One Of these days, all games will have decent voiceacting. At least, they will if I ever become president. Forget famine and peacekeeping: decent in-game line delivery would be top of my agenda. 9am, Monday morning.
Of course, by then it'd be too late for KnightShift, an RTS/RPG hybrid blighted by one of the worst scripts and some of the most risible acting performances you're ever likely to witness. Lines such as. "Hast thou also had problems with pesky wolves and mangy bears?" are hard enough to take seriously at the best of times. But when they're woodenly delivered by hideously untalented thespians, it's almost impossible not to laugh out loud. Apparently KnightShift is supposed to be funny, but we reckon it gets the laughs for all the wrong reasons.
So much for the comedy. As for the gameplay, it's basically a mixture of role-playing and RTS in the Warcraft III mould. True to cliche, the plot concerns the efforts of one Prince John (that's you), trying to overthrow an evil necromancer and reclaim his throne and bride-to-be. Aiding you is a priest who looks like a bearded Concorde nose-cone in a cloak, and your fearsomely-named sidekick Floyd.
KnightShift is divided into two distinct parts - base-building RTS missions and task-led RPG levels. The strategy parts are by far the more enjoyable, keeping things simple with just one resource to collect and a smattering of buildings to construct. And the single resource? No, it's not wood or coal or spice - it's milk, ha ha! (The developers are Polish and that's Polish humour, apparently.) The battles themselves are somewhat random affairs, with clumsy unit selection hampering your ability to use any kind of tactics. On a more positive note, though, enemies do turn and run away - or rather hobble - when close to death, and troops gain in experience the more action they see.
The RPG missions are somewhat of a disaster, proving even more basic than their strategy counterparts. Running around a level like a hyperactive baboon, you're tasked with completing unimaginative tasks such as finding weapons, items or lost children, while fending off any would-be attackers. Only there's no need to do the latter, as you can simply outrun them. Even if they're wolves.
It's a real shame that more thought and effort wasn't put into KnightShift, as the engine isn't half bad, while the gameplay is fairly accessible and perfect for any RTS/RPG newcomer. What's more, the music is very nicely done, sucking you into the mythical gameworld and morphing almost seamlessly from one tune to the next to reflect what's happening on your monitor.
As it is though. KnightShift can only be described as a pauper's Warcraft III, and unless you're new to gaming, or have a penchant for comically bad acting, we'd suggest looking elsewhere for your fantasy-world thrills. And no, we're not talking about the lingerie section of the latest M&S catalogue...
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP