The First Templar

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The First Templar

The First Templar

Not-quite-broken sword.

Wait. Don't skip straight to the end. I'll save you the effort. It's a 6/10. But that's OK, because The First Templar is the good kind of 6/10, the sort of zero-expectation, low-budget game that approaches the score from below, creeping upwards the longer you play, rather than tumbling down to that level in a mangled mess of dashed hopes and overcooked hype.

As surprisingly fun as the hack-and-slash gameplay is, it still has a critical glass ceiling thanks to production values that could generously be described as "eccentric" and less favourably as "wonky". This is a game laden with so many weird, goofy or just plain confusing design decisions that its well-meaning attempt to craft a dark medieval conspiracy is constantly undermined by laughs of incredulity. For many, that will be part of the charm.

You play as Celian d'Arestide, a Templar Knight on a quest for nothing less than the Holy Grail. Along the way, you're joined alternately by Roland, a sour-faced knight who is supposedly your senior yet behaves like a stroppy teenager and takes all his orders from you, and Marie d'Ibelin, a heretical noblewoman raised as a Christian in the Middle East.

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