Spirit Of Excaubur
|a game by||Synergistic Software|
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||6.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Even after a thousand years, the legends of King Arthur and his knights have not lost their power to excite and entertain. In Spirit of Excalibur, you assume the role of Constantine, Arthur's successor to the throne of Camelot.
The realm is beset by troubles: The sons of the slain Mordred are massing an army; powerful Saxon bands are plundering; dragons roam the countryside; and in the wilderness, the evil Morgan Le Fay schemes for revenge.
Meanwhile, the Knights of the Round Table are scattered and apathetic. The only man who can rally them, Lancelot, is sequestered at Glastonbury, brooding over his betrayal of Arthur and his lost love, Guinivere.
First you must travel to Cam-elot to assume the crown. Then, while fending off the Saxons and maneuvering to delay Mordred's sons, you must somehow persuade Lancelot to return and once more raise the standard of Arthur.
And that's only in the first two of five episodes. Along the way are numerous smaller quests and duels, interspersed with larger clashes between armies.
Excalibur is undoubtedly one of the prettiest games to come along in quite awhile. The large scrolling map of England is a work of art, and the castles, landmarks, villages, and cathedrals are sumptuously rendered, not unlike medieval manuscript illuminations. There is a lot of pleasure to be had simply by wandering around and looking at things.
The game system, however, is sometimes baffling. Your first quest, for instance, is not the one the instructions lead you to expect. Reasonable objectives — things that certainly appear easy enough to accomplish — are sometimes denied you for reasons that seem both murky and arbitrary. The manual appears to tell you all you need to know, but is actually mute on important subjects.
Eventually, just by wandering around and trying different ideas, you do get a feel for the game. Some players may lack the time or patience for this, while others may enjoy the learn-as-you-play philosophy.
Certainly, anyone who is attracted to the Arthurian legends should take a look at Spirit of Excalibur. It's a lush, beautiful game that is faithful to the myths that inspired it.