Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest is perhaps one of the most anticipated games for the Playstation Move this year. It was developed by the same studio that developed Sports Champions, to this date probably the best Playstation Move game developed. Question is, can they repeat their success with this game? I’m happy to say the answer is yes.
I should start out by saying that this site is called “PS3 Fitness”, and that this game really doesn’t provide much in the way of a fitness workout. Still, it’s definitely more “active” than your traditional first person adventure game, and the controls are so spot-on I definitely wanted to cover the game. But if you want a workout, play it while walking on a treadmill or wearing wrist weights 🙂
To play the game, you can choose to use one or two Move controllers–I definitely recommend two for the most natural gameplay (for example, as with Sports Champions, with two controllers you can hold a shield in one hand and a sword in the other; with one you’re constantly switching between the two). You can also choose whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. For purposes of this review, I’ll be speaking from a right-handed point of view, but just reverse everything if you’re left-handed.
The first thing the game does is take you through a little training session so you can get used to all the tools at your disposal. in the game. In a nutshell, here they are:
Sword: You swing the sword with your right hand. As with Sports Champions, the controls are one-to-one, and by far the best, smoothest, and most precise on any platform.
Shield: You hold your shield in your left hand and press the Move button to activate it. You can use it to block attacks or to deflect objects that are thrown at you.
Ninja Stars: You can throw Ninja stars with either hand by holding the controller horizontally and flicking your wrist while pressing and releasing the “T” button. If you’ve played Disc Golf on Sports Champions, it’s the same idea.
Bow and Arrow: The bow and arrow, not surprisingly, are similar to Sports Champions. You hold the “bow” with your left hand, make a motion to take the arrow out of your quiver with your right hand, and draw back and shoot by aiming with both hands, clicking the trigger button with your trigger finger of your right hand, and releasing the button to shoot the arrow. I had some problems with this when I played below, but fixing the lighting and charging my controller fixed that up.
Grappling Hook: There will be certain times in the game where you need to scale walls or use grappling hooks to swing your way from place to place. Hooks will be marked on the walls. When you see one, you point your right-hand Move controller down, hold the trigger button, and point the controller forward, and release the button.
Milk Bottle: As you withstand attacks from enemies, your health will go down. You need to collect and drink milk to replenish your health. To do so, hold your right Move controller like it’s a bottle of milk, press the Move button, and make a “drinking a bottle of milk” motion.
Here’s the tutorial lesson you’re giving at the outset of the game:
Throughout the game you’ll see objects like Milk and Coins which you shoot or strike with your sword to collect. As the game progresses, there will be certain times when you need to use the controllers to do other things, such as pull down a drawbridge or pick a lock. As with other games of this type, you’ll reach milestones called “bookmarks”.
Interestingly, in this game, you don’t control the character’s movements (after all, you’d need a third hand to hold the Navigation Controller). Instead, the character runs automatically. Your character will always automatically turn to face whatever “action” is going on at the time. In all honesty, I don’t mind this very much, although if you’re used to playing first person shooters and having full control over any 360 degree views you like, you may find this constraining.
The one place I do find this a little annoying is when there are objects in the room you need to collect; the character will give you a few seconds to try to shoot or touch whatever you can before moving on.
Overall, the best way to summarize Medieval Moves is that it feels very much like an extension of Sports Champions. It takes many of the same mechanics and tools and applies them to an adventure story. That the game is playable in 3D makes the experience even more immersive and appealing (I’ll post a separate review on 3dplaystation.net once I get my 3D system set up and let you know how that goes).
As for the story itself, my best advice would be to come with the right expectations. Don’t expect anything like Resistance or Uncharted. The game is more like a rail shooter than an open world game. Still, the novelty of being able to wield various weapons and gadgets in a realistic way (instead of the usual mashing of buttons) makes this one a game a positive step forward for Move games. While the storyline and premise may not be the strongest, what more than makes up for it is that you’re actually wielding a sword and shield and throwing ninja stars by just making the natural motions, without even thinking about it, which provides an experience that’s far beyond old-fashioned button mashing. Here’s hoping that future games will use this as a jumping off point and start to develop games that really do approach virtual reality, where motion control isn’t just a gimmick, but something that really enhances game play.
4.5 of 5 stars.