Do you think I use too much gel? GameGossip Baby! Are you looking at my ass? :: News :: :: Articles :: :: Games :: :: Interviews ::
Set Homepage Set Homepage  Set Bookmark Add Bookmark  Submit News Submit News
Username: Password:
Join GameGossip! :: Forgot Login :: 30,000+ Members!
 
 
 
:: Advertise With Us ::
:: Latest News Headlines :: :: Latest Hot Stories :: :: Current Poll ::
   Creative Purposely Cripples Firmware to Obsolet...
 SIXAXIS Dead; Long Live DUALSHOCK 3
 Morning Brief - Hump Day Edition
 Army of Two Demo on XBox Arcade
 Morning Brief - Over the Rainbow Edition
 Still Alive for Rock Band Availab...
 Capcom Purchases Tenchu Developer
 New PSN Store Coming Mid-April
 Morning Brief - Still Alive Edition
 Morning Brief - So Tired It Hurts Edition
 Free Bonus Map Pack Released for PC/PS3 Unr...
 Morning Brief - More Sleep Edition
 Darwinia+/Multiwinia Heading to Xbox Liv...
 Little Big Planet and Killzone 2 ...
 Warhammer Online Pushed Back to Fall
 
Gamegossip is Back!()
PS3 60GB SKU Being Phased Out? PS3 Still...()
Black Xbox 360 is Teh Reals: 120GB HDD a...()
Forums & Comments Online()
Official "Forums are Down and I hate Lif...()
Get Your Pubescent Gay On in Bully()
The Little Halo That Couldn't: Fi...()
PS3 IS In Production()
ESA Issues E3 2007 Statement()
AMD Acquires ATI()
Video Game ... Detox Centers?()
Halo 3 Announcement Trailer()
Microsoft Supports Nintendo?()
Microsoft Acquires Lionhead()
PS3 Delayed?()
   
Current
Search
Customize
Newsletter
Archive
Press Releases
Submit

Articles
Demos
Game Servers
Interviews
Poll Archive
Screenshots
Stock Market
Gaming Charts

Syndication
About Us
Advertise
Link Us

  Review: Lionheart - Legacy of the Crusader
On 09/08/03 by Turner 'Bulldog' Hopkinson

Developer: Reflexive Entertainment
Publisher: Interplay
Release Date: 08/13/03
ESRB: "T" for Teen
Official Site: lionheart.blackisle.com
Platform(s): PC

Gameplay
:: pc :: First off it's notable to mention that Lionheart uses the SPECIAL system. This originates from the days of Fallout and stands for "Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck". This plays a vital role throughout the game and the points that you devote to each one of these categories affects your gameplay experience tremendously. Race wise you will have four different ones to select from and none are overly unique beyond some different perks available to one specific side. You also get to choose a spirit. This is a little character that pops up occasionally to guide you and give bits of advice throughout the storyline. There are three different ones to choose from and each represents a different emotion of sorts. I preferred the red one, which presumably represents the devil, because he is quite humorous and sarcastic.

The quality of the missions really intrigued me and drew me into Lionheart. While they're all set in an alternate 16th century you'll often notice you're chatting with real life characters such as William Shakespeare. And more often than not the missions you accept will involve these guys in some way, shape, or form. As for historical accuracy that leaves something to be desired because you can travel into the sewers and battle radical looking monsters for days on end. Eventually though, the quests become not only tedious but boring and repetitive as well. The designers seemingly lacked creativity after the first few ones and couldn't come up with anything better than run to point A, kill, kill, kill and return to point B. A diplomatic option is also available and supposedly if you have high enough speech and stealth skills you can complete the game without killing a single being.

Then there are a slew of "little" things that really irked me and made me realize that Lionheart simply is not as good as other role-playing games such as Neverwinter Nights. For instance on the mini-map there is no way to mark important locations and everything is left to memory. This can be fine for quests where you don't have to traverse a vast amount of land but for some of the longer quests remembering what building you came from is an unnecessary chore. The path-finding is also pretty bad and the developer knew it since they tried to cover up for it with a poorly implemented system where you can only move one or two screens at a time. In other words you must manually guide your character every couple of feet to reach his destination. A "friends" system is also included - sort of. Occasionally you will rescue a knight or a similar good guy and he will follow you to a certain place and "assist" in combat. The word assist is used in the loosest way possible considering their artificial intelligence and path finding is worse than your own character. No rest option was included either. This is a glaring issue and detracts greatly from how fun this game is to play considering how slowly your health regenerates. While not absolutely essential, having to walk away from a battle and sit still for five minutes while your health and mana regenerates is a nagging problem. It's only fair to mention that Black Isle has said this will be addressed in a future patch but as I write this no such patch has been released.

The combat engine is interesting to say the least. Most obvious is the fact that it's in real-time where as most are turn-based nowadays (with the exceptions being Diablo and Dungeon Siege). When you actually engage in a fight virtually all role-playing aspects are sadly seemingly removed. Combat rapidly becomes a tedious combination of slash, click, slash, magic, click, magic, slash - basically as fast as you can click the mouse. While I hate to do this since the dynamics of the game are so different on a broad scale, Lionheart's combat can most closely be compared to that of Diablo II. The selection of weapons is nothing impressive and on a side note the implementation of the inventory system is shoddy at best. Magic plays a vital role and without it you will almost surely be slaughtered. Even the hand-to-hand combat orientated characters will be able to utilize magic to some extent so it is wise to invest at least a few points in one or two spells and use them often. Last but not least is the multiplayer. Only one mode is available and it is called cooperation. It is horribly implemented, laggy, buggy and various other adjectives would suit its description. MP is certainly not the games strong point and if you do pick this game up make sure that you are doing so for the single player. Overall the game has a very unpolished and rushed to store shelf feel to it. Just a few more months would have enabled the developer to address those minor issues and really make this game a contender. Now we'll never know how good Lionheart really could have been.

Graphics
:: pc :: Graphically the game is in 2D. While not the best graphics ever seen in a role-playing title they are certainly some of the better ones to be released recently. They do a superb job of showing that there is still a place for these sorts of visuals in today's 3D dominated world. Occasionally the framerates would drop off to inexplicably low levels but then pick right back up a few moments later. One would think this would occur during the middle of an intense battle but it rarely did, instead at a random time such as when you're alone walking down a dungeon hallway. Eventually if you play long enough everything does begin to look repetitive, especially in the dungeons, but nevertheless the graphics are one of the games strong suits.

Sound
:: pc :: The musical score is repetitive, dull, and boring. Those three words sum up my feelings on this category. At first it fits the time era flawlessly but after the twenty minutes of playing you realize it sounds as if the same track is playing over, and over, and over again. If any of you have been to the "It's a Small World" ride in Disneyland Lionheart's music can best be compared to that. When you enter it's so damn fun! But by about halfway into it you're begging for it to be over. The sound effects were lackluster as well. While the actual effects weren't that bad there were several glitches that popped up. Namely audio bits getting stuck in what appeared to be a loop. One instance of this was when my character became poisoned and would grunt every time he lost two health units. Did the grunting go away? No, my character continued to grunt hours after the effects of the poison dissipated. On the flipside the voice-overs are absolutely fantastic. They surpass Neverwinter Nights and other respectable role-playing games by a substantial margin.

In a Word: Unpolished.

Word to the Publisher: Should have given the developer a few months more.

Full Reviews:
  • GameSpot
  • IGN
  • GameSpy
Final Score: 83%
/
#1 - Aphex242 - 09/08/03 @ 04:04 PM EST
Agreed. This game plays like a beta. PHENOMENAL idea, great setting, but AI=awful, healing=rotten, game=buggy.

I myself ran into a save game bug that crashes you to desktop when 'zoning'. I, after tons of searching, found a solution posted by a user that involved jumping through hoops and worshipping satan, but it worked.

