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The First Templar
PC, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC
Publisher: Kalypso
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating:        6
Presentation: 6

A mixed bag at best, The First Templar features a dated interface, and some pretty unimpressive facial animations. Yet, at times the visuals are borderline impressive and it features more than tolerable voice acting.

Gameplay: 5

Combat is clearly the focus of this action RPG, and when you can get into a rhythm, it's fun and rewarding. Oddly enough, most levels have different routes you can take, but there's not much incentive to go back throughout the game.

Lasting Appeal:

The levels in The First Templar encourage exploration and choice, but there's really no reason to, since there's very little hidden objects or side quests. The result is a fairly streamlined action centric RPG that you'll quickly grow tired of.

Overall: 6
The First Templar shows glimpses of promise often throughout its ten hour journey, but it's almost always dashed quickly with a subpar design flaw. There's some enjoyment to be found if you look deep enough, but you have to ask it all worth it?
CHEATfactor: 6

Whenever people hear what I do for a job, they immediately think that playing terrible games is the worst part, but I'd have to disagree. I can take the bad games, it's the ones that show failed promise that get me the most. Games like The First Templar. The action centric RPG features impressively fluid combat and some truly promising moments, but all of that quickly comes crashing down rather quickly by shoddy mechanics and questionable design choices. There's fun to be had in The First Templar, but sadly, it's few and far between the unimpressive moments.

In The First Templar, you're cast as Celian, the Knight, on a quest to find the legendary holy grail. It's a quest that will take our hero throughout much of the Middle East and Europe and through some pretty interesting scenery. Luckily, Celian won't have to face it alone, as you'll always (more or less) have a secondary companion at your side. These companions are never quite as powerful as the game's protagonist, but they're often competent enough to hold their own in battle. It's the believable and entertaining discourse between these characters that made me most glad to have a companion. The voice acting isn't as terrible as in most budget RPGs and there's even a few moments of humor that prove that even with a serious tone, The developers never took themselves too seriously.

"...these moves are almost too powerful and make the game too easy too fast."


Most of the core mechanics in The First Templar can easily be described as a hack and slash adventure with a few RPG tones thrown in. Your basic attacks are handled by simply clicking the mouse (or button on controller) and hacking up your enemies. As you'd expect, you gain access to more powerful and varied moves as you level up your character, but sadly these moves are almost too powerful and make the game too easy too fast. Some moves allow you to take out an entire line of enemies with a single mouse click, making the game lose a bit of its edge.

The First Templar features some surprisingly decent enemy AI. Now, don't get me wrong, these aren't Half Life baddies trying to get you, but go ahead - try to randomly swing your weapon around, see how far it gets you. The developers did a good job of requiring you to use the game's parry system combined with the dodge mechanic to be truly successful. Unfortunately, they seem to have given up after that, as the game has a number of almost intolerable flaws. For instance, there's some terrible collision detection on display here, which of course has a decidedly negative effect on the game's combat.

"Visually, The First Templar is as mixed a bag as the rest of the game."


The environments in The First Templar seem to encourage multiple plays, since you can take different paths more often than not, but since there's never really anything extra to find in these second play throughs, it's hard to recommend doing so. Really, these other pathways are just that, another way to go through the same level, just don't expect too much from them.

Visually, The First Templar is as mixed a bag as the rest of the game. Impressive environments often give way to dark, muddy textures and unimpressive graphics. There's also some really weird facial features like a eyes that seem to pop out of heads and hair that looks to be drawn on. Sadly, more often than not, The First Templar comes off as a game that looks like it was made last generation.

In some cases, it seems like Kalypso had some great ideas with The First Templar, but stopped caring midway through the development process. There's fun to be had in the almost rhythmic combat, but that's all dashed quickly by odd design choices and a what seems like lazy developing. Don't have anything else to play? The First Templar's budget price may be appealing, but little else is. 



CHEATS USED: Unlimited Health, Zeal, XP

Legend has it that the Holy Grail, a cup once drunken out of by Jesus himself brings he who finds it unlimited youth and power...well, I can't get you that...but the trainer for the First Templar is almost as good. Almost.

With unlimited health, zeal and XP, it's sort of like being rewarded with the same thing as the holy grail...the only problem is that you still have to use it for The First Templar.



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