Review By: Siou Choy
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Gretchen and Heinrich.
You heard that right. Your lead characters are named Gretchen and Heinrich. Yep, sieg heil, it looks like we’re in for a Teutonic treat. Strap yourselves in, kiddies, we’re all taking a trip to the land of Wagner, heavy pastries and the better part of the traditional folk tales collected by the Brothers Grimm…and we’re talking the level of “Clever Else” script and plotwise. Just starting up Knights Contract (sic) you know you’re in for a treat. Not only did the developers let poor grammar slip by in the title (what, it doesn’t merit an apostrophe? Does it cost that much extra at the typesetters?), but they also let a chance to deliver a decent game slip by as well. Instead, what you get is a shallow, moronic and frustrating game not worthy of your hard earned money. Even as a discount title, you’d be hard pressed to find enough value in Knights Contract to merit your gaming dollars.
To start off, Knights Contract is part of that new and annoying subgenre, the escort game. As Heinrich you “join in a contract” (more on that one later) with Gretchen (the “good” witch) to help her stop the "bad" witches. Yeah, sure. Next you’ll be feeding me that “white/black” magic crap, when everyone knows, as Robert Smith sagely phrased it, that “all cats are grey”…
So here’s the “contract” you “join” in. Apparently Heinrich was the executioner (not the judge or her accusers, mind you, but the poor schlub who gets to do the dirty work…it’s like going after the court reporter or the baliff) back when Gretchen was to be beheaded sometime in the 1600s or what have you, so she cursed him to live forever. Ooh, how horrible. So if you agree to escort her in her travels, she’ll remove the curse that she placed on Heinrich in the first place. How generous.
So on to the game proper. Essentially, you’re forced to escort witch Gretchen around, which means physically carrying her like a bride across the threshold, but without the payoff. Seriously, somehow this b*tch has survived hundreds of years, a beheading, and a new body, but she can’t even walk around on her own two feet! So you carry this lazy bi-otch around for the better part of the game. And mind you, she needs to be carried around because she acts as health meter for both of you(!). Heinrich can’t die but Gretchen apparently can, and when she dies, Heinrich dies too. You’d think he’d want that (since that’s the whole reason he’s in this “contract” in the first place!). But no, there’s a weird catch: instead of dying, Heinrich collapses on one knee and can’t move around. If you don’t rapidly tap the A button to restore him to fighting form, and he’s attacked while down on his knees, Heinrich explodes into several pieces. You read that right. So if or when that lovely happenstance occurs, you’re once again directed to rapidly tap the A button to rejoin the gruesome carnage that was Heinrich so he can fight (and carry that lazy b…uh…witch around) again.
Posted: 2012-01-01 15:23:11 PST