Bring Outcher Undeaaaad!
We spend a little hands-on time with Undead Knights and report back with all the gory details.
Published: August 30, 2009
Moreover, your zombies are rather good at giving themselves to the cause. They'll eventually rot and disappear (right now we could only enslave 10 zombies at a time; the older ones would just melt away as soon as that number was exceeded), but in the mean time you can put them to interesting use, having them stack on top of one another to make a bridge, for instance. If you grab one, rather than chucking it at a crowd to do 'em all damage, you can also slam them into the ground to do area effect damage and release a few souls.
Better still, they don't mind running across minefields or into flaming barriers one bit, so you can literally use them to thin out environmental threats with just a press of the R Buttons and a point of the cursor. Apparently giving them undeath also helps a bit with the ol' strength factor, as they're more than capable of picking up huge objects (for instance, a couple of cannons, which kicks off a shoulder button tapping sequence while they bash down a door).
To help with mass conversions, you're given an Infernal Wrath Meter. Fill this up by slicing and dicing and you can let loose with a massive wave that instantly converts anyone in range -- even bosses if they're weak enough. You'll get a massive boost of power, too, making it easy to dispatch throngs of enemies and make 'em all your ghastly puppets. Fun!
All that killing is good for netting you souls, which serve as the game's between-level store currency. Here you can upgrade your character's moves, increase their health and power, boost the amount of Infernal Wrath you absorb on hits, suck in more life when doing a Critical Impact (that move that turns weakened red enemies into zombies instantly) and even boost the speed at which you convert former enemies.
We strode through the first few levels, using our newfound hordes to assault everything from gates to archery towers to just ripping up enemies where they stood and found the game to be interesting, though not terribly different from other hack-and-slashers. That's not a bad thing, as sometimes you just need a semi-mindless bit of slaying from time to time.
Should you find going it alone isn't quite enough, though, the game does support Ad-Hoc multiplayer modes, including one where everyone races to get to the final point and then battles each other with the winner taking all (Survival Race), a sort of competitive/collaborative boss battle mode where you can touch candles to make all the undead attack the other players (King Battle) and a two-player mode called Undead Battle that kind of plays like zombie dodgeball where the players huck zombies at each other and can slash with normal attacks to stun the other player, leaving them open to some free hits. We unfortunately weren't able to give these modes a go yet, but we'll have plenty of time when the game ships at the end of next month.