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CRUSADER: ADVENTURE OUT OF TIME


Crusading through multimedia history

By JAMES ANTHONY

It is really goodVery little in history shows the arrogance of European nobility more than the attempts by Western Europe to take on the Muslims of the Middle East during several crusades. The battlecry to protect/free the holy city of Jerusalem from heathens (Muslims and Jews) drew massive armies of kings, lords, knights, peasants and even children from all over Europe in a religious madness of unthinking fervour.

Along the way, the most Christian armies ransacked cities and put their citizens to the sword - unfortunately, many victims were themselves Christians - and embroiled themselves in political in-fighting that would make modern parliaments look like kindergartens. Still, the Crusades gave us legendary figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, as well as giving us the first real wars over religion.

For those history buffs interested in the Crusades, Europress has come up with a very fine multimedia look at political life in the Middle Ages and the hows and wheres of the campaigns to "free" Christendom from the infidels.

You begin in France in 1183 as part of a besieging army that is sent by the King to put an upstart knight, Arthaud, in his place. With a series of puzzles you work out how to fire a trebuchet to knock down his walls, send in mining parties to undermine his walls and finally capture his castle. After four years in a tiny dungeon, Arthaud becomes the hero as he is ordered to save holy relics from the Muslims attacking Jerusalem.

Not only do you have to use the old gray matter in Crusader, but you learn one heck of a lot about the times, the politics and general how-things-were-done-back-then.

The graphics are very good, the interface reasonably easy to get around and the storyline intriguing. If you get stuck the developers have kindly put in a how-to booklet that makes life much easier. If you are the slightest bit interested in the Middle Ages or the Crusades then this is a title that will not only entertain you, but actually give you the feeling of living in the times. A very fine product.

 

ORIGINALITY 80%
SOUND/GRAPHICS 80%
PLAYABILITY 80%
ADDICTION 80%
ENJOYMENT 75%