While the Xbox One gets the first wave of backwards compatibility 360 games, two classic multiplayer titles are missing from the list. Bomberman and Gauntlet seem to have been overseen, but Chainsawesome Games have come to the rescue with Knight Squad. To say this title is a cross between Bomberman and Gauntlet is an understatement and the top down Medieval multiplayer madness is hard to put down.
Knight Squad has three modes of play which are, Solo, Online Multiplayer and Local Multiplayer. The Solo player mode comes in the form of a number of challenges which increase with difficulty as you try to clear them in the fastest time possible. There is no instructions for what you need to do in the challenges but they are pretty easy to figure out. The first challenge is a breeze as you aim to clear the green caldron’s which keep spawning enemies, however the challenges moving forward require much more determination and patience. The second challenge required you to kill four worms which turns out to be much harder that it sounds, in fact it taking me a good hour to complete it. So far I have only made it to the third challenge and I am now thinking I might have to become a gaming wizard to complete it. The thing about these challenges is that normally the frustration would get the better of me, but hell I just want to go back for more punishment.
While the single player is borderline sadistic Knight Squad really shines when you grab up to eight chums and hit up the multiplayer. If you haven’t got a party of eight you can either search for more players or use the games bots. Be warned though the multiplayer is highly addictive and pretty hard to put down and the bots on easy can make it tough depending on the game mode. There are a variety of modes one offer and while the game will be free for Xbox Live Gold Members come the release date of the 16th November I highly recommend you buy the DLC that will add three new knights and four new multiplayer modes. The Knights do have a bit of personality, I have taken a liking to Sparkles, but no matter who you choose there is no advantage so things are kept pretty even.
All the game modes on offer in Knight Squad with the DLC are Capture the Grail; Capture the Flag; Soccer; Gladiator; Last Man Standing; TDM; Juggernaut; Domination; Crystal Rush; Jail Break; Arms Race; Serial Killer and Soul Hunter. All the modes have a fair amount of varied and well thought out maps. Capture the Flag and Capture the Grail are similar but in the latter the Grail slows you down as you try and get it back to your spawn point. When it comes to the Juggernaut mode I think Knight Squad nails this perfectly. The XLCGN crew had a real blast on this mode as you can not only go for the Juggernaut to become him, but you could be cruel and just go for the other players. Soul Hunter is a great twist on free-for-all with you gathering the players souls as you kill, to score the points though you need to take the souls back to your spawn point. How many souls you gather before going back to your spawn point depends if you have the Balls of Steel to keep killing. Serial Killer is another great free-for-all type mode where you have to kill players in the sequence shown at your spawn point.
In Arms Race you have to be the first to cycle through all the games weapons. You can change the games settings so that you determine the amount of kills you need to get on to the next weapon. This is a great mode for seeing if you have what it takes to perfect the many weapons the game has to offer. You have the normal Medieval weapons but you also have grenades, horses, lasers and more on offer. Another favourite mode is Crystal Crush where you have to destroy the other teams four crystals before they destroy yours. The only catch is that you need to pick up the drill to destroy them, thus a mode where team work is key. There really isn’t any mode that isn’t fun to play and no doubt people will have their own favourites. The fun to be had with eight friends is just on another level.
The graphics in Knight Squad has a great retro/Gauntlet feel to them, it somehow makes the game that more enjoyable if your an old(ish) gamer like myself. The top down gameplay was a wise decision and works great with the game. The games soundtrack fits well with the era the game is based on. I haven’t spotted any graphical issues in the time I have been playing the game. I can just imagine what this game would be like in FPS mode with everything kept as it is.
The Good Things
- One of the best Multiplayer Party games on the Xbox One.
- Part of the Free Games With Gold on November 16th 2015.
- The lobby randomises the person that gets to choose the mode played.
And The Bad
- The Solo Challenges are borderline Satanic but even so I still go back for more punishment.
- Ever since I heard about Knight Squad and that it was classed as a mix between Bomberman and Gauntlet I had faith that it would be great. Well my faith wasn’t misplaced as Chainsawesome Games have produced one hell of a great multiplayer party game. The solo challenge modes are a little satanic in difficulty but the game really comes into its own in multiplayer. If you were a fan of Bomberman and Gauntlet then I highly recommend picking up this title along with the DLC that will allow you to take advantage of all the game modes.
One of the best Multiplayer party titles on the Xbox One.