Medievil (PS4)


Dan Fortesque is no hero. He’s like an office employee who does nothing yet ends up promoted by accident. It’s even worse for Fortesque – he’s just a skeleton.

The joy in Medievil is how the design conveys awkwardness. That’s the joke too. It’s wonky and utterly imprecise. Fortesque doesn’t attack so much as run forward, swinging wildly hoping to hit something; it’s akin to a kid playing with a toy sword.

Foes do much the same, blindly charging, running into walls, or stumbling over themselves. The camera never understands what Fortesque will do either, persistent in being out of place. The entirety of Medievil looks, plays, and feels incompetent. So rarely is a game willing to go this all-in on its gag – and without sacrificing  the joy.

Medievil’s contained graveyards, castles, and dungeons keep a retro  appeal, further making Fortesque unfit. In this case, not only for his mission to strike at the wizard who killed him, but the industry as a whole.

Maybe Fortesque is braver than he appears.


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