewer, Pikachu1918 signing off by saying. If I play a knight in this game, why do I never ride a horse?


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 05/24/11

Game Release: The First Templar (Steam Special Edition) (US, 05/12/11)


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