Then about a day later, it happened again, and NOTHING I do will let me continue. So it's start over or uninstall.

/ Lionheart ain't on my drive anymore.
/
#2 - chronnus - 09/08/03 @ 09:16 PM EST
83% seems a little too high for it.
/
#3 - nemarsde - 09/09/03 @ 04:20 AM EST
I'd never give this game over 2/5. It's a great idea for a CRPG, poorly implemented IMO. Although most of its flaws could be forgiven (almost), the real-time combat combined with no rest option is fatal. It kills the fun.

I can't comment on whether the gameplay gets boring later on, I didn't get that far.
/
Not a fun game. Not a worthy successor to the Fallout series.
/ /
- Anon@198.81.26.109- 09/09/03 @ 07:40 AM EST
I really wanted to like this game and gave it quite a while, but could not warm up to it. The first quarter was fun. I also ended up with an un-usable save and just stopped playing.
/
- Zone- 09/09/03 @ 08:45 AM EST
I haven't encountered any bugs at all, but the game just falls apart after you leave Barcelona once and for all. Absolutely no semblance of a story or quests at all, just millions and millions of insane creatures to hack your way through.

/ I loved it up to that point, but man did it ever start to blow once you entered the crypt. I'd give it a 60% tops, with the potential to bump that significantly if they patched in more quests or anything interesting in the latter third of the game.

It's very clear this game was pushed out at least two or three months early. Given that, they did an admirable job of bug-squashing, but those missing quests really kill the fun.
/ /
/
#6 - Anon@64.228.139.78 - 09/09/03 @ 12:52 PM EST
An "Unpolished" game gets 83%? Ummm...
/
/ /
/
#7 - Anon@64.229.160.54 - 09/10/03 @ 01:12 AM EST
The review READS like a 60% score but you gave it an 83%??

Are you sure you didn't mean 38%? That would be a more fitting score for this mess of a game.

/
/ /
#8 - Anon@203.173.22.203 - 09/10/03 @ 05:33 AM EST
Unfortunately, this is a game I'll prolly never finish. I've tried really hard, pushed through a lot of tedious crap etc, only to find that the current missions I'm on to progress, I cannot beat the enemies lined up against me.

My one hand sword skill is pretty damn high (well over 130 last time I checked) but I get slaughtered, by higher ranking normal (not even boss) enemies.

If I knew I would be playing Diablo, I wouldn't have bothered spending points on a high diplomacy score and chucking attrib points into intelligence (I like to be able to talk rings around ppl after Fallout = )

It was noted in another review, and it should be noted here, if you don't go for a high level fighter (dedicated) with some healing magic, you are wasting your time with this game, as you'll never complete the later standard fights, let alone the boss fights.

Oh, and healing potions are thin on the ground too. After you slog the hell out of a boss and burn your 2 potions of extra healing, you run to recover only to find the boss has fully regened when you return.

Very disappointing overall.
/
#9 - nemarsde - 09/10/03 @ 06:22 AM EST
I was going to say, "Black Isle Studios" can do better, but now I'm not exactly sure what involvement they've had with this game. It's listed as a Black Isle Studios game, but the developer is Reflexive Entertainment?

With a name like that, I'm not surprised Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusades rel/lexes (for all that clicking in combat). ;)
/
/
#10 - Bulldog - 09/10/03 @ 10:18 AM EST
/
#11 - Anon@200.158.188.211 - 09/10/03 @ 04:52 PM EST
Haha, 83%?? While EVERY review gives -60%, 6/10, 2/5 stars? Give me a break.


/ / //tr> // /
Username: Anonymous [ Register | Login ]
Comment:
Allowed HTML:
<b></b>
<i></i>
/ <a href="">LINK</a>
/
/
  Anon. Comments Not Allowed - You Must Register or Login! / ///////
 
/ / //
 
:: STAFF :: COPYRIGHT :: CREDITS :: ADVERTISE :: LINK US :: ::